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The 9 Deadly Sins of Facebook Pages and Their Administrators

When I speak to groups or am interviewed about Facebook, I am often asked to provide examples of companies that are “doing it right.” With well north of 500 million users who spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook, companies are increasingly interested in how Facebook can be leveraged as part of their marketing campaigns. It’s only natural. Many companies jump in and set up a Facebook Page but aren’t really sure where to go from there. There is no strategy. No goals. No content calendar. Nada. The Facebook Page has been created and viola, all is done. Throw the Facebook logo on your marketing materials and everyone will flock to the Page. While you and I know this isn’t true, this is a consistent issue and one that I’ve run into more times than I can count.

As with any aspect of your marketing, if not done with thoughtfulness and some planning, just setting up your Facebook Page could become disastrous, frustrating and lead to abandoning something that could be a powerful way to build and connect with your community. Over the past couple years of working with clients when I was at New Marketing Labs, researching and writing my book and being an active user on Facebook, I have put together the 9 deadly sins of Facebook Pages (and their administrators). There surely are many other “sins” and many, if not all of them, apply to other social networks as well.

9 Deadly Sins of Facebook Pages and Their Administrators

Not having any goals

One of these days we will be able to stop talking about the need for goals in social media but so many companies are still just jumping in without knowing why they are doing it and what success looks like for them. You need to have goals. Whatever they may be, whatever success looks like for you, you must have goals. It could be that you want to gain 25 “likes” so you can get your custom URL. You could want your Facebook Page to become a top 10 referrer of traffic to your website. It doesn’t matter what the goal is, it matters that you have goals and a timeline for achievement.

Thinking it’s about YOU

It’s never about you. It’s never been about you. Make it about your community and you’ll find that you will reap far more benefits. It’s really that simple.

Page abandonment

I’m just as guilty of this as the next person managing Facebook Pages. It’s very easy to set up a Page, get all excited about it and then not touch for week’s on end. Not only are you missing out on opportunities to engage with your community on a platform where they’re spending an average of 55 minutes per day, you’re also hurting yourself with increasing your chances of appearing in your fans newsfeeds. If you’ve never read about the EdgeRank algorithm and how Facebook decides what appears in the newsfeed, stop reading this and go read this excellent article by TheNextWeb.

Acting like a robot

This is another one of those face palm moments that I have when I see a brand automating their content to Facebook. Twitter and Facebook are two separate platforms. Treat them as such. Do not post your tweets automatically to Facebook as status updates. Take the time to actually engage on Facebook. Create custom content that’s specific for your Facebook community.

Lack of engagement

If your community is taking time out of their schedule to engage with the content that you’re creating on Facebook, you can take the time to engage with them. Sure, every single comment or like doesn’t have to be responded to and sometimes you will have people there just trying to pick an argument with you or your company. You also don’t need to run down a list of comments with “Great, thanks” type comments. Use your best judgment and take the time to be thoughtful in your responses.


This is the step prior to complete page abandonment. If you’re inconsistent with creating content and engaging in Facebook, then you can’t expect to have an active community. Not only will it hurt your EdgeRank from a technical perspective, your community won’t be used to the rate at which you produce content. You won’t be one of their “must check” Pages just like if you’re not active on your blog or other platforms, they will quickly move on there, as well.

Giving up too quickly

Just because there are 500 million people on Facebook doesn’t mean that within 3 days of launching your Facebook Page you will be reaching Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber levels. Success on Facebook is just like most other aspects of life: it takes hard and sustained work. You will not be cashing bonus checks a week after launching your Facebook Page just because you launched your Facebook Page.

Using too many tabs

Just because you can create multiple customized tabs doesn’t mean you should. Your Facebook Page is not your website, just on Facebook. If your Facebook Page strategy includes 18 custom tabs, slap yourself. Having a custom landing tab for your Facebook Page is an excellent way to carry brand consistency and to engage with your community as soon as they hit your Page. Having other content on another tab that may be relevant if they choose to “like” your Page can be useful to them. But, too many tabs and they will be confused, turned off and annoyed…the ninth deadly sin.

Annoying your fans

Just as you shouldn’t be inconsistent in your rate of posting content to your Facebook Page, you also shouldn’t post so much content that you annoy your fans. The fact that they clicked the “like” button doesn’t mean that they’re telling you “pummel me with updates and messages.” The fact that you can message your fans doesn’t mean that you should do it so much that it becomes annoying to you. Multiple times I have un-liked a Page or un-friended someone for too frequent of updates. This is your community and it can be a vibrant and successful community if you nurture them well. Always remember that.

There you have it, these are the 9 deadly sins of Facebook Pages. What are other “sins” that you see on the Facebook Pages that you visit?

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Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk

  • Amy Do

    Great article! I’ve seen too many clients partake in at least one or more of the above sins. You summed up the golden rule – know why you’re setting up a Facebook page and set goals, just like any other marketing channel or communication method. Same rules, just a different medium.

  • Scott Harris

    Nice list, Justin!
    The one that resonates most for me is “Thinking it is about YOU.”
    Give your community what they want to hear about, when they want to hear about it and your Facebook Page can be a very valuable asset.

  • Lara Kulpa

    Justin, I love this post! Many of these are things I spoke about at BWENY in regards to community management. It never ceases to amaze me how so many brands (both solo brands and corporate brands) feel like their community is a venue to push their product or service and it makes me insane… It’s probably the first thing I tell my clients when they want to get started leveraging community. “If you’re in it for the ROI, don’t bother.” :) 

  • social media solutions

    Yes – these are fatal mistakes in using facebook. But I have to confess – I have many tabs on my facebook page… I really thought it was good to give people more choices.. After reading this post I think it confuses them more than gives the choice… Have to change this quickly! Thanks for your analysis of FB usage and sharing this!