A lot has changed since we dove into the Social Media pond! Sure, Facebook rolled out timeline, and Twitter now has sponsored tweets, but the changes we’re talking about are in our understanding of social media. And the truth is that we made a few mistakes along the way…
Now, we are very proud of our work, so don’t judge too much as we reveal our mistakes what we’ve learned about social media. We hope that this will help you, and we hope that you’ll share your own learning with us! Let’s look at two big lessons that we’ve learned:
Lesson #1 – There are Rules for Running Facebook Promotions & Contests
This is a BIG one. It’s big because it’s usually an innocent mistake, it’s probably one of the most common mistakes businesses are making on Facebook, but it can have massive consequences. Not following the rules can get you in hot water with Facebook – they can even delete your company page if they want to. Here’s an example of how these rules are often broken:
You’re a business and you just got your Facebook page set up and ready, but now you need to get Facebook Likes. You’re creative and fun, so you decide to hold a drawing for some fabulous prize for everyone that likes your page in the next 30 days. You make signs and put them in your business and you’re off. It’s a great success! You add 100 new Likes in just a few weeks.
Now that you’ve got a handsome number of Likes on your page, you want to get your customers to start interacting. It hits you – you’ll run a contest! You’ll have your customers submit photos of themselves in the glasses they purchased from you and the one with the most Likes at the end of the week wins a prize! You get 30 submissions and tons of new activity on the page.
Sounds genius, right? It did to us too, until we found out it could get you in trouble with Facebook. Not police knocking down your door, but it could get your page deleted! According to the Facebook Promotion Guidelines, this example company was within the Facebook contest rules when recruiting “Likes” using in-store signage, but they broke them when they went beyond the Likes and asked people to participate in the contest. (whoops!)
The main lesson here is that while it’s easy to get promotions up and running on Facebook, there are rules. And you want to check them out before you promote through the service. It would be awful to put all that hard work into building you page, only to find out that you inadvertently broke a rule and got your page deleted.
Lesson #2 – Your Blog May Be Competing with Your Website SEO
Yep, you read that right. If your blog isn’t hosted either as an extension of your existing website or as a subdomain (like http://blog.visionweb.com), you’re competing with your existing website for Search Engine Optimization rankings.
This one blind-sided us. But it makes sense now that we understand it a little more. Essentially, setting up your blog on Tumblr or Blogspot, even when you use a vanity URL that is close to your company’s URL (for example, our first blog URL was www.visionwebblog.com), creates an entirely separate site. So the work you do there to post articles and include keywords in hopes of boosting your site ranking aren’t doing anything for your main site.
Avoid this by working with your IT people to establish a subdomain of your website and host your blog there. Then it will all work together in SEO harmony!
What have you learned since embarking on your social media strategy? Is there anything that has surprised you? Anything that you thought worked one way, so you spent a lot of time doing something in what you thought was the right way, only to discover you were totally wrong? If so, you’re in good hands; stay in touch with us! We'll answer any questions you have - just Facebook us!