Why Most Businesses Get Facebook Wrong

social media expert interviewIn this video I interview Jay Baer, co-author of the new book The Now Revolution and founder of the popular social media blog Convince and Convert. Jay shares why it’s important for companies to embrace social media now.

He also talks a lot about why Facebook can have a big impact on business, and explains why most companies approach Facebook the wrong way and what they need to do instead.

Be sure to check out the takeaways below after you watch the video.

Here are some of the things you’ll learn in this video:

  • How to use the “opportunity economy” to build your business
  • Where the opportunities are for selling indirectly on social media
  • How to get more out of your internal communications with a centralized control structure
  • Why Facebook has a big impact on business
  • Why you should think of Facebook as “email newsletters 2.0″
  • The danger of Facebook “yellow-paging”
  • Why you need to invest in actively maintaining your Facebook page
  • Whether you should wait for the next “Facebook”
  • Why you need to go where your customers already are

Connect with Jay on Convince and Convert and download the first chapter of his new book The Now Revolution.

Does your business have a Facebook page? What tips do you have to share for businesses using Facebook? Please leave them below.

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About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, founder of My Kids' Adventures and author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. He's also the host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.wsibusinessmarketing.co.uk Matt Chandler

    Most businesses haven’t even got to the starting line when it comes to Facebook, let alone got to the point where they’ve figured they’re doing it wrong! Still a long way to go for so many businesses out there….!

  • http://www.facebook.com/larry.cavanagh Larry Cavanagh

    It is my belief that you have your site has to be active, new content daily if at all possible. It also should have a flavour in keeping with it’s target audience.

  • http://blog.socialmediahq.com/ Nick Robinson

    Jay has such good insight. He converted me a long time ago. E-mail 2.0 is a perfect way to describe it.

  • http://mainspring.tv MainSpring Video

    Thanks for the interview – We agree that Facebook is a good opportunity for business. Been trying to figure out the best way to go about it and these are some helpful insights. Not updating your business’ Facebook page is “like having a Geocities page” – ha!

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

    Thanks Nick. I appreciate that.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

    Old Skool on the Geocities reference. Showing my age!

  • delainanicole

    I’m intrigued by the idea that businesses or organizations should post on FB more than once a day. Personally, if I see that many posts by a single person or entity in my FB feed in one day, I’m probably going to turn off their posts from showing up in my news feed. I want info and perks and announcements from the pages I’m a fan of, but I don’t want clutter.

    Anyone else feel that way, too? I’d like to know what their FB Insights graphs look like for the number of fans who have blocked them from their news feeds.

  • David

    Very good good interview with good insights. Keeping it fresh is so critical – there is not a build it and they will come mentality anymore. You must always give them a reason to keep coming back.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Matt! Good point!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Larry – I agree if that works for your business

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    I think it fully depends on how valuable people find your posts. Check our Facebook page. 34K and growing fast. We post about 3 to 4 times a day. But if you look, it is valuable to our community.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Welcome David – We hope to see you again :)

  • http://www.marketingdaze.com Sandy Miller

    I have found for pages that i over see for clients do better when there is more interaction with followers. Don’t keep pushing out info. Give them opportunity to comment. Even at times have polls to ask them what they are interested in and what do they want info about. It has helped drive up the number of likes on the pages as well and the comments/interactions.

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  • Charllene Wang

    We are thinking to post coupons and discounts on facebook, and use facebook to replace tranditional newsletter because we thought that people these days want quick and short information that will get to the point right there, any different opinions? Btw, what is newsletter 2.0???

  • http://www.facebook.com/handyplast Zulhilmi Zainudin

    its better to provide a PDF transcript for us; loyal readers & subscribers ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/CampAmericaNZ Vicki

    What annoys me about some Facebook pages is that the owners talk about themselves all the time and never interact – I think interacting with your customers all the time is so crucial

  • http://twitter.com/nibfickle Alexander Kenter

    Nice interview, good promo for the book, as well – thanks, Michael & Jay!

    Too many companies seem to forget the ‘social’ in Social Media. They still tend to think ‘one-way radio traffic’ rather than ‘interaction & dialogue’. Good point, too, in describing the move to Facebook as ‘going where your clients are’ rather than ‘when we build it, they will come’. That’s something that is always on my mind when explaining Social Media to people, but this is a really nice ‘n’ clear way of defining it!

    Hey, what can I say, my interest is piqued! I’m off to nowrevolutionbook.com and see whether I can have it shipped to the Netherlands, or if maybe I should get it digitally.

  • Chrissmith

    From themaunfactering economy to service economy and now into the “expereince” economy. We started our FB pages and just by trial and error we found out to aske a whole lot of questions and post min 3 times a day. We make sure to stay wired in and we have seen our profits up so far. Most businesses need to write it into someones job description!

  • Chrissmith

    i was wondering the same thing about email 2.0 Anyone know where to go to find it or find articles on best ways to use it?

  • http://www.theofficeescape.com Ella Pelayo

    I agree… Business Owners should have something exciting to offer to their followers aside from promos and discounts. Discussions are definitely one way to have them keep coming back to your page…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HPMVCNR4SURHEQVV5NYBLWBCEY Cindy

    As a small business owner who has been in business for over thirty years in a B2C type business, much of the information that is out on the web about social media and the NEED for it in one’s business reminds me of the childhood story “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. In this delightful story, an Emperor cares about nothing but his appearance. He hires two tailors who promise him the finest suit of clothing from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or is “hopelessly stupid”. The Emperor cannot see the cloth himself, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing unfit for his position or stupid. All of his servants do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor then marches in the town sqaure before his subjects. A child in the crowd calls out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by the crowd. The Emperor cringes, suspecting the assertion is true, but continues the procession.
    Are we as business owners falling into a trap of thinking the newest, flashy toy is the going to “revolutionize” our business and that if we don’t jump on board our businesses are doomed? When Coca-Cola has over 23 million fans on their facebook page, I question the QUALITY of relationship that Coke has established and is able to maintain with those who have clicked “like”. If on my facebook page, I have “friended” 200 people and “liked” twenty of my favorite products pages, I have ended up with so much “noise” on my newsfeed that my facebook account has lost it’s value to me as an easy way to keep up with REAL friends and family. Do I really want Oreo cookie with 17 million “likes” to send me two, three and four advertisements a day on my facebook page? The honest answer is no and i question if many of my customers feel the same way.

    So what is the answer? How can we use social media in a way that develops truly personal relationships that create value to both the customer and the business? How can the tools be used to create dynamic, real communications? (before you answer that one, think of the last time you got trapped in a companies automated voice mail). Where is the balance between using the new social tools and polishing the good ole fashion tools from the analog world? (when was the last time you sent a hand-written thank you note to a customer thanking them for their business?). Should I be spending most of time with my young customer service reps in teaching them proper phone etiquette, how to help take care of my customers problems and learning to make our product better OR do we spend our time on facebook, twitter, myspace, linkedin, delicious,foursquare, yelp, youtube, vimeo, digg, tumblr, flicker, skype, last.fm, technorati, jaiku, blogspot, pownce, ning? OK…yes, i know there was a bit of sarcasm there but my point is that we should not lose focus of and implementation of what are sound business principles while chasing the the newest business fads.

  • http://www.weejeemedia.com/ Ian Huckabee

    The social media scientist Dan Zarrella has shown that an average posting rate of once every other day garners the most Facebook fan page Likes, this just after publishing his book on how to use Facebook where he says to publish more often. But I agree with Michael. A mantra that carries over to social media marketing is “Make it useful.”

  • http://paynelessadvice.com/ Donald Payne

    Very informative, I am a small business but the information is pertinent all the same. The more I know the further I grow. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://paynelessadvice.com/ Donald Payne

    Very informative, I am a small business but the information is pertinent all the same. The more I know the further I grow. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.jimdonovan.com/ Jim Donovan

    Great interview. Jay makes some important points. As far as my tip, the one thing I’ve learned communicating online for over 20 years is to be authentic and social media has made that not only a good trait but an essential one.

    This is not too difficult for an author like myself or a smaller business but can be a real issue for a larger business. Someone needs to determine the “voice” of the company and social communication needs to be in line with the tone of company voice. People have to get that there are real humans on the other end, not auto responders.

    For example, I blasted Stewarts soda in an email for claiming their Root Beer “From 1935″ when it contains high fructose corn syrup. Rather than using the opportunity to gain actual feedback, the response I received was “Thank you for contacting us. Please continue to enjoy our products.” Duh!

  • http://twitter.com/ShopAlertsNwHvn ShopAlertsNewHaven

    This is so true – “You can’t fake social media. The companies that succeed at social media are social companies.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/zoonationfamily Darrellz

    Thank you.Great insights, great interview.!My pet peeve is when facebook owners, promote their fanpage as being in a certain social dimension, which they promote on their profile. However,their profile is not congruent with their positioning on their fanpage.
    Thanks again dz

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Cindy – I can’t speak for Coke, but you should check out what we do on Facebook.com/smexaminer

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HPMVCNR4SURHEQVV5NYBLWBCEY Cindy

    Michael, thank you so much for your reply. I have taken a quick peek at your page and my first reaction is, you being someone who is in the BUSINESS of working on social media campaigns and your CUSTOMERS are folks interested in being on the cutting edge of social media techniques, I expect that intense and robust communications are appropriate. My perspective is from the larger percentage of businesses that manufacture products, sell goods or provide services that are looking for valuable tools to reach new customers and enhance communications with existing customers. Let me give you a good example from a consumers perspective. My husband is remodeling our guest bathroom and asked me to select the products that I wanted in there. I looked at several kitchen and bath magazines from my local bookstore and saw some things I liked. One of the items is a toilet made by Kohler. I went to Kohler’s website and VIEWED Kohler’s facebook page (www.facebook.com/Kohler) which has 104,068 “likes”. The content on Kohler’s facebook newsfeed was of little value in helping me make my purchasing decisions and I definitely have no interest in “liking” their page so additional unneeded content is posted on my facebook page.

    So how does a company that is “social” by nature meaning that building real relationships with our customer, integrate social media in a way that is honest and true? How do we use these tools in a way that are not intrusive and obnoxious “noise”? My fear is that many business people are lead to believe that social media tools are the ONLY thing that they should be putting efforts in and not paying attention to the tried and true behaviors that have brought them the level of success they have now.

    For a great read, go to your book store and read “Hug your customers” by Jack Mitchell. The things he talks about in his book should be the FOUNDATION of what we do in building true relationships with our customers and social media tools used correctly should allow us to enhance those relationships.

  • http://www.best-web-hosting-companies.com/ Kavya Hari

    I agree with your points Michael.Because now, it’s going in the wrong way only.

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  • holiday

    Or Un-Marketing by Scott Stratten. Scott stresses that business needs to utilize both the personal contact (hug?) and SM. Self employed for 40 years, I wouldn’t give up the personal, mailed, Thank You notes. However, I need to reach the younger generation. Those who are growing up on You Tube, Facebook and Twitter. Old Skool and the “Now Generation” all need to be marketed in a manner appropriate to their expectations.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HPMVCNR4SURHEQVV5NYBLWBCEY Cindy

    Holiday, thanks for the post. I too am interested in utilizing the best communication tools to reach the wide spectrum of demographics that is my customer base. I like you DO see social media as a valuable tool in my toolbox, but it is only one tool. A contractor who comes to remodel my bathroom that i spoke of earlier my post may tell me about the wonderful hammer that he has purchased, but to complete the remodel job he will need a variety of hammers, saws, paintbrushes, drywall finishing tools, and multiple other tools all specific to do a particular task.

    I must admit that I as a baby boomer/gen x (born in 1964) do not have a “warm and fuzzy feeling” about many in the younger generation (gen y/ millenials). When my seventeen year old niece brags to me that she has almost 4000 “friends”, I know these are not real relationships. I also know that if Jones soda (www.facebook.com/jonessoda) has a request for “like” as their landing page that they too are not establishing strong relationships that will effect their sales volume.

    There is a wonderful story in the new Seth Godin book, “Poke the box”. In the chapter titled “Polish this” Seth says;

    “Every few minutes, his cell phone chimes.

    Apparently, my friend has set the phone to chime every time one of the people he follows on Twitter post something. This gives him the chance to read and respond, making him, presumably, a truly valuable follower. He is hoping that polishing his relationship in this way will act as a form of networking, making him more integrated into the Tweeter’s lives and perhaps business.

    All this is polishing

    Stand on an urban street corner and you can see it happening. Dozens of ostensibly busy people, staring at their palms and their fingers, polishing their relationships.

    The challenge is that it’s asymptotic. Twice as much polishing isn’t twice as good. Ten times as much polishing is definitely not ten times as good. Whether you’re polishing a piece of furniture or an idea. The benefits diminish quickly. The polishing turns into stalling.

    I wonder what would happen if instead of rushing to Twitter, my friend used that chime to do something original or provocative or important? What if the chime was a reminder not to polish, but to create?”

    Great story! This is where I am in my business, trying to find the true balance. Knowing that much of what is social media is over hyped but also knowing that being logical and practical about its application can add value to my business offering. Reminds me of a quote I read once about someone saying that fifty percent of their advertising expense was a waste, they just didn’t know which half.

    How are other small business owners in non-technology/non-information type businesses using social media?

  • Trocha

    You know, I’ve been online for quite a while and I’ve always believed social media was a waste of time as far as business is concerned.

    The only exception being youtube.

    I really think people are on facebook to b.s. with their friends and kill time.

    At this point in time, I don’t believe it’s a life or death situation as far as business is concerned.

    And of course, that will change as the times change.

    However, the social media gurus make a big deal about “engaging” all your customers via facebook or having your employees representing you on facebook.

    Are you kidding!

    Let’s get practical.

    The people who endorse this line of thinking, have obviously never owned a “real” business.

    Now, I may be missing something.

    If I am, will somebody please point it out.

    The arguments I heard so far are not convincing.

    Larry T.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HPMVCNR4SURHEQVV5NYBLWBCEY Cindy

    Larry, I would tend to agree with you. As Betty White said on Saturday night live, “this whole facebook thing seems like a huge waste of time”. That being said, just because you, I and Betty White have little interest in using things like facebook in our daily live, we have to recognize that a percentage of our customer base DO use this communication tool. In my mind it isn’t an all or none equation. It is about finding the balance. If I as a homeowner have a leaky faucet that is flooding my kitchen, I need to be able to find the telephone number for my plumber in the phone book. I am not going to call the guy with the double full page ad just because he was silly enough to spend too much money, I will look for the small listing for the plumber that I have a relationship with and trust. I am just looking for a number not a full blown hard sell. That same plumber may have a facebook page and have spring time specials or friendly homeowner tips on his page but i DO NOT want his messages broadcasted to me on my newsfeed. I know who he is when i need him, there is no need for him to talk to me four times a day. “Balance” is what I am looking for.

  • delainanicole

    I was just going to post the same information from Zarrella’s webinar:
    In fact, the best-performing Facebook business pages post every other day.

    Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/11334/5-Ways-to-Improve-the-Timing-of-Marketing-Tactics.aspx#ixzz1I6Wv99qn

    And I’m agreed, it depends on your brand and your followers. Personally, I don’t like to see work-related posts in my facebook feed. I keep all that stuff in Google Reader and work email newsletters. Bottom line, I guess, is to know your audience.

  • delainanicole

    Actually, do the younger generations want brands contacting them in their social media feeds? Sometimes I wonder if contacting them via snail mail would be unexpected and therefore more effective. Also more expensive, obviously.

    I’m just thinking aloud.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HPMVCNR4SURHEQVV5NYBLWBCEY Cindy

    From http://www.brainsonfire.com…….

    “Welcome to a world where the only places a person “checks in” are hotel lobbies and airports. A place where badges are earned by police detectives and boy scouts. The birds here are not angry, and they not only tweet, but chirp. When we have a conversation, we speak in as many characters as we like. When we like something, we say so by smiling. We still think poking is terribly rude.

    It began with a simple e-mail.

    “Dear friends,

    Hope this e-mail finds you well. This message is just to advise you that after some introspection, I have decided to begin a social media fast of undetermined length. I welcome you to call me at 614-555-5555 any time.”

    Cheers!”

    And just like that, a page was torn out of FaceBook, Flickr was flicked off and one little corner of the Twittersphere went black. The plug had been pulled on social media.

    Left with no choice, I did the unthinkable – I picked up the phone and dialed. Once I had adequately chastised his hasty departure from the social media social scene, I pressed my friend for the details of his self-imposed hiatus.

    The rationale was quite simple: He wanted to spend more time focusing on the real social connections in his life. He wanted to spend less time on Facebook and more time with faces and books.

    My inner social media lover immediately began seeking a loophole in his logic. As someone who avidly uses Skype, Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with family and friends, I think there is an argument to be made that social media can strengthen real social connections in our lives if we’re committed to using to do so, but is it ultimately at the detriment of those relationships in real time? Does it matter how many adoring Facebook message you’ve left on a friend’s wall if you’re distracted by text messages and tweets when you finally get the chance to sit down to dinner together?

    Is social media becoming an insecurity blanket we carry with us everywhere we go?

    Curious, I set forth on a mission to read up on other people’s motivations for going off the grid. What I discovered is that they missed the late night backyard conversations. They missed the simple pleasure of chatting over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee with a friend. They missed taking time out to slow down on a Sunday and meet up for brunch. Story after story, what I heard is that by chattering with everyone online, people felt like they were connecting with no one offline, including themselves.

    Last weekend a woman pulled up beside me at stoplight. She immediately pulled out her iPhone and began typing. I don’t know if she was tweeting or texting or checking in at “stuck in traffic” on FourSquare, but it struck me as truly ridiculous. On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, was the thought of 60 seconds spent enjoying the solitude and quiet of her own good company really so daunting?”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HPMVCNR4SURHEQVV5NYBLWBCEY Cindy
  • holiday

    “The Element of Surprise” as a sales tool? Now we’ve come full circle.

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  • Cadndicelvlee

    I like ur views,Cindy.very cool.

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  • http://www.garious.com Heba @Garious1

    Great interview. I love the “opportunity economy” point in particular. Opportunities are starring us in the face but businesses need to “grow bigger social ears” in order to make the most out of them.
    The guitar company that Gary mentioned as an example turned an attack into a branding opportunity by publishing a response video that detailed the great services the company has to offer. Smart move!

    the concept of “indirect selling” is also very crucial to the business humanization nature of social media. The more subtle your sales message, the better.
    I would add that your sales can skyrocket in social media if learn how to sell value rather not products.

    That was a very informative interview. Thanks a lot for sharing it with us.

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