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There’s an old quotation generally attributed to Gustave Flaubert that says, “The devil is in the details”. More recently in history, one of the Masters of modern architecture, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was attributed with the quotation, “God is in the details”. Interestingly enough, they both signify the same idea: Whatever one does should be done thoroughly; details are important.

I’ve been reviewing the Facebook pages of many small businesses and not-for-profits here in Paradise lately and it would appear that for nearly half of them, details are not important. Here are five of my “Paradise Social Facebook Pet Peeves” that negatively impact my perception of your small business or organization when I land on your page.

1. Contact Information for Your Business Does Not Appear on Your Profile Picture

Logo without contact informationImagine putting up sign in front of your restaurant, creating a brochure with your hotel’s rates, location and amenities in it, placing an ad for your fishing charter in a magazine or buying space on a billboard advertising your property management company – and not including any contact information!

With contact informationI think I made my point. When people hit your page you want them to be able to easily find out how to contact you. Don’t simply rely on people to click on the ‘Info’ tab on your page. Make it really obvious to them. (Another Paradise Social Facebook Pet Peeve – businesses that don’t fill out their info page!)

2. You’re Using a Profile Page Instead of a Fan Page

Greet your potential customers at the door with a custom Welcome tab(This should probably have been #1, but I needed to get a shot off and calm down before I circled back). Fan pages allow you to use 3rd party Facebook applications like ‘Welcome’ pages, Twitter feeds, NetworkedBlogs feeds, RSS news feeds, coupons, videos, etc., that can significantly impact the way your target market perceives you and your business and the way your business engages current and potential customers. They are also fantastic for reaching out to other businesses via the “Use Facebook as Page” function.

The Facebook LIKE button

Conversely, profile pages have limited customization options, meaning you won’t be able to add information using third-party apps. They will also hinder your ability to interact with your potential fans, as the “Like” feature is only present for fan pages. I don’t necessarily want to be your “Friend”. I just want to see what’s going on at your bar this week.

And last but not least, using a Facebook profile page instead of a fan page violates Facebook’s Terms of Use – Mr. Zuckerberg is watching. If you’re using a profile page instead of a fan page, visit How do I convert my profile (timeline) to a Page? for instructions on how to get it right. Do it now!

3. You Haven’t Registered a Facebook Username for Your Page (Custom URL)

Long username/URLRegistering a username for you page makes it easier to share your URL with other people and for those other people to remember it. When you set your page up, Facebook gives it a long URL based on your page title and followed but an impossible to remember string of numbers.

Short username/URLBut you can register a username without all of those numbers that will allow you to more easily share your page.

Visit Usernames for Facebook Pages for more information.

4. The Photos on Your Facebook Page Really Suck or Aren’t Up to Date

Not a great photo of what appears to be a nice meal Facebook is a visually rich social media tool and your “Face” can be very beautiful/handsome or hideously ugly (even worse: plain). For those of us who were born ugly, we’re out of luck. But Facebook can allow even the ugliest duckling to emerge as a beautiful swan – and vice-versa! Who do you think most people would rather hang out with?

Now THAT looks delicious - and it's plastic food!If you’re a tour operator, restaurant, hotel, bar, sport fisherman, real estate broker, property manager, beautician, souvenir store, surf shop – or whatever – make your pictures on Facebook count. Better not to post anything than to post something ugly.

Also, avoid posting to Facebook via Twitter or TweetDeck. The posts are devoid of any thumbnail images and make your page appear as dry and boring as any legal document can possibly be.

5. You’re Not Using a Welcome Page

Welcome page on a Facebook Fan PageIf your potential customers are landing on your Wall when they first visit your page, you may be losing some. Facebook fan pages allow you to customize a Welcome tab using third-party applications where first time visitors to your page are directed until they “Like” your page.

It’s the equivalent of a meeter and greeter at a party or event shaking your hand at the door and introducing you to the bartender. Most people would rather be met at the door by the host and made to feel welcome rather than walk into a room full of people they don’t know in the middle of a conversation. You can also share contact, location and website information, among other things all in one interface.

Pay attention to the details and you’ll get the most out of Facebook pages.

+Mike Poynton