Social media has changed the way that marketers (and small business owners) everywhere go about promoting their businesses.
With over 1.59 billion users, Facebook can’t be overlooked. The sheer amount of traffic that it can garner for any business presents an optimal way for businesses to grow at no cost.
But there’s a catch -- Facebook has the ability to ban your business and shut down your page for good at any time.
If that happens, there goes one of the most effective opportunities to drive traffic to your site and interaction with your audience.
In case you don’t know what you can be banned for (or if you have neglected to read Facebook’s Page Guidelines), here are the top reasons marketers/business pages get banned:
1. Creating fake accounts
No real need for an explanation here. Don’t pretend to be someone or something that you’re not. It takes only one report and your profile will be quickly shut down without notice.
2. Posting copyrighted content and photos
You wouldn’t take someone else’s work and play it off as your own would you? Well if you would, 1. Stop right now, and 2. Avoid Facebook because if they catch you, say sayonara to your page!
3. Naming your page in misleading or “goofy” ways
Facebook has strict regulations on naming requirements. You can’t use generic terms like “pizza” or “beer” to try and trick the search engines and they are also a stickler for proper grammar and capitalization (which I applaud).
4. Collecting user data without permission
As with any situation where you collect information from a user or visitor, you need to clearly state that you are doing so for marketing purposes. The biggest way to get banned for this is by not emphasizing that your business, NOT Facebook is collecting this information.
We’ve all participated in them, but you may have unknowingly participated in one that could get a business banned. According to Facebook guidelines, every contest or promotion must be run through a Facebook or third-party app. That means the contest you entered last week by ‘liking’ the page of your favorite restaurant down the road is actually in violation of Facebook’s terms. So if you’re thinking “well these businesses are getting away with it, so can I” don’t come crying to us if you get banned!
If you spam your followers through direct messages, by posting too many self-promotional links, or by posting the same link too many times, you can get banned. So, be careful when creating your posts for the week. Make sure they benefit your followers! It’s not all about you.
7. Avoid Risky Photos
You know which photos I’m talking about (i.e. nudity). Your audience may find these photos appealing or funny, but Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg don’t.
How to Avoid Getting Banned from Facebook
So, now that you know the most common reasons why businesses get banned from Facebook, here are three general guidelines to always keep in mind when posting to Facebook so that your business page doesn’t get blocked.
1. Follow Facebook Guidelines
I know it kind of goes without saying (like “Caution, This Cup May Be Hot”), but if you read Facebook’s Page Guidelines, you will have no issues. Just make sure you keep up-to-date as they are always changing their policy.
2. Don’t mislead your visitors
Whether it’s on social media or your website, never ever mislead your visitors. Your business’ reputation is on the line! Use clear wording to relay who you are and what you do. If your visitors feel mislead, they likely will leave your company and harbor negative feelings towards you for being duped.
3. Don’t over-promote yourself
A marketer’s job is to promote a business and the services they provide, but if you solely self-promote, your followers will surely un-follow your business page. Don’t forget, your business page is for your visitors, not you. Keep them interested, coming back, and sharing posts by posting information that they can find useful. Don’t be afraid to share someone’s else’s info if it will help your audience. Just make sure you state where it’s from or face being banned.
Facebook is an ideal platform to gain followers, spread the word about your business, interact with your audience, and dig in deeper so you can better understand how to talk with them and if they have other challenges you can capitalize on.
Don’t let a simple mistake get your business page banned from Facebook.
It could cost you more than a simple online profile -- think about the accounts that have millions of followers who click what they share, who visit that site, who interact with the business, and reap the rewards of doing so.