True story. I was driving home the other day behind a commercial van. It was for a garage door company. They install garage doors. I guess somebody has to do it.
Anyway, taking up about 30% of the sides and the back of the van was:
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK
All caps. Giant letters. And of course it was accompanied by that larger than life Facebook thumb we’ve all come to know and loathe…I mean love. As a matter of fact, the thumb of approval was even bigger than their own logo.
On the back of the van at the very bottom was their domain name. Not on the sides. Just on the back. And it was written in really small letters. I guess it wasn’t worthy of a font bigger than their “Honk if You Love Jesus” bumper sticker.
What is Wrong With This Picture?
On the surface, there are so many bad things happening here I don’t know where to even begin. But I’ll give it a shot.
Get the Language Right
You “Follow” on Twitter and “Like” on Facebook. You can’t “Like” someone on Twitter and you can’t “Follow” someone on Facebook. Well, I guess you can “Follow” someone on Facebook, but that is called being a stalker and generally ends in a restraining order. So, creepy old men and disgruntled ex-girlfriends aside, get the language straight. We’re not splitting the atom here. It’s not that hard to figure out.
I’m pretty sure Facebook doesn’t need your help getting their logo out to the masses. So, why would you make it bigger than your own? Did you think we might confuse your van for the Facebook van? And think that perhaps Facebook has gone into the garage door installation business? And in that same excitement we might feel if we were to run into the Google Maps car, we would pull you over and start giving you money? It’s a long shot.
Get Your Priorities Straight
The most important thing on that van is your company name, phone number and website. After that comes your tires, airbags and when you had your last oil change. Yet they instead chose to feature “FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK” above all else. As if we are going to run back to our homes and search high and low for the fan page of a local garage door installation company, become their biggest fan and then hire them.
Give Us Your Facebook Address
If you do insist on promoting your Facebook page to such a large degree, at the very least give us the URL and make it an easy one! Don’t make us have to start searching Facebook to try to find your page. And then when we do find your page, we have to wonder if it’s the same company we saw on the road. Make it easy for us to “Like” you…or “Follow” you…or “Pin” you…or however you choose to screw up the language (see the first point above).
Or Just Maybe These Guys Are the Real Deal
I’m sure you’ve heard the stories before. There’s a company in some bizarre industry like shrimp farming that against all odds is just killing it on Facebook. Maybe I just unknowingly stumbled upon one of those! I’m a good boy and don’t text and drive so I memorized the website address and made my way back to the office, giddy with excitement over my new find.
I fired up the computer and went to their website. No mention of Facebook. No thumbs up logo. Nothing.
<insert scratching of the head and confused look here>
I did a search on Facebook by the company name and I found there page:
No picture. No cover image. No updates. No bio. No link to their website. And 8 Likes (or in their terms, Followers).
Let’s recap, shall we? They are using up 30% of the real estate on their trucks in an effort to drive people to a Facebook page that they are not promoting, not paying any attention to, not listening to and not sharing on.
I’m glad you asked. Because somewhere at some point some guru told them that they needed to be on Facebook. So they created a Facebook page. And there are millions of companies out there that have done the very same thing. And they just left their page out there to die.
So Here’s How You Fix It
You probably think this is the part where I give you a handful of “easy to do’s” that will turn all of this around. Maybe a “10 Things You Should…” or “8 Easy Steps to…” kind of post. This way, you could spend under 8 minutes a day on Facebook and double your business overnight.
But it’s not.
And the reason it’s not is because if you only have 8 Likes, no updates and an incomplete profile, you clearly don’t care about your Facebook page. And that’s OK!
Just because you can have a Facebook page doesn’t mean that you should have a Facebook page.
If you are not interested in putting in the time and effort (because contrary to popular belief, it’s going to take a lot of time and effort) to connect and build a community on Facebook, then don’t. My suggestion?
Don’t just leave it out there for the world to find. Get rid of it. It’s not helping you. In fact, it’s probably hurting you. You are driving people to a place on the web that blatantly shows off how little you really care. When someone searches your company name on Google to find out more about you, what do you think it says when that poor excuse for a Facebook page shows up in the top 3? Forget the fact that it also bumped some of your quality content further down the page.
I get it. We all feel this sudden urge to jump on every new thing that comes along. I have a Pinterest account that I barely pay attention to. The last Instagram picture I took was three pairs of sneakers ago. I created 2 Vine videos, both of which were really stupid.
I do it too.
But these things are hurting us. If we’re not going to be active in these communities, let’s leave them once and for all. Delete them and don’t turn back. Control what people find when they search you.
After all, isn’t it time we start cleaning up after our digital selves?
Featured image courtesy of mkhmarketing licensed via Creative Commons.