25 things that make you look dumb on facebook

25 Things That Make You Look Dumb on Facebook

No one wants to look dumb. Especially when it comes to Facebook, where there’s the potential for thousands of people to see it. And when you’re first getting started, it’s easy to make some rookie Facebook mistakes. Many of these mistakes happen simply because newbies don’t know any better. So in an effort to help you avoid any embarrassing moments, I asked our resident experts here at Constant Contact what they thought were some of the Facebook mistakes that can make a business look dumb.

Are you doing any of these things?

  1. Talking at your customers, not with your customers. Pushing out a bunch of blah blah blah press releases or links to stuff you do on your website is not engagement.
  2. Not responding to comments or questions. It’s not a good first impression for a potential new fan to see that your business or organization doesn’t address concerns and doesn’t interact with customers.
  3. Not monitoring the Page. When someone visits your Page, are they going to find it full of links from Facebook spammers inviting your fans to college night at the local bar or to click to win a free iPad?
  4. Twitter to Facebook overflow. If you’re just cross-posting from Twitter, that also signals that you don’t care enough about your Facebook fans to create updates just for them.
  5. Writing long posts that get cut off. It’s okay to write longer status updates on Facebook (you have a limit of 60,000 characters), but you still need to keep them clear and concise.
  6. Liking your own post. Really? That’s almost a cry for help. Maybe that’s why no one else is Liking it.
  7. Not having a custom URL for your Facebook Page. What’s the first rule of Facebook Pages? Get yourself a custom URL.
  8. Posting one thing right after another. Your fans may love you, but long post after post after post in the newsfeed can be a bit much. Be sure to space out your updates so there’s a better chance people engage with them rather than pass them by.
  9. Talking smack about your competition. There’s no need to bad mouth your competition. Keep it to yourself unless you really want to look dumb.
  10. Responding negatively to a negative comment. The outcome from a negative comment truly depends on how you react to it. Being negative in return isn’t the best idea. Say thank you for the feedback and respond professionally to resolve the issue. You may just turn that unhappy customer into a happy one.
  11. Not filling out necessary information, location, description, etc. Facebook gives you the opportunity to add detailed information about your business or organization. Be sure to fill it out fully.
  12. Not using Facebook Insights. If you’re not paying attention and evolving based on the information you learn from your Page’s Insights you may find yourself with a poorly performing Page. And you know how that looks.
  13. Only promoting yourself. It’s called social networking for a reason. If you’re not engaging and showing personality, why bother?
  14. Spelling errors. As small as they might be, spelling errors can really hurt your Page’s credibility. A typo is okay, but lots of typos are not. (Watch for some common misspellings, like There/Their/They’re/Your/You’re.)
  15. USING TOO MANY CAPS OR EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shhhh. Stop yelling. Use capital letters and exclamation points sparingly for maximum impact.
  16. Responding with the same answer from multiple admins. It’s good to respond to people’s posts, but if multiple people are running your Page, be sure they’re communicating internally so they’re not posting the same response multiple times.
  17. Not having any posts or comments from customers. When all the posts and comments on a Page’s wall are between friends and family of the business owner and not customers, that’s not really a good sign. Be sure to get your customers engaged.
  18. Not getting any feedback on questions. Posting questions to your fans is a great idea, but when you see a business doing it every day and no one is answering … that looks bad.
  19. Having a blurry avatar. If people can’t make out your Page’s avatar, what good is it? Or if you have an avatar that looks silly as the minimized version, that’s not much help either. Be sure to use the appropriate sizes to look your best. You can use our 2014 Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet as a reference.
  20. Relying on user-generated content. All content created by your fans is gravy. Don’t demand that people get involved or expect it to make your Facebook Page a success. You still need to create your own engaging content.
  21. Trying to make every post for everyone. Not every post needs to be for everyone. It’s okay to post something that only a segment of your fans may find engaging. It’s better than watering something down to make it appropriate for everyone.
  22. Leaving the shared link in your status. Once you paste a link in your status the link preview pops up. Once that’s there you can erase the original link from your status and write what you want.
  23. Not customizing the headline and abstract when you share a link. In the link preview you can actually click on the headline and abstract to customize the text for your audience.
  24. Leaving a random image in the link preview. If applicable, there are little arrows below the image that allow you to choose what image displays when you share a blog post or article. This is especially important if Facebook pulls something random like a Twitter badge or sign-up form image.
  25. Leaving up a post with a typo. If you notice a typo in your update immediately after you post it, you can delete it and re-post a corrected version before people start liking, commenting on, and sharing it.

Don’t look dumb

Be aware of those things that may make you look dumb on Facebook. Have you been doing any of the things on this list? Well, now that you know it may be a good time to stop.

Want to learn more?

For more help with your social media marketing, sign up to receive our Hints & Tips newsletter.


Leave a comment »
  1. What’s your feeling on using the @ sign in a thread? I use it, as I think its a great way to point out who you’re responding to but its another Twitter carry over that’s iffy.

    • Dave Charest •

      Thanks for the comment Tony.

      I’m fine using it when responding to someone. It’s an indicator when you can’t actually tag them. It’s not like you’re trying to use Twitter conventions in this scenario.

      • There are lots of people that believe social sharing is Link Building 3.0. The fact is that today, everything that you create with respect to your online presence, needs to be run through social media.

  2. Christina •

    How do you get your customers more engaged? I try to post once a day, and no one ever responds. I have 355 fans, but my insights say I’m only reaching 60-80, sometimes 90 at the most, and I post all over the board as far as times. I’ve tried posting early a.m. like 7, or 7 at night, or lunch time… everywhere. I’ve even posted middle of the night, but no one sees my posts!!! What’s the trick to that? I post pictures of our guys working (we own a tree service), I click links to articles, jokes, funny pictures, videos, questions for our customers and NOTHING… kinda frustrating..

    • Dave Charest •

      Hi Christina,

      Do you know anything about who your fans are? Do you ask them to engage directly?

      We have a post coming up tomorrow morning that may be of help. I’ll post it here when it goes live.

  3. therese cox •

    Using bad grammar!

  4. Christina, I know this is Dave’s blog and I look forward to his response as well, but I have some relevant stories to share as a result of living in the trenches for the last few weeks.

    One thing you have to consider is that most folks don’t visit your page, once they like you they interact with you through their news feed. If they see something intriguing they like it or may click on the fb link that brings you back to your page or click on whatever link you post. Or they may just read it.

    I don’t claim to be the worlds authority but here’s the issue as I see it. So many people “like” so many pages and have so many friends that the average news feed is huge and becoming unmanageable. I’m in no way a fb power-user but I currently like about 30 pages and have 145 friends. If each page posts one a day that’s 30 posts plus 1/4 of my friends that’s another 35. So in one day I have 65 posts in my news feed. If you were one of them and you don’t have a creative graphic or some other eye catching element your toast. If your fan only visits fb once every 3 days that 65 x 3 when they read it. Skimming time !!

    It takes a lot of work to get read. As facebook grows its becoming even more difficult. Have you noticed more and more pages advertising in their threads? I have for sure.
    With the use of automated systems it becomes easier and easier to post and the “noise factor” goes even higher.

    Here is the big problem “there is a ZERO cost of admission”.

    I’ve been reading that the fb engineers are actually beginning to use logic to programmaticly screen out posts that they deem to be of a lower relevance. In other words if your page is not interacted with or your posts don’t get liked, you sort of get a lower priority in someone’s feed and may not even show up at all. The nerve of them uh??
    I’ve also heard non-validated rumblings that they may begin to penalize auto posting programs ( like HootSuite or TweetDeck) to combat the flood of postings.

    I’ve taken over the fb account of one of my clients which is an online message forum, The first thing I did was to benchmark the competition to see what the waters were like. Here’s a tip. Look at the pros and see what techniques and frequency they use. I’ve found that aggressive pages will post as frequently as once an hour ( mostly between 7AM and 7PM). That’s right once an hour. Why? To get in your feed more frequently. Its like they are purposely interrupting you to get your attention. As you can guess it takes a bank of relevant material for that kind of assault.

    For some quick surveillance check out the Constant Contact fb page. On one day they posted “seven times. NOTE this is during normal working hours.

    As fb continues to grow it should be very hard to stay in our customers eyes without very aggressive and competitive strategies. Stay a student of facebook, read as many blogs and articles on it, and as I said before, visit the big sites and your competitors to watch how they are managing the waters.

    One last thing, facebook may not be the right fit for your business. I know that’s not what everyone says. But its the truth.

    Sorry for the long winded post. I find all this stuff very interesting as you might have guessed.

    Tony Schaefer
    Clique Marketing and Consulting
    Mission Viejo, CA

    • Dave Charest •

      Great response Tony. Thanks so much for jumping in.

      You’re right about the posts getting ranked lower if people don’t engage with them. That’s why it’s important to get people to take some sort of action to with your updates. The better you know your audience the easier it is to do because you know what your fans will likely respond to. It can just be something simple too for the sake of engagement an having someone take action so your future posts will have a higher ranking.

      For example, if you have a Page about koalas your update may be “Click like if you love koalas.” You just trying to get some information with a no brainer question.

      Tomorrow’s post will have more.

    • @Tony – Excellent insights. I admire anyone brave enough to tell the truth. :-) I have limited time for FB when I’m at home, so I usually ready whatever the first few posts are in my news feed and that’s it. Rarely do I visit a page I’ve liked unless an ad has popped up on my sideline or their page update is in the top of my news feed.

      Our FB page for One Stop Printing has 68 likes. Our posts have an average reach of 8 to 12 people. The high end is 15 to 20. I’ve had a hard time getting anyone to like a post or make comments, but I have noticed the page likes increasing as the posts frequency is consistent. I think email is our best outlet for engaging our customers, and I’m going to use that to build the FB interaction this year. One step in that direction was in our email notifying customers of our Christmas Work Schedule. We put images of two Christmas videos at the bottom with hyperlinks that said “Click here to watch All I Want for Christmas Video” that took them to the video on our FB page. I didn’t track the number of new views, but I plan to do more things like that in our emails to encourage engagement.

      For me, if customers and prospects are learning from and enjoying the content, they’ll keep reading and trust us more when it’s time to do business. That’s the main goal.

  5. Dave Charest •

    Here’s a link to the new blog post I was mentioning: Why Facebook “Likes” Alone Are Not Enough:

  6. [...] Bottom Line: Being able to instantaneously record the impact of posts will enable social media marketers to gauge just how well each item of content does as soon as it’s published on their page. This could prove invaluable in honing strategies for a Page, and make it much easier to learn from the all-too-easy social media missteps. [...]

  7. Christoph Trappe •

    Good points. I do see some advantage, especially early on, in cross posting between networks. If for no other reason, to get a head start on building audiences in multiple networks with limited staffing.

    At United Way of East Central Iowa we focus mostly on Facebook (last I heard one third of Iowans are on it) and do cross post to Twitter. Most of our social network engagement is coming from Facebook.

    Interestingly, we do get a good amount of engagement from our monthly email newsletter.

    Christoph Trappe

    • Dave Charest •

      Thanks Christoph. It is a good idea to share across networks but the trick is making sure you’re not just posting the same update but rather craft each individually to fit the appropriate style.

  8. Angie •

    Thank you for the help with facebook I did not have a page until recently and this is a great help.

  9. You have a grammatical error in #19. The word ‘you’ should be ‘use’ in the last the line.

    • Dave Charest •

      Fixed. Thanks Carolyn. Might be time for a new post “25 Things That Make You Look Dumb on Your Blog.” ;)

  10. Stacey •

    Tried to take your advice and change my FB page URL to a custom one. Unfortunately, I screwed up and accidentally changed the URL for my personal FB page. And now, since you can only change a URL once, I cannot undo my error. Is there anyway that I can try to get this fixed?

  11. [...] For you, I asked around at Constant Contact to see if anyone had any input on mistakes that make businesses look dumb on Twitter. (Also, check out 25 Things that Make You Look Dumb on Facebook.) [...]

  12. [...] Great Article – 25 Things That Make You Look Dumb on Facebook  [...]

  13. Deborah S •

    I respond to businesses on FB when it is personal. So, instead of just some announcement about the company, it’s an update like “Mary is in Berlin for us today and reports from the Book Fair that bla bla” with a photo or short video.

  14. Time to create a custom URL. Thanks

  15. Those are some good things to watch for. I have seen them cone many times. Facebook does not seem to be the big market draw I thought it would be, at least for my business.

  16. Isn’t it true how many fanpages use their page as a big online brochure… they forget it’s supposed to be social and not a platform to sell… engage your customer with humor, info, stats, and value and they will learn to like and trust you which is the lead in to an eventual business engagement…

  17. You missed the biggest one: instead of saying “find us on Facebook” or just showing Facebook’s logo in your commercial, give them the actual URL.

  18. [...] addition to the above five mistakes to avoid, check out David Charest’s 25 Things That Make You Look Dumb on Facebook. Share [...]

  19. Thanks for CC for writing insightful articles and providing newsletter/blog content that you can actually use in your day to day.

    Any chance you can answer this question? We are building our FB and Twitter presence. When someone likes us or follows us, is there some cool thing to do to acknowledge that? We are a retail store so a coupon or something might work but it seems overused and non-human.

    For example, you all wrote an article about the content of the confirmation email when someone signs up for our newsletters – that was great – so I’m thinking something along those lines….

    • On Twitter, one thing you don’t want to do is set up an auto-DM (automatically sends new followers a private canned message) – this can come off very spammy. You can however give new fans a shout out in a “Follow Friday” tweet. A follow Friday tweet is a tweet with the hashtag #ff or #followfriday following a list of Twitter handles. It basically says, ‘hey these people are awesome, you should follow them!’ You could also do a daily welcome tweet that lists your new followers and says ‘Thanks for following us!” It can really be that simple!
      On Facebook, if another page likes your page you can thank them simply by following them back or try any of these suggestions: http://ow.ly/h7WC3 Author Mari Smith hosts a Facebook Fan Page Friday each week where fans can post a link to their page to get more exposure as a way of saying thanks for liking her page. Check it out: http://ow.ly/h7WKm
      Let us know if any of these suggestions work for you – and keep an eye out for a longer blog post in the future!
      Danielle, Constant Contact Social Media Community Manager

  20. Nice! I am a “power user” and I didn’t know I could change the text of pasted links. Awesome post for that tip alone!

    I have noticed that when I send a constant contact email and use the “Social Share” feature, very often the auto-post from cc on my facebook biz page gets “1 person saw this post”. This is typical only of posts auto-generated by constant contact. Any insights?

  21. [...] For fun: Whether you own a business or work for one, standards for social media behavior applies to you. Well, if you care about the perception you make to the industry (and if you don’t, keep your profiles private and for friends only!) It’s easy to make a whoops in social media but take caution not to make such big ones that they hurt your career. When managing a social media page, in this case Facebook, here are some good rules to go by: 25 Things That Make You Look Dumb on Facebook. [...]

  22. Thanks for your suggestions. I believe I have made several of the errors above. I am a newbie and still trying to find my way around.! am a fair writer, but I am not a good speller.

  23. This article is fantastic! Great list to reference for making FB blunders.

  24. [...] 5. 25 Things That Make You Look Dumb on Facebook [...]

  25. Romeo Lapidario •

    It’s a great info. More PowerS! to you.

  26. These are great tips….some better than others….but overall good stuff!

  27. Katherine •

    just being there makes you look “dumb”.

  28. haha pretty funny i think, should call this blog 1 million ways to look dumb on facebook

  29. Facebook feeding to Twitter is a problem too. When people post a photo or a link on Facebook without writing a Status the tweet looks like this:

    @TwitterHandle: http://www.fbme.com/nooneisgoingtoclickthisIpromise/xxxsddvsd23v….

  30. [...] Dave Charest from Constant Contact says “Liking your own post. Really? That’s almost a cry for help. Maybe that’s why no one else is Liking it.” [...]

  31. Thank you for the great article. Tough truth, but very helpful as I work to improve my company’s social media presence. Well-written!


  32. Yes, yes, and yes. Especially number 10 – responding negatively to negative comments. Nothing worse for your company’s social, or its reputation management.

  33. I have had my page for quite awhile and I follow along with most of the tips above – and I cannot get anyone BUT family to reply to my posts. What the heck am I doing wrong? I tried posts with pictures, I tried questions (so they could answer and get engaged), I tried facts, etc. No one talks. I feel like such a chump. I know for a fact that seeing a page, such as mine, with no one posting on it, looks bad. And yet? I don’t know what else to do.

    • Dave Charest •

      Hi Kristi,

      Have you ever run an email campaign asking people to engage with a particular post specifically?

      Also, is it clear what your Facebook Page is about? What types of information can people expect to see coming from your page?


  34. Sheila •

    Couldn’t agree more with point #14 – spelling errors are the killer for me …..

    “Spelling errors. As small as they might be, spelling errors can really hurt your Page’s credibility. A typo is okay, but lots of typos are not. (Watch for some common misspellings, like There/Their/They’re/Your/You’re.)”

    At first I thought it was ok until I realised how many people don’t actually KNOW the difference between your and you’re – and they don’t like it when you correct them. It’s boganville – but not in PNG.

    • I agree regarding spelling errors too, plus there are so many tools these days to help with that sort of thing that it shouldn’t happen. To incorrectly spell something is damaging to your credibility and that is what matters online in my opinion.

  35. Liking your own posts are a PRO move and should be encouraged.


    • Dave Charest •

      Thanks Trevor. I’ve seen this and while it may be true for like your own profile posts. I’m not sure it works the same for Pages. It would be interesting to find out though. :)

  36. If the fact to post something on your wall means that you already like it, therefore why is it possible to like it?
    It should have been implicitly coded in the website, isn’t it?
    However, it is not.
    So what would mean those posts that aren’t self-liked?
    Maybe those people post things that they actually don’t really care about?
    Just to get content on their poor and lonely page?
    Consequently, I think it is also ridiculous to thing in this way, isn’t it?

    • Absolutely agree, if you post on it, you generally like it unless you have an issue with it, in which case you might comment in a negative fashion.
      I think a lot of people post on things they dont care about, because when posting it can be about whatever is on your mind, or something incidental. Content is king in a data consuming world.

  37. Julie •

    Hi Dave,

    Do you have any guidelines on one business Facebook page sharing a link to a blog post that belongs to another business. For example the Boredpanda.com blog has amazing photos that I’d like to share on my business social media sites that are for people who like photos and art. I promote my photographic products on these social media sites so we’re a commercial business, but I also like to showcase other great photographic sites/blogs that could be of interest to our followers. Do I have to ask for permission first from the other blogs or is it acceptable and legal to just share their blogs (with a credit and a link to their site of course)? I know it’s acceptable to share anything on personal social media pages, but I think it gets a little bit grey when one commercial business shares something from another commercial business.



  38. How many time can you like something on FaceBook thanks Amy

  39. I think #13 only promoting yourself is the mistake most small businesses make. I often will like the page then unlike it cause it fills my news feed with irrelevant ‘look at me’ posts. I think simply adding value or humour or something is the best way to avoid getting unliked by many. Great list.

    • That is a difinitely a must. Marketing is about promoting something. By reaching social networks and recommend genuine stuff is the way to go!

  40. I think #8 is breaking a golden rule, you are talking at your customers instead of to them. To post too frequently is like spam to your customers and means they will miss the really important information contained in there. Also if you are able to continually post without your customers providing queries or update then the demand is obviously not there yet. Great list, thanks for posting!

  41. I think it is a slippery slope with not being active enough vs over promotion for most small businesses. If they truly don’t have any ‘news’ or something new to promote what are they supposed to do to stay in front of their customers. That is where the generic PR stuff starts taking over and the problem can get worse.

    • Dave Charest •

      Thanks Cary. That’s why it really important to keep a pulse on what’s going on with the audience you’re trying to reach so you can keep them engage when you don’t have things to promote.

  42. I must admit that #15 rings true for me, all too often i see posts on the net where the blogger is trying way too hard to help you feel their emotion whilst writing. When i usually see a heap of exclamation marks or trailing off full stops at the end of the sentence it automatically makes me think that the post has not been proof read.. :) Great article, thanks for sharing.


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