The no.1 mistake made by small businesses on Facebook

The no.1 mistake made by small businesses on Facebook is a simple one: directing people to a page at Facebook that looks like this...

...or like this:


This happens when you create a page at Facebook and set the visibility permissions so that the page is only viewable by people who have Facebook accounts and are logged into their accounts at that very moment - or even worse, only viewable by Facebook users who are logged in and have "Liked" your business on Facebook.

The thing is - you may be doing this and not even know it. To post to Facebook you have to be logged in to Facebook, which means you are seeing what a logged-in user sees. You might be totally unaware that someone not logged in to Facebook can't see your page at all.

If your business's target audience is only people who Like you on Facebook, fine. But if your business's target audience is anyone outside that group then sending them to a "you don't have permission to see this" message is a virtual slap in the face. This easily-avoidable faux pas not only slashes your audience to a tiny subset but it can be really offensive to anyone left out.

"Only special people can see this thing and you're not special. You must have been invited by mistake."

Ouch. Not a good look.

If you're inviting people to click on a link to a Facebook page, make sure that the link isn't broken for people who aren't logged in to Facebook because that's almost everybody in the entire world. That person you just shut out might have been a great customer.

Before you post that URL on Twitter, Google Plus, or your email newsletter log out of Facebook, clear your browser cookies, and test the link again!