How to get your Facebook page deleted without even trying

Recently popular burger company Velvet Burger had their Facebook page deleted without warning.


Facebook have quietly updated their page terms, and if you have a brand page, you’re bound by them. Here’s some of the more unexpected ones, or ones we know people have had pages, posts or images removed for:

  1. Your page name can’t be in capitals – except for acronyms.
  2. Your page name can’t include “superfluous descriptions”.
  3. Your cover can’t have price or purchase information, can’t have contact information like a website, can’t have calls to action like “tell your friends”
  4. You can’t encourage your fans to use your cover image on their personal timelines.
  5. Competitions can’t be done by commenting, sharing or uploading to your wall. (see Velvet Burger…), but MUST be done via an application tab.
  6. Pages must not contain content that is hateful, threatening, defamatory, pornographic, incites violence or contains nudity.


The best thing you can do is read the rules. Check to see if they’ve been updated at least once a month, and don’t try to be sneaky and cheat your way around them – all it takes is one complaint and your page could be goneburger.



How to create page tabs in Facebook Timeline

Facebook have changed the way you load apps into your Facebook pages, and I spent a long time trying to figure out how to get tabs to display in Timeline.

Thanks to Nick McCabe, now I know. And it’s only fair you know, too.

  • Create the webpage to be iframed the same way you always would – except now you can go as wide as 810px. Don’t forget you need https!
  • Create the app the same as you normally would, except selecting the most appropriate tab width (narrow, 520px and wide, 810px).

Now for the bit no one tells you about:

  • Go to where APPID is your app id and URL is the url you’re framing in. Then add it to your page.

So simple. But so annoying.

An “add to my page” button would be so much better.

5 major mistakes brands make on Facebook

Facebook pages. So easy, anyone could do it, right?

Yes. But here’s the rub: There’s actually best practise for pages, and it seems like a lot of people don’t think about them. It’s as if the humans behind the business stop thinking like a Facebook user, and start thinking like a broadcaster.

Here’s five common mistakes people make on brand’s Facebook (and Twitter) pages.

They don’t write like a human

It’s okay for a brand to call someone “mate” online. It’s fine to start a post by saying “hey guys”. It builds rapport, reminds users that they’re talking to a human, not just a brand. It gives people the warm fuzzies, and does not look out of place in a social forum.

There’s a special place in my heart for brands who insist their name must be in capitals, all the time. On the internettywebs, that’s shouting. I get the branding thing – you know I do – but I once lost a disagreement with a client whose name was long, in capitals, and had a trademark on the end. They insisted the post contain their brand. Twice. And wouldn’t listen to reason. So I posted the status, and users called the brand out.

Because the WRITTEN FOR HUMANS®™ post didn’t look WRITTEN FOR HUMANS®™ at all.

Which ties into my next point:

They think in broadcast, not conversation

On behalf of the People of the Internet: Please stop telling us what to think. Help us experience your product or service for ourselves.

Page managers sometimes don’t seem to be aware that the internet is an amazing place where you can experience things not available to traditional broadcast. Ignoring the interactive part of social media just leaves you with media.

Which is fine, except then you’re missing 80% of the point of being on social media.

I know it can be difficult to get your head around, and thinking up interactive posts can be hard. It also feels a bit risky to step outside the “broadcast” box – it means things can (and will) go wrong.

It’s still worth it.

They repeat posts that didn’t work the first time

Again… Broadcast mentality. Repetition is fine in traditional outlets, but it’s a different story on social. If your audience didn’t engage with the post first time around, why would you keep hitting them over the head with it?

Adjust. Learn. Grow. And remember, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always have what you’ve always had.

They delete negative feedback

I know why this happens. It freaks brand people out to see something slamming the brand on the official page, so they get delete-happy. We can all think of examples of this…

Yes, a few unhappy punters can ruin the experience for others. Yes, you have to take feedback in context. But there are other ways of dealing with unhappy users, rather than deleting their message. You wouldn’t hang the phone up on them, right? So why delete their post?

How is this for a suggestion: Actually listen to the feedback.

Yeah, I went there. Stop being shit. And if you can’t stop it, minimise it. Adapt. Adjust. Revise. It’s like someone saying “I don’t like chocolate ice cream” and the brand saying “LAHLAHLAH, I can’t hear you!” and then doing a post about how great chocolate ice cream is.

Your fans offer you a gift when they give you honest feedback. Don’t slam the door in their face.

They measure themselves with the wrong yardstick

What’s actually important to your social media strategy? What’s your end goal? Do you want hits to your site? Brand awareness? Sell lots of product? Get your message out?

Long story short: It’s not all about follower or fan numbers.


What do you think are some of the main mistakes brands make on Facebook and other social media outlets?

Facebook’s tips for a strong social media strategy

Facebook have recently released revised best practice documents.

It gives us a glimpse into how they see the social space, as well as some good tips for both Facebook and general social media strategy.

Ranging from tips to organisational structure to audience participation, Facebook have offered what they believe is the best way to manage social.


Assign clear ownership. Have one person oversee all social activity. This person is a social media champion for the wider organisation, and works across many teams including marketing and digital .

A single team should own social. They operate with a “daily editorial calendar”, are responsible for engaging content and gleaning insights. They co-ordinate requests from other teams (PR, Legal, ecommerce etc) for space on the page.


This is about working with an agency to get the most out of your wider media strategy. Facebook see the agency as running the campaign and alerting the social team as to spend. The agency must be focused on “reinforcing Facebook content with marketing messages in other channels, both online and offline”. (This is a mark against solely social agencies – interesting move, Facebook)


A creative team can be used for participatory campaigns (apps) and must be across insights and ad manager to see what content is working. They must be fuelled by “what is inherently social about the brand” and focus on virality.

Facebook then go on to offer advice about making successful posts:

  • Be succinct. Posts less than three lines of text see about 60% more engagement.
  • Post at least five times a week.
  • Post at the optimal time for your page.
  • Know your audience. Use insider language.
  • Be seasonal. Fans are more likely to engage with content that is already top of their mind such as current events and holidays.
  • Post photos and videos. Albums generate 180% more engagement, photos 120% and videos 100% more engagement than regular posts.
  • Use simple, bold visuals.
  • Speak using your brand’s voice.
  • Position your brand as a hero or problem solver.
  • Give fans exclusive content, offers, competitions, events.
  • Create a question or a fill-in-the-blank post.
  • Include your call to action early – in the first 90 characters.
  • Share posts from fans.


So that’s Facebook’s best practice – some of it only applicable to larger brands and those engaged with media agencies, but still some good nuggets in there.

NZ Facebook stats: December 2011

NZ Facebook stats

If there’s one thing that’s marked about New Zealand’s online activity, is the sheer dominance of Facebook over other platforms.

Facebook’s estimated New Zealand reach today was “2,100,220 people who live in New Zealand”, according to Facebook. The data also reveals over 54% of users returned daily – that’s at least 1,134,118 daily users of Facebook.

That’s a lot of people.

And they’re not just logging on – they’re participating. The data shows there are 15 million Kiwi wall posts made per month, 85 million comments a month left around the site, and 192,000 check-ins a month.

Here’s the data, courtesy of Facebook:

New Zealand Facebook data

Most Shared Articles on Facebook in 2011

Facebook have release a list of the top 40 articles shared on their platform this year. Thes stories range from strange to heartbreaking, and in terms of content providers, CNN and the NYT come out looking quite good.

So here’s the list:

  1. Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami (New York Times)
  2. What teachers really want to tell parents (CNN)
  3. No, your zodiac sign hasn’t changed (CNN)
  4. Parents, don’t dress your girls like tramps (CNN)
  5. (video) – Father Daughter Dance Medley (Yahoo)
  6. At funeral, dog mourns the death of Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan (Yahoo)
  7. You’ll freak when you see the new Facebook (CNN)
  8. Dog in Japan stays by the side of ailing friend in the rubble (Yahoo)
  9. Giant crocodile captured alive in Philippines (Yahoo)
  10. New Zodiac Sign Dates: Ophiuchus The 13th Sign? (The Huffington Post)
  11. Parents keep child’s gender under wraps (Yahoo)
  12. How to Talk to Little Girls (The Huffington Post)
  13. Stop Coddling the Super-Rich (New York Times)
  14. Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior (Wall Street Journal)
  15. (video) – Twin Baby Boys Have A Conversation! (Yahoo)
  16. Man robs bank to get medical care in jail (Yahoo)
  17. Why You’re Not Married (The Huffington Post)
  18. A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve Jobs (New York Times)
  19. Ryan Dunn Dead: ‘Jackass’ Star Dies In Car Crash (The Huffington Post)
  20. Scientists warn California could be struck by winter ‘superstorm’ (Yahoo)
  21. Notes From a Dragon Mom (New York Times)
  22. A Message to Women From a Man: You Are Not “Crazy” (The Huffington Post)
  23. Obama’s and Bush’s effects on the deficit in one graph (Washington Post)
  24. Penn State, my final loss of faith (Washington Post)
  25. Golden-Voiced Homeless Man Captivates Internet (Yahoo)
  26. The most typical face on the planet (Yahoo)
  27. Widespread destruction from Japan earthquake, tsunamis (CNN)
  28. Permissive parents: Curb your brats (CNN)
  29. A father’s day wish: Dads, wake the hell up! (CNN)
  30. (video) – Laughing Baby Loves Ripping Paper! (Yahoo)
  31. Epic Cover Letter: How To Get Hired For Your Dream Job (PICTURE) (The Huffington Post)
  32. New Zodiac sign dates: Don’t switch horoscopes yet (Washington Post)
  33. Things Babies Born in 2011 Will Never Know (Yahoo)
  34. The Psychology of Revenge: Why We Should Stop Celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s Death (The Huffington Post)
  35. (photo gallery) – ‘Where Children Sleep’ (New York Times)
  36. Quake moved Japan coast 8 feet, shifted Earth’s axis (CNN)
  37. Steve Jobs, Apple founder, dies (CNN)
  38. China’s latest craze: dyeing pets to look like other wild animals (CNN)
  39. Grant Hill’s Response to Jalen Rose (New York Times)
  40. Steve Jobs’s Patents (New York Times)

Most of this I’ve already read, if not shared with friends!

Facebook insights for web

Facebook page owners are starting to learn the real value of Facebook page insights – and it’s become even more important to know and understand your users now that Facebook’s new metrics are public.

But there’s a little-known analytics package in Facebook called Insights For Your Website, which can tell you a lot about who is hitting your site, what they’re sharing to Facebook, and how they’re sharing it.

From the insights you can deduce who your major advocates are, the demographics of users who are reaching your site, if your like buttons are working, and what Facebook social plugins are having the best impact.

So how do you access these insights?

First, you need a website and a Facebook account. Then you’ll need to prove to Facebook you have the rights to see the insights. Visit In the top right hand corner there’s a button – hit it!

A popup will appear – and you’ll see a domain to put your website details in, and a dropdown menu. Select the brand page you want to hook the domain up to. Anyone who is admin on that brand page will be able to access the web analytics for the website. If it’s for personal use – for your blog or similar – then just select your own name.

There’s a line of code sitting in there. This is called a meta tag and it needs to go into the header of the main page of your website. Each website is different, so I can’t tell you exactly how to do this part. If you’re not sure how: Google is good.

Once you’ve inserted the line, come back to this screen and click “Get Insights” – it’s that simple!

Now you’re in, and given Facebook a couple of minutes to get all the data loaded, it’s time to pick the meaty bits. For me, it’s looking at demographic information, and the conversion between like button impressions and like button shares.

Breaking your users down into age and gender is useful if you’re dealing with demo targeting – something helpful if you’re advertising, but perhaps not so much for the layperson. It’s still interesting stuff, though.

I also like to compare impression demos against those on the Facebook page they relate to. Is there an area of my web audience who aren’t liking my posts? Is there a section who aren’t clicking the like buttons? Who are doing organic shares – and do those rates tell me that my like buttons are under-utilised, and may be in the wrong place on the page?

Another useful insight is the Popular Pages section – you can see how many times the like button has been clicked or URL organically shared to Facebook on certain pages and start to see patterns in what gets your audience sharing.

So give it a go – hook your website into Facebook insights. I’d love to hear about your results!

The 4 stages of a business Facebook page

Although no two Facebook pages are the same, there are some similarities that appear across multiple pages.

There are four main stages your page goes though, and once you identify the stage your page is in, you can use some standard tips and tricks to get it to the next level.

Sometimes pages will naturally progress from stage to stage, sometimes they’ll go backwards, and sometimes they won’t fit any stage at all! Don’t worry– just keep your eyes on where you want your page to be, and work towards that.

Stage 1: Getting your page off the ground.

When Facebook pages are new, the community is still finding the boundaries and tone of the page. It is at this stage you can easily convert brand advocates though quick wins, answering questions and being the good guy.

By turning your early fans into brand advocates, they will help you monitor and set the tone for your page when it enters stage 2. These fans are likely to be your friends, family and workmates, so be explicit about asking them to be active on your page. Honest – but active.

Tips for a page in stage 1

  • Think like the person you want to attract. What would they like to see on your page?
  • Post regular, interesting and infomative content – posting no more than four times a week and no less than once a week.
  • Keep your tone friendly. Facebook recommend you “push” in only 20% of status updates. The other 80% should be relationship-building.
  • Set your spam filter, and any keywords. Pick wisely as to not stifle the natural conversation, but to not allow any content that may disturb your audience.
  • Fully complete the “info” section of the Facebook page.
  • Set flexible strategies around dealing with negative feedback now. Where are your brand’s boundaries around negative posts? Should you allow them on your Facebook page? (I say yes, by the way, that’s a natural part of being in a public forum. Don’t delete it unless the language is filthy or threatening.)
  • Create a landing page that explicitly asks people to like your page.
  • Upload lots of photos and any videos you have to make the page interesting and useful.
  • Read Facebook’s brand page terms and conditions.
  • Get a username ( once you have 25 fans. Make it short and to the point. This URL will help you in stage 2.

Stage 2: Building momentum with existing fans

Reach out to your existing fans by promoting your Facebook page to them using the custom URL. This may involve putting a social plug-in on your website, a mention in your e-letter, or a notice on your front counter or shop window. They already like what you have to offer, why not make it easy for them to find you on Facebook?

Tips for a page in stage 2

  • Keep an eye on your page’s insights to see who your fans are: Their locations, demographics, what they most respond to on your page, what they’re clicking on. If they don’t match your wider marketing plan, something’s a little off.
  • Be seen to be responding to feedback, good and bad alike. Seek feedback from your fans and act upon it. If they say they’d like to see x happen, and it’s reasonable, make x happen. If it’s not, be honest about that.
  • Keep an eye on what’s going into your spam filter and restore anything that’s been mistakenly tagged as spam.
  • Find pages similar to yours and see what works on their page. Try similar things on yours to see if they work with your audience.
  • Plug your website into Facebook insights to see the demographic that’s impressing against your social plug-ins. Who are you not converting to a Facebook fan?
  • Keep an eye on which posts get the most impressions – what time of day were they posted?

Stage 3: Time for a push

This is the stage where your page is doing ok, but could do with a boost. Consider some advertising. Facebook ads can cost as little as 60cents CPM. You may want to add your custom URL to any external advertising you have running as well.

This means you’ll be getting a lot of random likers – which can often mean trolling. Don’t be afraid to ban troublemakers – but be sure that’s what they are first! Often we can mistake grumpy customers as trolls and not treat them the way they deserve.

If you’ve done stages 1 and 2 well, your loyal fans will help weed out trolling, and be able to answer basic questions for users – Dell found this a useful tactic when coming out of their Dell Hell phase.

Tips for a page in stage 3

  • Lots of new people will be hitting your landing page – adjust it slightly so anyone can understand why they should like your page. “Like our page to hear about special offers” etc.
  • Create custom tabs – for example a FAQ section or latest news section might be a good start.
  • Logged in as your brand, like and write on the walls of any brands that compliment or partner with yours. Check with their page admins first if you can, and don’t be cheeky about it or they may ban your page.
  • Empower, support, and reward users who want to be brand advocates, and acknowledge them for their help.
  • Make sure your community mangers are equipped to deal with negative feedback – both professionally and personally.
  • Don’t run promotions where users leave a comment or upload a photo to enter. That’s against Facebook’s terms and conditions and you may come out with egg on your face.

Stage 4: Organic growth

At this stage your page should be pretty healthy and you should have strategies in place for processing trolling, negative feedback, suggestions, and answering questions you don’t always have answers for. There’s an interesting phenomenon that I noticed – and have had confirmed to me by other major account managers across multiple brand types and sizes – that you no longer need to run ads during this stage, and the page will grow exponentially.

Don’t be alarmed when the growth starts to level out. The size of your page when this happens depends on your reach, and the profile of your business. Your organic growth may slow to 1 – 2 % per week.

Tips for a page in stage 4

  • Don’t rest on your laurels. Set big engagement and impression goals. Continue to evolve your page, being lead by your fans and wider business objectives.
  • Keep an eye on hide rates and unlikes and moderate your postings
  • Crowd source. There’s likely to be some users with amazing ideas for your business, or some feedback trends going on.
  • Consider another ad spend.


This is by no means a fully comprehensive list of things to check off with a Facebook page, and may not be applicable to all brands. In fact, this is quite general, and somewhat oversimplified compared to reality and the curveballs that get thrown at you.

The main thing you need to keep in mind is to think like a page user. What do they want? Deliver that and you can’t go wrong.

How to write a brand Facebook post

Writing a great Facebook status update for a brand is so much more than a simple formula. If it were that easy, we’d have a whole bunch of amazing pages and a lot of happy brand managers. You can’t just pick up a marketing plan and implement it, word-for-word, into a Facebook page.

I think there are three layers to creating a brand’s Facebook update.

The Users

Your tone, subject matter, even the kinds of words you use should be dictated by the users of the page, who are attracted to your existing brand. If your brand is marketed correctly outside of Facebook, those who ‘like’ will reflect that.

Who are these people? Use Facebook Insights to learn basic demographics – age, sex, location. Check their profiles to see what else they ‘like’ on Facebook. Do they like polls? Photos? Links? What do they want from your branded page? Read what’s been posted to the brand’s wall already – there’s often a wealth of feedback in what’s there – or not there. Which leads onto point two:

The Page

What is the current state of your brand’s page? Neglected? No engagement? Is every status update a link, and no one’s clicking on them? Conversely, is your page vibrant with feedback and users chatting to one another? You can expect to adjust your next status according to the current state of the page. This may mean scrapping a status you hoped to pop up, and going with something completely different. Content calendars must be fluid, even for this reason alone.

The Brand

What does the brand actually want out of their Facebook page – and if it doesn’t serve your ‘fans’ then why are you doing it? Does it serve the marketing gods? The website hit gods? Or is it there to enrich peoples lives – however you interpret that.

If your brand is not thinking “people first” then you probably need to re-assess why you’re on Facebook. You may as well take out a TVC. (No disrespect to TVCs, you know I love them, but they’re broadcast. Facebook is not.)

So once the brand knows where it stands on those fronts – and has any issues addressed, it’s time to get writing! Here’s a few nuggets of gold from around the weberverse:

  • Spelling and grammar must be audience appropriate. No matter how great your point if you can’t spell ‘their’ right you’ll crash and burn. – Stephanie Robertson
  • Know your audience – and don’t drink and post! – Wendy Thompson
  • Ask for photos. – Claire Huxley

And here are mine:

  • Keep posts short. People read less online. They probably won’t click “read more” on your update.
  • Keep it friendly – users are looking at brand’s status updates amongst their friends, so it’s easy to appear advertorial.
  • Give people multiple reasons to interact (make it ‘like’able, ask a question, seek feedback).
  • Don’t always do the same type of status. Mix it up with photos, polls, and links. Pay attention to which types get your audience going!
  • Act on feedback. For example, if someone’s asked for a “caption this” photo, give it to them! And say something like “you asked for it, so here it is!” – acknowledgement is really important.
  • Above all else, THINK LIKE A FAN. Do they want to see this status update? Really?

So it’s not a simple formula, and this is by no means an exhaustive list. But by firstly coming at it from a user’s perspective, you’ll end the majority of Facebook status woes.

Facebook marketing: A best practice guide

Facebook have released a best practice guide to Facebook marketing. It’s in-depth and useful, but also involved, so I thought I’d summerise for you.

Here’s the key points.

Facebook say there are five guiding principles to great social marketing:

  1. Build a strategy that is first and foremost social, and integrated into broader marketing and business objectives
  2. Create an authentic brand voice by being straightforward and consistent.
  3. Make it interactive – always engage in two-way conversations and create content that people will be excited to pass along.
  4. Nurture relationships. Stay in touch, reward loyalty and keep content easy to consume. Think long-term.
  5. Get feedback in real time and use reporting tools to learn about your fans.

They then expand upon these areas – I’ve left my thoughts under their points.

Foster product development and innovation

“Facebook allows you to learn about your audience… For this reason, Facebook can be used to generate new product ideas and innovation.”

Know your audience, and allow the conversaion to be led by them – albeit in keeping with your guidelines. I’ve found doing this gives your fans page ownership and the freedom to make some interesting and insightful suggestions!

Generate Awareness

“Once you have created a Facebook page, it is time to generate awareness.”

In a nutshell, Facebook want you to buy their ads. They are cheap, effective, and can be highly targeted. It’s a shame they don’t let you book in $NZD or access non-standard ad types without an agency, but it’s still a cost-effective way to build your brand.

Don’t forget to put links to your Facebook page throughout your website – turn your visitors into subscribers with a click of a button.

Drive preference and differentiation

“On Facebook, people discover your brand through trusted referrals from their friends.”

This is one of the big positives social media has over traditional – personal endorsement much more public, and users are much more likely to engage with brands their friends have recommended. Keep sharability in mind when writing status updates.

Facebook have got a lot of social plug-ins you can use to socialise your website and brand. Use them where appropriate.

Increase traffic and sales

“A combination of word of mouth and your ability to deepen engagement with your customers at the point of purchase is incredibly powerful at driving traffic and sales.”

Facebook recommend putting like buttons on products, and integrating post-purchase sharing to consumer’s walls. The same could be said for like buttons on articles if you’re a blogger. Facebook also recommends buying Facebook ads to push directly to the point of sale.

Build loyalty and deepen relationships

“Because of the information people share about themselves on Facebook, you can create highly custom and personalized experiences to drive engagement and loyalty.”

Ask questions, listen to the answers, and be responsive. Thank people. Provide exclusive information for Facebook fans. If you’re a multi-national, target updates to users in various countries. I hope that feature will soon extend to cities, but in the meanwhile, try to not alienate users by overwhelming them with information that they can’t act upon.

Amplify recommendation and word of mouth

“Everything you do on Facebook is viral. People expect to discover things on Facebook through their friends.”

Encourage people to like your page – and your status updates. Put the like button on your website. Have fresh, sharable content on your Facebook page. Make everything clickable, shareable, hyperlinked and tidy (check how your links appear in Facebook when put into the URL feature… Is it clean or does it need editing?)

Gain Insights

“Insights can help improve your business by helping you stay aligned with the people you serve.”

Insights: Where would you be without them? Probably shouting into a dark room. Use Facebook ad campaign reports. Use Facebook insights – both on your page and for web. Read your Facebook wall… And when I say “read” I mean “read between the lines.” Sometimes what people don’t say says more than what they do.

Finally, use these tools:

Guide to Facebook ads:
Guide to running competitions on Facebook:
Social plugins for your site:
Facebook insights: