Don't do any of these things, or you'll get a 'thumbs down' from your audience.

Don’t do any of these things, or you’ll get a ‘thumbs down’ from your audience.

When Facebook released its financial report for the first quarter of 2016, it showed why it was still clearly the biggest and hottest social media marketplace around.

According to that statement, Facebook now has 1.09 billion daily active users, 989 million mobile active daily users, 1.65 billion monthly active users and 1.51 billion mobile monthly active users. That shows a couple of things: even 12 years after the social network debuted, it’s still growing and more and more users are viewing it through mobile platforms.

It also means that Facebook still offers a tremendous opportunity to nurture relationships, increase brand awareness, build your audience and bolster your business’ bottom line. With a big audience comes a potential to make big mistakes, however. Here are a few you should never make:

Spam. Never post spam. You should know the difference between content that has value and content that does not—which is spam.  Don’t post it in your customer’s news feeds—you need to respect their preferences if you want to keep them as friends and customers—and don’t connect with them just so you can spam them with your products or services. That is about the worst thing you can do.  Connect so you can connect—that is, build a relationship.

Autotweet. There are plenty of applications that allow you to link your social media accounts, posting to several at one time. Don’t do this. It might sound convenient and you may think you’re saving time, but the truth is that different messages work better on different channels. A good, visual Facebook post may be nonsensical on Twitter (and vice versa). Also, if you have a number of different personas that all post the same thing, it’ll show up like spam (see above). Take a few more minutes and make sure your content is appropriate.

Create a fake profile. Yes, we know the Internet can be an anonymous place, but if you create another profile so you can spy on other people, spam them or post phony positive reviews about your business or products, you’ll end up doing more harm than good to your brand. People, when it’s all said and done, appreciate integrity. You’ll make better connections and have more loyal customers if you’re authentic.

Invite people to play games with you. Candy Crush, Farmville…even if you play them, don’t bring your customers into them. This is just another form of spam for most users—about 70 percent of Facebook users said they get game invitations from their friends and you certainly don’t want to add yourself to that list. They could end up blocking you, altogether.

Post bad pictures. Visual content tends to generate more engagement—but make sure it’s good visual content. Close ups are good; smiles? Always. But don’t show a dark corner of your auto shop that might make it look like you operate a disorganized business. Always check the background and the subject matter so you don’t end up making your customers cringe.

Spare the drama. Your Facebook audience doesn’t want to hear about your business problems and they certainly don’t want to hear about any fights you’re having with friends, family or neighbors. You can still post light-hearted content about your life and staff, just keep it professional.  Your business page is not the place to vent.

Post or boost irrelevant content. It can be difficult to come up with enough content to fill the never-ending news feeds and social media cycles. That doesn’t mean you should post or share things just to get your name out there (see spam, above). The good news is you don’t have to: come up with some solid, creative content that will work in a variety of forms. Repost bits of your blogs that show off your knowledge. Think of different ways to send the same message and post it strategically.

If you glance through this short list, you’ll see an underlying theme: respect your customers’ time. If you want to get their attention, you have to earn it and you can do that better with quality than you can with quantity.

What other mistakes are out there? Let us know in the comments!