Yeah, you might think this controversial headline will get me some likes and tweets (well, you bet it will!), but the matter of fact is, that the biggest mistake that marketers on Facebook make is indeed ignorance.

Let me take a few minutes to explain why I think that…

Brands don`t only ignore their fans, they ignore their presence

We still find many brands in the world that are not in control of their Facebook presence. Nintendo, Lego, and many others have millions of Facebook fans today, and even though they could take full control of these Facebook communities, they are not moving forward.

Is this ignorance? Is this a corporate process (claiming your Facebook brand page takes approximately two to three days)? 

We did some research across the 50.000 brand Facebook pages that we analyse and monitor, and figured that only roughly about 5% of brand pages respond to fan questions on their walls.

But the worst thing about that is, that if we only look at pages that respond at least 50 or 60% of their fan questions, you get to a number which is significantly lower (1 – 2%).

These findings are backed up by a recent survey, showing that UK retailers are unresponsive when it comes to answering questions via social media.

So the issue here is that there is no communication. Social media communication is primarily about a dialogue between a brand and its fans, but the problem is that companies often try to change this and turn this into a monologue.

There are still many Facebook fan pages, that have simply closed their fan pages to user comments (can you believe it?). Still about one in five brand pages have beenr manually closed, which is amazing.

Reparation is on the way!

But hope is here, American telecom operator AT&T has taken the social media dialogue seriously. Not only does the company reply to its fans on Facebook, but to more than 90% of the questions, and almost all of them are answered within 30 minutes (even if it is at night!).

This means AT&T has an around the clock non-stop customer care scheduled around Facebook, which is amazing. It is one of the first companies to it that well, and I hope others will follow!

What should you do?

Well for first, go to your company / agency / brand, tell your colleagues that the way you`ve been doing it is great, but it is a monologue, and its time to start a dialogue!

I know it will take more time, and I know it will be more difficult to coordinate across multiple departments, but the result will definitely be worth it.

You probably answer customer care questions over the phone, so why shouldn`t you on Facebook?