Facebook has evolved numerous times. From its humble beginnings where college students would use Facebook to keep track of and share each other’s daily ideas and activities, Facebook has constantly changed and now has been a part of over 800 million people’s lives.
Using social media channels to engage customers and reach out to potential markets has been one major tool behind the success of many businesses—from multi-million companies, to small, simple businesses run from a garage or basement. Knowing this, there shouldn’t be an excuse for your business to not have any form of social media outlet to reach out and go big.
I have observed, though, that some people who use Facebook for personal use find it difficult to come up with and start their own business page. Usually, it is the fear of ‘What if I’m doing it wrong?’ that gets in the way. Well, here’s the thing, if you think you’re doing something “wrong”, you can always fix it and do it “right”. There is no need to be afraid to try out something new. Remember, no one was born an expert.
The basics on starting your own Facebook page include:
Step 1: Choose a Classification.
On your browser, go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. This page will show you six different classifications you can choose from:
- Local Business or Place
- Company, Organization, or Institution
- Brand or Product
- Artist, Band, or Public Figure
- Cause or Community
Each classification gives more relevant details to fill-in for your page.
|Local Business or Place||Company, Organization, or Institution||Brand or Product|
|Artist, Band, or Public Figure||Entertainment||Cause or Community|
|Affiliation||Address||Release Date||Cause Type|
In this tutorial, we’ll select the second option: company, organization, or institution. After making our selection, we’ll be asked for an official name for our Business Page. Make sure that you get it right the first time around. Remember, you can only change your name and URL once, and getting it done can be very tedious and time consuming.
Step 2: Complete Basic Information
Facebook will automatically walk you through the following basic sections to get your page set up and running.
Complete the ‘About’ Section
The ‘about’ section will be your main description for your company. It will be shown on your main page so make sure that it is descriptive but brief. Make sure you include something that makes your name stand out, making your page more appealing and attract more potential followers. Oh, and don’t forget to put a link to your company website too!
This part of the process is also where you pick your unique Facebook domain (remember, you can only change this once). For example, Amazon uses the Facebook URL www.facebook.com/amazon.
Upload Your Profile Picture
Next you will be asked to upload a photo to be used as your profile picture. This will be the main visual icon of your page. It will appear in search results and on comments and posts that you put up and publish. Although any square image is ok, the recommended size for a profile picture is 180 x 180 pixels.
Add to Favorites
Each Facebook user has a navigation bar to the left of their news feed, sort of like a vertical menu where you can add your Business Page as a ‘Favorite’ item. Think of it like bookmarking a webpage in your browser, so that you can easily access your new page.
Reach More People
Facebook will then ask you to create an advertisement to draw attention to your new Page. Even though it may sound like a great idea to start paying to get your new page promoted, I suggest that you avoid starting any ads this early in the game. You need to build and put up more content on the page so that people would be more easily convinced to actually ‘Like’ your page.
Step 3: Learn how the Admin Panel Works
Ok, so you now have a basic Business Page set up and is now live. Facebook will ask you if you want to ‘Like’ you newly minted Page. I suggest that you do not do so at the moment while you still need to put up content and get the page ready. Save that milestone ‘til you feel that your page is ready for the world to see.
In the top menu, you’ll see options for ‘settings’. Click it, a vertical navigation bar with several sections will appear. We will focus on the three important items here:
Page Info: This is where you can add additional information and details about your business. This also lets you select additional options related to the selection you made in Step 1
Notifications: This section allows you to customize when and how you’d like to receive alerts and notification for any page activity. Set this to a level that you would feel comfortable with.
Page Roles: Here, you can invite friends and colleagues who may need to access your page or manage its contents. Some roles that may come in handy would include:
- A PR manager who can respond to questions posted on the page
- A support representative who can assist those asking technical questions
- A designer who can be assigned to upload photos and creative visual content for the page
Step 4: Populate Your Page with Content
Now is the time to actually get started and publish content for your page and invite users to join your group. A few things you need to get content started and your page rolling would be:
Ove time, your page will soon be filled with interesting content as you publish more and more updates. You can publish contents in six different ways:
- Plain text status update
- Photo with a caption
- Link with a caption
- Video with caption
- Event page
- Location check-in
Remember to make sure you use a variety of content. Think of what may capture your audience’s interests; what would they like to read about? What links to other pages would they be interested in? You can also ‘Pin’ posts to the top of your page’s timeline by clicking on the little grey arrow in the top-right corner of each post. This action will ‘pin’ that content to the top for seven days. This feature is useful for announcements, anniversaries, and other important events.
The cover photo is the large horizontal image that is seen at the top of your Page. Usually you’d want to put your brand’s image here to help attract more people to your page. The official dimensions for cover photos are 851 x 315 pixels.
Now that your page is alive with colorful photos and interesting reads, we can start to strategically invite people to ‘Like’ our page. The technique to effectively get this done should follow this sequence:
First, invite colleagues to ‘Like’ your page and its content to build some initial activity. Second, invite supporters in your network. Encourage them to engage and share. Third, invite customers. Now that your page has become an active and thriving community, they would be more interested.
Remember, you can go to the ‘Activity’ tab in your page’s top navigation menu to monitor how people are interacting with your page and content.
Step 5: Measure your Growth
Lastly, we need to measure how effective our actions are and ensure if we are effectively utilizing our Facebook page. Facebook has some useful metric tracking tools that we can use. All you have to do is click on the ‘Insights’ option in the top navigation menu to see them:
Overview: This tab shows a 7-day snapshot of your stats like Page Likes, post reach, and overall engagement.
Likes: This tab will show your overall fan growth and losses. If you’re paying for help in boosting your page, you can also see the breakdown of paid versus organic growth.
Reach: This tab shows the raw number of people that your page reaches every day. If you see significant changes in your page’s reach for certain days, check what you posted on that day and see if your can replicate that reach.
Visits: This tab indicates where on Facebook your audience is coming from. You can see the difference in visits on Facebook Timelines, your information tab, reviews, and other things.
Congratulations! You now have a Facebook page to call your own! So get your content rolling and start reeling in all those fans!
In the next few weeks, I will have more articles to share with you about the type of content that can work for your business.