The latest stats from Facebook’s newsroom (data for September 2014) show that Facebook boasts 864 million daily users and 1.35 billion monthly active users. Approximately 703 million of us access Facebook from our mobile phones every single day.
When people are looking for new products, services or recommendations, one of the first things they do is check out the company’s Facebook presence, primarily their business page. Over 50 million businesses already have a page on the social media juggernaut. If your business doesn’t appear on Facebook, you could be losing out on customers as they will simply move on to a similar business with a presence.
We’ve put together a simple step-by-step guide to creating a Facebook business page, so that you can start connecting with potential and existing customers on this thriving platform.
Step One: Choose your classification
Your first step is to go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and pick the best category for your page. As you can see from the screenshot below, you can choose from:
• Local Business or Place
• Company, Organisation or Institution
• Brand or Product
• Artist, Band or Public Figure
• Cause or Community
Each category is slightly different. For example, if you choose a local business page – which is best if you’re keen to attract local customers and have a shop or office – then you’ll have the opportunity to fill out information such as your contact details, opening hours, parking facilities, address and other information that will be relevant to your customers.
If you run a small business providing services such as graphic design, copywriting, marketing support or coaching, for example, and don’t want to focus on local custom only, then you should probably create a Company, Organisation or Place page, which will prompt you for details such as your mission, an About statement, contact details, awards and products.
For the purpose of this tutorial, let’s imagine we’re creating a Company page. Once you click on this option, you will need to choose the appropriate category for your business from the list provided and enter your company name. This is also the official name for your business page. Be careful what you enter here – check for spelling mistakes, typos and that you’re happy with the name – as Facebook will only allow you to change it and your page URL once on request and it can be a drawn out process.
When you’re happy that the name and category are correct, click the ‘Get started’ button.
Step Two: Complete your basic information
Facebook will walk you through the four stages of completing the basic information for your page.
You will need to write a short, succinct paragraph about your business. This paragraph appears on your main business page under your profile picture and should be 155 characters or fewer in length. It’s a good idea to include your website’s address in this description so that people can quickly and easily click through to your site without having to hunt for the link. Be sure to write this paragraph in a way that appeals to your target customers and helps you stand out from the crowd.
At this stage, you will also be able to pick the vanity URL for your Facebook business page. For example, ours is http://www.facebook.com/grafixbiz. As with your page name, it can only be changed once with Facebook’s permission once it is set.
2. Profile picture
Your next step is to upload the profile picture for your business page. This will be the image that appears when you reply to comments, leave comments on other pages or appear in searches. The recommended size for your profile picture is 180 x 180 pixels.
If you are a sole trader or you are the face of your brand – perhaps because you’re a business coach, fitness instructor or public speaker – then you might want to consider using a high quality headshot as your profile picture. Many businesses use their logo or a good quality image of a popular product.
3. Add to favourites
Next you’ll be given the option to add your business page to your list of favourite pages so that it is easy to access at any time. Click ‘Add to Favorites’ or you can choose to skip this step. This is similar to bookmarking your page, so it’s worth doing.
4. Reach more people
Facebook will then give you the option of promoting your page with a paid Facebook ad. To be honest, it’s a risky move when your page is brand new as you won’t have any content to show people or to give them the incentive to add their ‘like’. It’s probably better to share the page with your existing contacts and on your website, blogs and other social media platforms and steadily build engagement before investing in any paid ads.
Step Three: Go live
By completing these basic steps, you will now have a live Facebook business page. However, at this stage it will look pretty barren and may not appeal to your potential customers. Facebook will prompt you to ‘Like’ your page but it’s worth holding off until you’ve added some content because as soon as you click ‘Like’ the story will appear in your personal news feed. We’d recommend that you add some targeted content first, then click ‘Like’.
Step Four: Understand the Admin Panel
You can find the admin panel for your Facebook business page under the Facebook search bar near the top of the screen.
It looks like this:
Clicking on Page will take you to your main Facebook business page where you can see your posts, people’s comments, your ‘About’ information, your photos, likes, posts to the page, apps and other pages you’ve liked as your business.
The Activity tab lets you see a list of notifications for when people have liked your page or liked, commented on or shared a particular post. You can also see any messages sent to your inbox, your scheduled posts and any draft posts via this tab. Finally, you can use this tab to set up ads to promote your page or website.
The Insights tab is packed full of information to help you monitor how different posts on your page are performing as well as the page’s overall performance. This is where you’ll find daily data about new page likes, lost likes, post and page reach, engagement, the demographics of your ‘likers’ and much, much more. It’s worth spending some time in this tab to explore the data, and remember to check back regularly to keep an eye on what’s working as this will help you devise your future social media strategy.
The Settings tab gives you greater control over things like privacy settings. For example, you can decide whether or not people can post to your business page, whether they can send messages or tag photographs. Although some pages decide not to allow posts from likers, it’s worth considering how this might affect engagement on your page.
Under the Settings tab, you can also decide how frequently you would like to receive notifications about activity on your page and add other Administrators – for example, if someone else will be managing your social media for you.
Step Five: Add some content to your page
Finally, you need to add some content to your Facebook business page. This should be content that’s aimed at your target customers and will appeal to them.
Content can be:
• A plain text status
• A photo with a caption
• A video with a caption
• A photo album
• A link with a caption
• An offer
• An event
• A milestone
• A location check-in
It’s worth experimenting with providing a mix of different content. Are there images your customers would like? Would they respond well to inspirational quotes and memes? Are there stats that would interest them? Have you published something on your blog that they would like to read? Is there a news story that impacts on your customers? Could you post a short video tutorial?
By keeping an eye on the Insights in the Admin panel, you can begin to figure out which are your customers’ hot topics or favourite types of content.
Step Six: Add a cover photo
To finish off the look of your Facebook page, it’s a good idea to add a ‘Cover’ photo. This is the large image that runs across the top of the page (see the Grafixbiz cover photo below):
Your cover photo is essentially a branded image designed to attract people to your page. These days, it can include promotions and text. The recommended size of a cover photo is 851 x 315 pixels.
Step Seven: Spread the word
With your business page up and running, and populated with a few posts, it’s now time to click the ‘Like’ button so that your page shows up in your Friends’ organic news feeds. We would also recommend inviting your Facebook friends to ‘like’ the page, as well as sharing the link with your clients and supporters within your wider network. You can also add the link into your newsletter, blog articles and even in your email signature to spread the word. By adding fresh content on a daily basis, you should begin to see a steady growth in activity.
And there you have it, a working Facebook page in next to no time. Once you’ve set up your page, why don’t you tell us about it in the Comments section below so that we can take a look?
If you’re pushed for time and this feels like one more thing for your never-ending to-do list, let us know and we will be happy to set up a branded Facebook business page on your behalf – simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
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