Something I often hear from small business owners regarding Facebook is “oh…yeah, I gotta get on the facebook but haven’t had the time”. Unfortunately, this is true for many small business owners as they’re required to wear multiple hats and simply put, facebook doesn’t make the top of the list. However, it can be setup quickly and maintained with little time on a daily/weekly basis. With that being said, here are some clear, concise, tips to get your page up AND running.
- Getting Started: First, visit www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and select the type of page you want to setup. You’ll have the option to setup a local business, an organization, a brand etc. Determine what best fits you and select your business type. Note that we’re creating a ‘page’ here not a ‘profile’ which is a very common mistake for businesses. (Already made this mistake? Read Converting your Personal Account to a Facebook Page)
- Next, enter your business information and details (name, category, phone, address etc.). Following that, you’ll be asked to either sign in, or sign up. You must sign in or sign up to create your page.
- While I am mentioning ‘pages and profiles’ I want to make it clear that their is a difference between a facebook profile and a facebook page. In a nutshell, your profile is for personal use and your page is for business use. Each has it’s own unique abilities and/or limitations.
- Following the sign-up/sign-in step you’ll be asked to upload a profile photo for your business. Consider putting your logo here (upload size is 180 x 180px , check out the exact dimensions: Facebook Page Profile Picture )
- Next, insert your business information in the ‘about’ area including a description of your business/services and it’s website (if applicable). Following this step you’ll be taken to your new page.
- At your new page click the ‘Edit Page’ button in the upper-right area (see Image 1), select ‘update info’ and complete your page as best/most you can. Also in the ‘update info’ section is the custom URL option. This allows your page to read www.facebook.com/yourbusinessname – and you don’t need 25 likes to do so! Further details at Facebook’s Help Page.
- Next, upload your ‘cover’ (this button is across from your profile, exact dimensions should be 851 x 315px) Be sure to abide by facebook’s guidelines. According to these you are not allowed to advertise, put any ‘call to action’, contact information, along with some other restrictions (review facebook’s guidelines for the entire list of these rules).
- Those are the basics on setting up – moving forward the best way to familiarize yourself with your page is to explore! Visit various buttons, links and so on to get a feel of how everything works. Important Note: When you want to use your page as your page or your profile as your profile be sure to make the proper selection of the ‘Use Facebook as:’ menu located in the upper right corner of your page (see Image 2).
- Using your Page: When it comes to using your page consider the following:
- Invite your Friends – When logged in as your profile (personal) go over to your page and select ‘build audience’ to invite your friends. These videos are very helpful in showing you how to generate more likes.
- Use Facebook as a ‘2 Way Street’ – What I mean by this is don’t simply put updates on your page, when someone comments or likes a post on your page, then respond! Be sure to interact with other pages by commenting on other’s posts, liking other pages, taking part in polls, questions etc. Search for other pages, read about them and start socializing!
- Visual Aids – Photos and videos really make a difference. You have a much higher likelihood of someone interacting when a visual aid is included in your post. With the technology of the latest iPhones and Smartphones, updating your page with a picture or video in real time is pretty simple! We live in an instant gratification world and social media is no different so having something visually captivating always helps. (Use this helpful tool for uploading photos, which gives you the exact size of all image dimensions on your page: www.lunametrics.com )
- Engaging Content – Post updates on your wall that call for others to comment or like your post. Ask questions, consider local news topics/common topics, mention holidays, discuss relevant updates about your trade or service and so on. Look at your page from the viewer’s side: “would you read what you’re writing?” Also, be sure to remember that just because you’re an electrician doesn’t mean every single post has to do with electrician-type news. Give your page a personal touch which leads me into my next point.
- Give your Page a Personality – Try to maintain your page as person, not a machine spewing out discounts, coupons and ads – people will not respond to this…you wouldn’t so why would anyone else? Rather, have a happy balance of both business and personal posts. It’s OK to post things that have nothing to do with your trade or service on your page, people want to know there is a human being behind your page not some automated facebook ad bot. For instance, try posting a funny picture of what is going on at your workplace that isn’t necessarily work related but nonetheless at your workplace, giving your post a personal touch but still keeping your business on the back of viewer’s minds.
- Avoid PR Nightmares – Although it’s important to give your page a personality, don’t forget that you’re representing a brand and/or business. With that being said, avoid certain topics that could cause friction, possibly keep those comments/thoughts for your personal profile – if you do happen to run into such a situation do proceed cautiously, be honest and DO NOT simply ignore the public.
- Creative Content – Humorous posts, interesting facts, stats, inspirational quotes, and helpful tips are the types of updates that are always “crowd pleasers”. Consider posting information that most people don’t know but also isn’t too overwhelming for your average person that is not an expert in your field. Something humorous happen at the workplace? Going somewhere interesting? Have you seen something that others would find compelling? Exciting news? Would someone share this post? – These are excellent questions to think about when creating your posts.
- Scheduling Your Posts – This is an essential tip for those of you limited with time. Facebook gives you the option to upload a post, then schedule it for a later date and time. It’s a great way to schedule your daily/weekly updates at once without having to go back, it’s also ideal for those early morning posts. (Full details about scheduling at Faceook’s Help Center)
That should get your page up AND running! Visit the Best Practicies for Page Admins page for some more in depth information regarding the above tips and instructions as these are just the basics and there is LOTS out there to learn! As I mentioned before, getting on your page and exploring is a great starting point … also, don’t get motivated, setup the page and then never go back – stick to it and see it through!
Geeky Disclaimer: Please know that the above instructions are relevant as of 1/28/13. However, as many of you may know, Facebook is an ever-changing platform often making once relevant instructions not so relevant. Point being – read the above tips and get cracking asap!
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Tim Dugan | WebServicesCT.com