Lots of people see Facebook as a platform to chat with friends, post holiday snaps and maybe even play games. You can do all of that on the site of course – but you can also create specific pages for your business, which work separately to personal profiles. These are known as ‘Facebook pages’.
Building a profile for your business on Facebook is free, easy to do and can become a great online marketing channel. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get started.
Step 1 – Set up your Facebook page
If you don’t already have a Facebook account, at this point you’ll be asked to create one. Otherwise, sign in under your usual account.
This is where you begin the process of creating a business page, and it’s the first step towards making your business visible on Facebook. Select the most appropriate category for your business, which for most should be ‘Local Business or Place’.
You are then presented with a form to fill in. Select what type of business you are from the dropdown menu, and add your business name, address, postcode and telephone number.
You are then given an opportunity to add a link to your website, along with some ‘about’ text.
Next, Facebook lets you upload a profile picture. You can upload an image directly, or import a photo from your website. If uploading an image directly, make sure it is 200 pixels wide, as this ensures best fit. When the page is set up, this image will display on the top-left-hand of the page. Later, you’ll be able to add a main ‘cover’ picture as well.
Finally, you are given options to add the page to your favourites and to provide payment details if you are interested in advertising on Facebook. At this stage, your page has been published on Facebook.
Step 2 – Getting going
Now your business page is live on Facebook, it’s time to look at the different elements you can edit or add content to.
Along the top of the page, you can add a full-width ‘cover’ photo as well as your individual profile photo. Below this you’ll find your ‘timeline’ which shows your activity and your page fans’ activity (if you choose to show this) organised by the time it was posted.
The right-hand column lets people navigate through your timeline, to a particular month or year, and shows sponsored ads.
There are separate tabs for your ‘about’ text, photos, reviews and more. You can edit text, add photos and so on by clicking in the appropriate section when you’re logged in. There’s also a counter showing how many likes your page has and any notifications or messages.
Take some time to familiarise yourself with the different sections and see what Facebook allows you to edit. For example, depending what type of business you have told Facebook you are, there are extra fields in the about section that can be completed such as opening hours and parking details.
Step 3 – Add your first update
Adding updates to the wall is simple – just type what you want to, and click ‘Post’. There’s also the ability to upload a photo/video or add an event.
When you post something here, the update may appear in the news feeds of people who have liked your page. You can also pay to promote your posts, increasing the likelihood that they will be seen.
Step 4 – Page settings
Here you can change your business page settings, for example allowing or stopping fans posting their own messages on your page. You can also change settings such as what notifications you receive and which individuals can edit your page.
Get more fans for your page
Promote it: Now your business has a Facebook page, it is vital that you mention it wherever you can online – put the address in your email signature, on your website and on forum profiles you have. Don’t forget offline though, on things like printed materials, brochures, invoices and business cards.
Give people a reason to ‘like’ the page: Okay, so you are going to tell people you are on Facebook, but why are you on Facebook?
Do you plan on posting details about special offers and discounts, or perhaps general information about contemporary interior design, the latest wedding trends or which hairstyles are turning heads? Do you want to use the platform to provide transparent customer service?
Hints and tips
- Start conversations: Facebook pages offer a great opportunity for your business to chat to its customers – so it’s a good idea to work on initiating conversations. And if people contribute to the page with a post or comment, get talking! Begin by finding out who the contributor is and why they are interested in you. Essentially, social media is all about interaction.
- Check out the stats: Once you’ve got 30 likes, you can manage your ‘insights’ via the admin panel on your page. This reveals which parts of the page are popular and where links to the page have been posted.
- Add images to your posts: Statistics show that people are more likely to click if a post is accompanied by an image.
- You can select a custom URL for your page: At first, when your business page is created, its URL is long and contains lots of numbers. However, Facebook will let you change this, and you can select your company name. That’s good for search engine optimisation, and easier to direct customers to or tell them about.
- Post updates once or twice a day: people will tune out otherwise. As for what to post, think about the content. It might be interesting to you, but will it be interesting to customers, and does it encourage them to engage?