Want to make the most of Facebook for your business? Here's a guest blog on how to to set up a business Facebook page...
This year Facebook accounts in the UK surpassed the 30 million mark. If youre looking to tap into the marketing potential of Facebook the first thing you need to do is create a business page. This how-to guide will walk you through the steps and explain how to make the most of this social media channel.
Firstly, to get started you will obviously need a personal Facebook account. If you already have one, youre well on your way. If not you may wish to create a separate business account so employees can login and edit the company page accordingly. If you want to advertise on Facebook it will be tied to this account so a separate profile makes this easier to manage and control if an employee leaves.
Where to Click
The first challenge you have is finding where to create your business page. The link you need is often hidden away amongst the hundreds of options on your profile page. To get started the page you need is http://www.facebook.com/pages/learn.php. In the top right-hand corner you will see the button Create a Page.
Choosing Your Page Type
When you select Create a Page you then have to choose from the following options:
Local Business or Place
Company, Organisation or Institution
Brand or Product
Artist, Band or Public Figure
Cause or Community
Once you have chosen your page type you can choose a category. It is important this accurately matches your organisation as users will often search for companies using this field. For example, a hairdresser should go into the Health/Beauty category where as a magazine should go into the Media/News/Publishing category.
You then have three steps to complete:
1. Profile Photo: Here you have the option to upload an image. This should be your most up to date company logo in a square format this same image (or a cropped square version) will also appear next to your updates.
2. Get Fans: This is an excellent opportunity to start promoting your page straight away. If you know a number of high profile users it would be worth inviting them to view your page. If you already have a comprehensive list of contacts you can upload an Outlook, Constant Contact or .csv file and Facebook will alert the users of your new page. This is a fantastic option for a company like an online florist, who may already have a valuable list of emails for customers, clients and suppliers.
3. Basic Info: Here you have the opportunity to add your website. This is worth doing as you can gain a valuable backlink which can direct social users to your main domain. You also have 255 characters to summarise your company. This should convey your pages proposition and unique selling point. I would also suggest including your main keywords and location to help the page appear in relevant Facebook search results.
The Finer Details
Once you have created your page the real work can begin. Click edit page in the top right-hand corner and enter as much information about your company as possible. When it comes to creating a Facebook page the more you give out the more you will get back. If you enter your address details you will appear for local searches i.e. Computer Shop Brighton. Similarly if you enter awards the company has won, this will give the page and your business more credibility.
It is worth uploading a selection of photos to send a visual message to the user. If you are a local store load pictures of your shop and displays, if youre a restaurant include pictures of your best dishes. Similarly, a retail shop should display pictures of their most popular products. This can be done by going to the photos tab in the left hand column.
Now your page is ready you can sit back and relax, right? Wrong. The final steps to setting up your Facebook page are to make sure you are connected to the right people.
If you go to edit page and visit the resources tab you can link the page to your Twitter profile (this will help grow your social audience further). This section also gives you the option to install social plugins like the Like Button on your website. This is worth doing as it enables you to transfer website users into Facebook fans. In turn this will help you build up a quality customer base and create valuable remarketing opportunities.
Permissions and Settings
Lastly you have the option of managing the permissions of your page. Here you can control what users can post on your wall. You can limit their posting ability by posts, pictures or videos. This will depend on how Facebook savvy your audience will be.
You also have the choice of choosing what the default landing tab will be. This is worth testing and will be different for each company. For example, a news website will want their default landing tab to be the wall due to constantly streaming fresh content. However a local computer store may want to display their information tab to prompt an enquiry as quick as possible.
When you first create your Facebook page it will give you a long URL with lots of numbers. To get your own custom URL you will need to attract at least 25 fans. Once you have done this you have the opportunity to change the URL to www.facebook.com/CompanyName. To do this simply go to http://www.facebook.com/username/ and edit the page username.
Creating a Facebook page is an excellent way to stay in contact with your core customers. After you have successfully created a business page you can link to it from your own website, e-mail campaigns or other social profiles.
Once live, it is important to keep a regular stream of content populating the wall. Information, pictures and unique content will keep users coming back for more. Using this social channel not only allows you to harbor new customers but it also enables you to build up a quality list of fans for lucrative remarketing opportunities.
Oliver Ewbank is a Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai, a UK Digital Marketing Agency with offices in London and Southampton.
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Image from Facebook.