If used in the right way, Facebook can be a very powerful tool – both for brand building and customer acquisition.
Below is a step by step guide of how to set up a Facebook page and some top line rules of thumb for managing it.
Before setting up your page, ask yourself the following questions;
- Why? What are you setting out to achieve? Why will a Facebook page help your business?
- Who? Who are you wanting to target and engage with?
- What? What content are you going to share?
- When? How often will you update the page and at what times of day?
- How? How are you going to promote the page, how are you going to keep the content interesting and how are you going to make the page work for your business?
It’s important to have answers to the questions above before steaming in to Facebook all guns blazing. A Facebook presence is not the miracle answer to all of your marketing woes, and it will take time to grow. But, if done right Facebook can work wonders for your brand.
Setting up your page
- To create a page, you will need an active Facebook account. If you don’t already have an account, head to http://www.facebook.com/ and set one up
- Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/ and hit ‘Create Page’ or if logged in to Facebook, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on ‘Advertising’. Then click ‘Pages’ and ‘Create a Page’
- Fill out your page name and select your type of business from the drop down menus. When you’re happy, hit ‘Create official Page’
- You should now have your new, blank page in front of you. Proceed to follow the step by step guide…
- Start by uploading a profile image – this should be either your logo, recognised press image or team shot. Use a clear image that’s instantly recognisable of your brand. Try and use a square image if possible, this means it won’t distort when used in thumbnail images
- Invite your fans. You can invite your contacts to ‘like’ your page via email. We suggest leaving this until the page is complete and up and running but it’s a good way of getting some initial numbers
- Edit your information. This is where you can add your location, website, contact details, company information and general information. This will be visible to your audience, so make is clear, informative and to the point;
- Save your info and head back to your profile. There’s a small box to the left of the page – write a short description of yourself in here along with any other links you want to share;
- It’s important to establish who is going to manage your page. As the page creator, you will be the only one with administrative/editing rights on the page. To add an administrator, hit ‘Edit Page’ and select ‘Manage admins’;
- You can personalise your Facebook URL (web address) by selecting a unique username. It will appear in the location bar of your browser after “http://www.facebook.com/” when you view your page. Login to Facebook and visit http://www.facebook.com/username/ to set your username. Choose wisely as once it’s set, as it can’t be changed.
Make it stand out
Once you have the basic information sorted, there are several ways of giving your page that extra sparkle;
- Take advantage of the photos tab and create some photo albums. This is an opportunity to visually showcase some of your work, products or services. Click the ‘Photos’ tab to start uploading;
- If you have any videos, you can upload those too via the ‘Videos’ tab
- Applications are the most effective way to enhance your page. Apps add extra functionality to your page, such as drawing in your blog’s RSS feed, Twitter feed or YouTube videos. There are hundreds of apps available for your page. You can browse them here.
If these Apps don’t take your fancy, it’s possible to develop a new app that’s unique to your business. Here are some examples of brands that have done just that;
- Create an engaging welcome page and set it as your landing page (hit Edit > Manage Permissions > Default Landing Tab). When people visit your page for the first time, don’t let your wall be the first thing they see – it’s not very pretty. Take a look at this guide by Mashable to find out how to do so.
Below is a great example taken from the Red Bull Facebook page;
Promote your page
You have a new page. Now how do you get people to like it? There are several methods;
- Add a Facebook button on to your site or blog that links to your Facebook page
- Create a Facebook badge and add it to your website, encouraging users to like you.
- Add a link to your Facebook page in your email signature
- Integrate Like buttons to your websites pages, blog, product pages and services
- Add a link to your news letters
- Use Facebook’s paid advertising service to draw traffic to your page. The service is simple to use, caters for a range of budgets and can be targeted at very specific user groups. To find out more about Facebook Ads, head to www.facebook.com/advertising
- Take advantage of Facebook Places. If you’re a location based business, i.e. a cafe, restaurant, shop, you can allow people to ‘check in’ to your establishment using the service. Make sure you connect your check-in page to your company page
Facebook do’s and don’ts
- Monitor your page regularly
- Reply to comments
- Keep it fresh – update the page regularly
- Mix it up! Make use of images, videos, applications and links
- Engage with your community
- Ask questions and more importantly, listen
- Monitor and record your page visits and interactions using Facebook’s Insights feature
- Avoid voicing personal opinions
- Neglect your page – a stagnant page is not a good reflection of your business
- Bombard your fans with content
- Sell. Promotions, offers and deals are great in moderation. A blatant sales pitch will leave you dead in the water
- Disable user comments
- Be boring. Make your posts interesting and worthy of reading
- Forget you’re representing your brand
Facebook may have over 500 million users, but your page won’t necessarily drive sales or traffic to your site. However, if you put the right tools in place Facebook can become a powerful tool to build your brand, engage with current fans, attract new fans and promote positive customer service.
Finally, it’s important to practice the key principles of social media and be social!
Further information about Facebook pages can be found in the Facebook help centre.