More than ever, having a presence on social media is important for businesses. Simply, if you’re not managing your business’s reputation on social media, then you can bet that someone else is. So, if you’re not already active, then here are the steps you need to follow in order to set up and promote your business Facebook page.
- First, log in to Facebook. If you don't have an account, create one by filling out the sign up form on the home page.
- Once you're logged in, look for the Create Page button on the left-hand side (Figure 1). It will be near the bottom.
- You should now see the Facebook page creator (Figure 2). From here, you’ll have to select one of the six categories that’s most appropriate to your business. If you have an office or storefront where clients come to you, select the first button "Local Business or Place." If you have more than one business location, select the second option.
- Fill Out the Basics: Depending upon what category you select, you’ll be charged with filling out certain basic information. Sometimes you're business will fit neatly in a category. Other times, you might have to stretch the definition a bit. These categories are important because they are linked both to Facebook search and other search engines like Google. Make sure that the information you provide Facebook with is accurate, complete, and consistent with other business profiles that appear on the web.
- Create a Vanity URL: Facebook will give you the option to create a custom URL, or vanity URL, that is easier to remember than the longer string of characters. For example, my custom Facebook URL is https://www.facebook.com/PeterOtteProductions. Choose one that describes your business. Put some thought into it, because Facebook will only let you change it once.
- Make a Cover Photo: The cover photo (Figure 3), which sits across the top of every Facebook page, is the first thing that visitors will see. Make sure that it’s eye-catching and that it does not contain more than 20% text.
- Add Content: After adding a cover photo, add your logo or portrait as the business’s profile picture (Figure 3). From here you will want to populate the profile page with content. It's very important that you link to your website. Also, create a biographical summary of your business and the services you offer. Whenever you have some news for customers, make a status update. Don't let your profile languish. Every so often update your bio or post a new update.
- Invite Followers: Invite Facebook friends to follow your new business page. Your Facebook profile can only be seen by other friends; your Facebook page, on the other hand, should be the public face of your business. Also, invite friends of yours, clients and customers to follow the page. It's important that you get them to "Like" your page.
Once you’re live, having a successful Facebook page is all about keeping it well maintained. Like your web site, your Facebook page is a work in progress. Keep it fresh and you will help reinforce your relationship with your customers. So, be sure that you keep current with your Facebook page after you’ve set it up by updating it regularly; don’t just let it wither on the vine!