Setting up a Facebook page for your business
Facebook is a social media platform that people love to love and love to hate. Whichever camp you’re in, I’d recommend setting up a Facebook page for your business. Not least because it’s the largest (over 1.4 billion active users!).
A Facebook page is useful for:
- Connecting with an audience who spend a lot of time on Facebook
(Consider your target audience – do they spend time on Facebook? If not, don’t invest too much time!)
- Selling products directly to customers – especially if you don’t have a website
- Customer service
- Posting visual content
- Preventing someone else registering your business name on Facebook
- Directing customers to where you are active – Twitter, your blog, your web shop
- Possibly adding an extra boost to your SEO efforts and inbound marketing* (see below)
1. Setting up the page
Yes, you need to have a Facebook account. If you’re not keen on getting caught up in ‘being on Facebook’, register an account with the minimum of details. However, bear in mind that a successful Facebook page often means engaging with your real-world contacts who you’ll need to be connected to.
Create the page by selecting the “Create Page” link on the bottom left hand side and following the instructions.
Use your business name to create the page, this will become the initial web address (something like: Facebook.com/pages/yourbusinessname/543713742754. Once the page has been created, change the web address under the ‘About’ section to give yourself a unique Facebook web address Facebook.com/yourbusinessname. Once registered, you are allowed to change this once (subject to availability). Choose wisely, because you can’t change it back.
2. Add a visually appealing cover photo
Make it attractive and clear – this appears publicly on people’s feeds and search results. Use this area to display something relevant to your business – it can include the logo/visual identity, products, photos of staff, the shop front, etc. You may need to pay around with how the cover image displays – the profile photo and page name are overlaid on top of the header, so this may require some tweaking to get right. You could develop a series of cover images to update regularly – or to promote special offers (see example below) – these updates show up in the Facebook feeds of your page likers and can encourage interaction with your page from newcomers. Remember to be consistent with your visual identity and the branding messages across all your social media profiles (and website, if you have one!).
Do get in touch if this is something I can help you out with!
Cox & Cox use a nice clear image, in line with their visual identity:
3. Add an engaging profile photo
Your profile photo should be uploaded as a square (recommended 180×180 pixels). This appears in various sizes across Facebook, so needs to work right down to 32×32 pixels in size. Every time you post or comment as your business, this is what’s seen by other users. Ideally, use a confident, approachable, smiling headshot of yourself. People engage more readily with people, rather than a faceless logo. The profile photo never appears in isolation, it’s always in conjunction with the page name itself so you’re not losing brand recognition. Ultimately, it’s important to remember the ‘social’ in social media – people like to see the ‘face’ of the company, and will relate to your story more readily if they can relate to you. A logo is too impersonal. If you’re still concerned, you may be able to do something creative with overlaying the logo on top of the photo. (n.b.: A logo on its own may be suitable if your business page is maintained by several employees, and it clearly conveys the nature of your business.)
Once you’ve added your cover photo and profile picture, add a description to both of these so they offer more information or a call to action.
Again, Cox & Cox use this space to effectively promote a seasonal offer:
4. Add a call to action button
Utilise this button to provide a call to action for your business, there are various to choose from:
5. Edit the ‘About’ section
Complete as many sections as are relevant to your business. Above all, use the ‘Short description’. This is what is displayed below your profile photo, on the left hand side under ‘About’, and people will likely read first. Make it relevant, interesting and descriptive.
6. How to get ‘likers’
Likers are people on Facebook who’ve chosen to ‘Like’ your page and will see updates from your page in their feed.
- Invite some of your contacts (you will need to be connected on Facebook already to do this). Only do this is you genuinely think they might be interested in your products or services, otherwise you risk annoying your friends/contacts!
- Link to your new business page under your personal Facebook profile (under ‘Work’)
- Put a link on your website
- Add a Facebook widget for your business page to your website
- If you already have a mailing list, send a quick newsletter inviting them to visit your new Facebook page
- Mention your Facebook page on your Twitter feed, with the link, and invite people to visit it (be very sparing with this – it has a tendency to annoy Twitter users!)
- Mention, and link, to your new page on your personal Facebook feed. However, be mindful of Facebook’s terms and conditions regarding using your personal account to promote business activities (see “Words of caution” below). Be cautious about annoying your Facebook personal contacts here too.
- Using Facebook ‘as your business’ (click the little arrow in the top right of Facebook’s blue header bar), ‘Like’ a few related businesses – they might like you back!
7. What to use your page for?
- Post a mixture of content, not just promotional material. Engage with people, otherwise they’ll just feel you’re talking *AT* them.
- Photos, images and videos are especially appealing, along with a caption and / or link.
- Post links (these usually automatically bring up a mini preview of the linked web page which is visual) to interesting and relevant articles.
- Link to new blog posts.
- Once you have a decent amount of likers, or can post questions to invite discussion and engage with people.
- Use your Facebook page as your shop front, if you have products to sell direct to consumers.
- Ensure you keep on top of any enqueries. Facebook displays your response rate on the left hand panel of your page, so this is crucial from a customer service perspective.
8. Can having a Facebook page boost SEO efforts?
Don’t bank on it! However, it can be useful to drive traffic to your website or blog, which may benefit your SEO efforts in the long term.
9. Words of caution
- Remember Facebook pages are a free service – unless you pay for advertising! Facebook have no obligation to keep your page up. Familiarise yourself with their T&Cs (https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php) – they have some pretty strict rules about what you can and can’t use your personal account and business pages for. If you violate (or they deem that you have) they can remove your page without warning. It’s generally best not to rely on a Facebook business page for all your marketing and sales needs.
- Sometimes there are hoax posts from other Facebook users, suggesting tips and tricks to get more likers and / or interactions with your page. It’s always worth Googling these to see if they’ve been seen before and are known hoaxes. If in doubt, don’t try and beat the system! Organic growth, and gradually increasing likers, is the best course of action. If you partake in potentially dodgy, or annoying, Facebook behaviour you risk people ‘hiding’ your page posts from their feed. It won’t effect the number of likers you have, but will reduce how many people see your posts. It can also simply look odd to your genuine page likers, and put them off – the last thing you want to achieve!
- If you sell products to customers from your Facebook page, and it’s your primary source of sales, I would strongly recommend capturing the contact details of your page likers in another system. If your Facebook page got taken down, for whatever reason, you’ve potentially lost your entire customer database! It’s pretty straight forward to set up a mailing list, using a third party service such as Aweber or Mailchimp. Invite your Facebook likers to sign up (legally, you have to have their permission so don’t add anyone to a contacts list without it).
- If you’re not selling directly to customers, carefully consider how much time you invest in maintaining a Facebook page. It may be more useful to set up a group, and grow your online ‘tribe’ where people request to join… See future blogs on this!
10. Keep on top of your page insights
See which types of posts get the most engagement, and work out why. Re-evaluate your efforts accordingly.
If you’d like any help with creating beautiful cover images or profile pictures at the correct size, please get in touch.