Social media provides a wonderful opportunity to engage with your customers and to turn them into fans. This in turn should help you to harness and tap into the almost unlimited potential that access to more than 500 million active Facebook users provides.
However, as they say, you’ve got to be in it to win it, so here’s our eight-step guide to opening a Facebook business page!
Step One: Create a personal Facebook profile
You’ll need to have a personal Facebook profile (remember: Facebook profiles are for people, while Facebook pages are for businesses) before you can create a business page, so if you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to open one.
If you’re not a huge fan of social media in general then please don’t worry. You only have to open one and you don’t need to use it; no one is going to force you to take a snap of your lunch and insist that you share it with friends and family before you can publicise your business!
Step Two: Create your Facebook business page
The next stage is to actually create your business page. Click on the arrow on the toolbar at the top of the Facebook page and then click on ‘Create’. This will launch a step-by-step wizard that will walk you through the whole process.
Step Three: Choose a category
You now need to decide which of these categories best describes your business. The categories are:
- Local Business or Place
- Company, Organisation or Institution
- Brand or Product
- Artist, Band or Public Figure
- Cause or Community
Step Four: Choose a sub-category
You now need to decide on a sub-category. If, for example, I were trying to open one to advertise my new B&B, then I’d look under Local Business or Place. I’d then choose ‘Hotel’ as that’s the best fit.
Be warned: there is a lot of overlap and not that many categories to choose from. If I had a small cleaning company then I could file that under ‘Local Business or Place’ and then ‘Local Business’ or move to Company, Organisation or Institution’ and then ‘Company’, ‘Organisation’, or ‘Small Business’, so it’s worth spending some time clicking on the drop-down boxes to find the best fit.
However, you will have the chance to fine-tune this at the next stage, so don’t get too hung up on it.
Once you’ve decided which category to place your business in, it’s time to fill in the rest of the required information. Just click ‘Get Started’ and you’ve done the easy bit!
Step Five: Fill in information about your business
Next you’ll need to populate the page with some more information, starting with a specific category to file your business under. If you start to type in the name of the industry you are in, then Facebook will suggest one in its database in which it thinks you fit.
You can add more than one, so take your time and try to put yourself in the mindset of a potential customer and include the sort of categories they might use to search for you and include them all.
You then have some space to tell people what you do and a box to add a link to your company’s website.
You can also create your own Facebook page name here to make it even easier for people to find you. The most common names will have been taken, but you should be able to generate something suitable without too much lateral thinking.
Step Six: Add a photo
The next stage is to add a profile photo. This could be a personal shot of you, one of your products, or even a logo. Think about what mental images you want to conjure up for your customers and select the photo or logo that does that best.
Professional photography, along with a logo, is one of those professional services that are generally worth paying someone for but an iPhone snap will do to get you up-and-running.
9 tips to take better photos with your iPhone
Step Seven: Set your preferred audience
Now all you need to do is to add it to ‘Favourites’ to make it easily accessible and set your ‘Preferred Page Audience’. If you’re unsure of what to do here you can skip past it and set it up later.
Step Eight: The final touches
Your page is now created, but you have four things left to do.
The first is to upload and set a ‘Cover’ image. This is a landscape, wide-screen photo or graphic that sums up your business, a bit like your profile photo. It can be easily changed, so if you have a seasonal business you can change it to reflect the weather or how your services change throughout the year.
The second is to appoint another administrator(s), if you want to. By creating the page, you’ve given yourself then power to hire and fire other admins, so if you’ve got a family member, business partner, or friend who wants to help you out, you can grant them the ability to publish posts on your page.
The third is to ‘Like’ your page. Liking your own page might seem like an odd thing to do (of course you don’t like it, you love it!) but it will add visibility and help promote it.
The final thing to do is to post something. And to help you with that, we’ve written a Facebook for Small Businesses article.