Facebook has about 500 million active users—it's about time you get in on the action and start a Facebook Page for your own business. After all, the best marketing reaches out to consumers where they already are, and people spend more than 700 billion hours a month on the site. Exposure to that many eyeballs could translate to a lot of business for your company.
Not tech savvy? That's not a problem—the process isn't too technical. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you initiate your Facebook marketing campaign.
1. Create your Page
Go to facebook.com/pages and click "Create Page" in the upper right hand corner.
The next screen asks you to select a category from the following list:
- Local Business or Place
- Company, Organization or Institution
- Brand or Product
- Artist, Band or Public Figure
- Cause or Community
2. Fill In information
Once you select the category for your business, you can fill in the name, address and phone number. Check the box next to "I agree to Facebook Pages Terms" and click "Get Started." You'll see a Page that looks like this:
3. Add a photo
Upload a picture for your page. It can be a logo, a photo of a store or a photo of a person—whatever makes the most sense for building your brand. The file needs to be smaller than 4 MB, and it can be square or a vertical rectangle. However, note that the avatar that shows up next to status updates and wall posts is square, so if you don't want anything chopped off, square might be the way to go.
4. Suggest your Page to friends
Get your Page started off with some "likes" by recruiting your own friends. Start typing in names and when you drag the cursor over someone's name, it will highlight in blue. Click once to check the person and add them to your invite. Click "Selected" to see who's on your invite list. When you're ready to invite, click "Send Recommendations."
5. Import contacts
Click on "Import Contacts" to reach out to your e-mail contacts about your new Page. You can upload a file (Outlook, Constant Contact, .csv) or you can enter your e-mail log-in info so Facebook can access people in your e-mail contact list. Again, you can check the box next to the names you'd like to invite, and you can preview the invitation to see what it'll look like. For people who are already on Facebook, they'll get a "Recommended Pages" widget on their Facebook, while everyone else will get an e-mail that looks like this:
Want to read more on Facebook Pages? Check these out:
6. Start writing content
Once you have a photo uploaded and have a few fans on board, you can start engaging.
For status updates, you can either share with everyone or you can target by location or by language. Targeting comes in handy if the Page is for a business with several locations in various states, especially if there is a contest, event or update that is only for a particular city.
If you want to post a link to a blog post or news story, don't just type or paste the URL into a status update. If you do, it will look like this:
To post a link the proper way, click "Link" and paste the URL. Click "Attach." Once you "attach" the URL, you'll see that the text and photo from the page you're linking to will populate automatically. You can change the title, paste different text into the snippet, and change the pictures (if there are several options, indicated by the "Choose a Thumbnail" prompt):
This is the best and cleanest way to link to another page. The post looks better and it will perform better if the link is attached instead of typed into the status. Note that you can click on either the link or the snippet to change the text before you click "Share."
7. Get a vanity URL
Once you have 25 fans on your Facebook Page, any of a Page's admins can reserve a vanity URL so that your Facebook URL is www.facebook.com/yourbusinessnamehere. Go to the Username page, select the Page name from the drop-down menu and then write in the name you'd like to use. Click "Check Availability." If it's available, a prompt will ask, "Are you sure you want to set [URL] as [Facebook Page]'s username?" Click confirm to lock in that URL—and keep in mind that you can't change the URL for a Page once you confirm.
8. Use the tools that are available
Facebook Insights is a great tool that can help you figure out when to post and what kind of content does well. Measuring social media success is complicated, but many brands focus on engagement. Activity on your Page is a good sign, and you can keep tabs on activity by clicking "Facebook Insights" on the right sidebar, just below the admins.
9. Assign other admins
Speaking of admins, you can invite several people to run the Page and post content—links and statuses will come through as written by the Page and not the individual. (Note, the statuses above were generated when I was on my personal account—but the posts came through from "My Sweet New Candy Shoppe" because I am an admin.)
In the "Admins" section of the sidebar on the right, click "See All." A new page will populate with the names of the admins. To make someone else an admin, just type in his name (it'll populate in real time)—there is no limit to the number of admins a Page can have. Admins are kept abreast of happenings on the Page—including comments and posts so that your company can interact with its fans—via e-mail.
Now that your Facebook Page is all set, you can learn more about what to do, what not to do and when to post to get the best engagement.