If you’ve decided it’s time for your business to start reaping the benefits of being on Facebook, this article is for you. Setting up a Facebook page takes minutes to do, and you can do it from your smartphone or tablet if you want to. Even better, it’s free! Follow the steps in this article and you’ll have your new page up and running in no time.
Is Facebook right for your business?
If you’re going to go to the trouble of setting up a Facebook page for your business, you need to know that it’s going to have a positive impact on your bottom line. It might be that Facebook is exactly what your business needs to connect you with new audiences, but it could be that another social network would be better for you. Before you go any further, have a read of our article on Which social network is right for my startup? for some pointers on what the different networks have to offer.
Business pages versus personal pages
Having established that Facebook is right for your business, let’s start by clarifying what we mean when we talk about ‘Facebook pages’. As a personal user of Facebook, you have your own Facebook profile page connected with those of your friends. Your page may be visible to people who aren’t your friends, but this depends on your privacy settings, which can be set to public, friends only, or customised to include or exclude specific people on your friends list. People who aren’t your friends can ‘follow’ you if you have this setting enabled, meaning that your content will appear in their news feed, but they’ll only see content that you share publicly.
A business page works slightly differently. Everything you post is public, and viewable by anyone, whether they’re logged into a personal Facebook account or not. People ‘like’ the page rather than become ‘friends’ with it, and those who’ve liked your page will see your posts in their news feeds. Like a personal page, you can allow people who follow you to post on your page, comment on your posts, and send you private messages.
Why your business needs a Facebook page
If you’re not a big user of Facebook yourself, you might be wondering whether setting up and maintaining a Facebook page for your business is worth the effort. While Facebook pages aren’t suitable for every business niche, they’re a great marketing tool because they allow you to engage directly with your customers. They also help drive traffic to your website and help you reach new audiences. Not only that, but you can use your Facebook page to help you learn more about your customers, gaining a deeper understanding that will aid your wider marketing strategy.
What you’ll need before you start
To make your Facebook page set-up as quick and easy as possible, it will help to have a few things ready before you begin.
The name of your page is what people will use to find your business on Facebook, so ideally this should be the same as your business name. If you have a common business name, or you’re a franchise, it might help to add something to your name to clarify who you are, so that people know they’ve come to the right place. For example, if your business was named Smith and Sons, your Facebook page name could be “Smith and Sons Construction” or “Smith and Sons Brighton”.
You’ll also need a short paragraph of information about your business: what you offer, where you’re based, and so on. You’ll be able to edit all this information whenever you like after your page goes live, but it’s worth taking some time to get it right from the start so that your page looks polished and professional when you launch it. You’ll also be able to add information such as your opening hours, contact details, and a map of your location.
Profile and cover photos
You’ll need to choose profile and cover photos that present a good impression of your business. Your profile photo should ideally be your logo, while your cover photo is a ‘widescreen’ image that goes across the top of your Facebook page. You could use it to show your products, or perhaps your premises if you’re a shop, restaurant or local attraction. You may already have a suitable photo that you’ve used in a marketing campaign previously, or there may be one on your website that you could use. You’ll find information on the ideal dimensions for your images here.
What do you want people to do when they visit your Facebook page? You can set a call-to-action to encourage them to visit your website, call you, get your app or even donate. Deciding on the best call-to-action means thinking carefully about what you want to achieve from your Facebook page, so having a social media strategy in place will help. You can, of course, change your call-to-action at any point.
Setting up your Facebook page
Now that you’ve got together all the information and photos you need, it’s time to get your new Facebook page up and running. It’s a straightforward process, so it shouldn’t take you long to follow the steps below.
1. Open Facebook and click on ‘Create a Page’ at the bottom of the left-hand navigation bar. You’ll see the following series of page type options; select the one that best describes your business.
2. When you click on one of these tiles, you’ll get a drop-down menu with a more detailed list of categories to choose from, so simply find the one that best describes your business. This is also where you type in your business name, address and phone number. When you’ve done so, click “Get Started”.
3. Work your way through the company information boxes, filling in as many of them as you want or that you feel are relevant to your business. At the very least, you’ll want to add a short paragraph of information on what you do, and provide your contact details. If you have a website, link to it in the designated box rather than including it into the page description, as this will ensure it’s a clickable link.
4. Click the camera icons to set your profile and cover photos, which you’ll already have prepared in advance. See how they look ‘in situ’ and adjust them as necessary, as you might find that an important part of your cover photo is overlaid by your business name or profile photo.
5. Set your call-to-action to encourage users to take a particular action when they visit your page; you’ll find more information on how to do that here.
6. Work your way through the Settings tab to configure your page settings, such as who can find and post on your page. Here, you can enable messaging so that you can use your Facebook page as another way for people to contact you with customer service enquiries. You can also make other people ‘admins’ of the page so that you can share posting duties with your colleagues or staff.
7. You can tinker with your Facebook page until you’re happy with it, and when it’s ready to go, you simply click the ‘Publish’ button to unveil it to the world.
What happens next?
Setting up your Facebook page is only the beginning. Let’s look at some of the activities you’ll need to make time for now that you have a Facebook page.
First and foremost, you’ll need to post regularly to keep people engaging with your business, so you might want to start planning your first few posts to get the ball rolling. To give you some initial ideas, some of the things you could post include:
- Images or videos related to your business that readers might find interesting or amusing
- New blog posts that you’ve published on your website – this is a great way to promote new content and get people onto your website
- Questions and polls to get followers interacting with your posts; see our post on social media polls for inspiration
- Company news, such as new product launches
- News stories that you’ve spotted that relate to your industry – what do you think of the story, and what do your followers think?
Build your following
You’ll want to start building up the number of people who ‘like’ your page, otherwise you’ll effectively be shouting into an empty room. You could consider paying for some Facebook advertising to encourage new likes of your page and speed up growth. It’s also worth brushing up on other ways to build your audience; our article on how to grow your social media followers to strengthen your brand gives you lots of useful pointers, and you can also learn how to get more people to view your Facebook posts.
Managing your updates
Keeping your Facebook page updated regularly doesn’t have to be time-consuming, even if you’re trying to keep on top of multiple social networks. There are some handy tools out there to help you manage your Facebook page more easily, particularly in conjunction with other social media accounts; take a look at our beginners’ guide to managing social media using Hootsuite
Managing your reputation
As your Facebook page gets established, you’ll also need to learn how to manage your reputation on social media so that you’ll know how to respond in the unlikely event of problems such as customer complaints. If you’ve enabled reviews and recommendations on your Facebook page, have a read of our advice on how to respond to a bad review just in case.
Using Facebook Insights, you can monitor the performance of your page to find out information about your audience, see which posts work best and keep track of how many people like your page. This will help you work towards improving engagement with your page, which in turn should help drive traffic to your website and generate business. Understanding how your website and social media can work together will help you make the most of your social media presence.