Getting Started on Facebook

A business page is the business equivalent to a personal profile, and has a few advantages over the alternative of setting up a Facebook group for your company, although both have their strong points. Our previous post, Facebook for Business: Groups or Pages discusses the merits of both options, and you can always have both a group and a page for your company. However, between the two options, a Facebook page is probably the best way for a business to have a presence on Facebook.

A good analogy for pages vs. groups is to think of a Facebook page as a separate entity that is your business, whereas a Facebook group more closely resembles a club for your business. In other words, pages focus more on a business, whereas groups focus more on a shared interest in that business. With a page, updates and notices are seen as coming from the page itself, the names of the administrators are not listed, and your personal Facebook profile is not linked to the page which allows you to maintain personal privacy. With a group, you can control who joins your group, administrators are listed, your personal profile is linked to the page, updates come directly from you, and there is a 5000 member limit (no such limit exists for pages).

There are also a number of other features that are exclusive to Facebook pages. One key difference is that, unlike groups, a page is indexed by external search engines and shows up very high in Google search results. Pages also have the ability to add an application, which allows you to customize your page, show more content, and adopt a cohesive online presence. You can either use Static FBML to create your own customized tabs, or browse the Facebook Application Directory for a complete list of all the Facebook applications that can be added to pages. For the above reasons, a page not only appears more professional but also allows for much greater flexibility and room to grow as your customer base expands.

How to Create A Facebook Page:

Creating a Facebook business page is a simple process, just click here and choose whether you are a local business, brand, product, or organization, or an artist, band, or public figure. It is obvious which user type should pick the last category; however, it can be harder to pick between the first two. You should select local business if you strictly sell your product or services locally, and plan to continue this way in the future. For all other businesses, you should select brand, product, or organization. Also, if you chose local business, the template for the page is set up as if you are a brick and mortar business, whereas the brand, product, or organization choice gives you less restrictive info tab options for inputting your information. Choose carefully because once you have selected a category, you cannot change it without deleting your page and starting from scratch!

Once you have chosen your category, name your page, i.e. the name of your business, accept the terms, and click Create Official Page. Done! Again, name your business carefully. You cannot change it once youve created your page.

Now, fill out your new business page with all of your business information, in the same way that you would a personal profile. Finally, once youve completely filled in your profile, promote your new Facebook page and begin to grow your following. There are a number of ways to do this including, providing great content, targeting advertisements towards your target customers, and using Facebook suggestions to suggest your page to people who may be interested.

Remember to install Facebook Insights so you can track and measure your success using important metrics such as the number of fans added/lost per day, total fans, number of reviews, page views, unique views, photo views, video and audio plays, as well as total interactions. Also, dont forget to add your location details, hours of operation, and phone number to the information section so customers can find you offline as well, and remember to regularly update your page with new content to keep your customers engaged.

If you would like more information on Facebook pages, or need help creating one for your business, Out-Smarts Marketing can help – we provide social networking training and consulting services to help you use social media tools effectively. Contact us now to find out more.

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