Thinking of starting a Facebook page for your business? Wondering what the Do’s and Don’ts of managing a page are? Have no fear, we’ve outlined a few key steps anyone can take to ensure that they use their time wisely when marketing on Facebook.
Everyone is on Facebook, right? Not true. Some small businesses and brands have yet to jump on the bandwagon in fear that they don’t have the time or resources to successfully manage a page. But there’s no reason to be afraid! Facebook has lowered almost all barriers to entry and made it even easier in recent months for companies to join, build a following, and find success. Jon Loomer has outlined an amazingly large and comprehensive list of the 29 Steps to Running an Effective Facebook Page already, for those who want an in depth education. But, for simplicity’s sake, we wanted to summarize the most important steps one can take to get a business page up and running on Facebook. In our eyes, there are a few key points that one should keep in mind when creating a page. Let’s take a look at the basics, and the DO’s and DON’Ts of managing a Facebook page for your business.
1. Pick a page name and vanity URL. Though this may seem obvious, this is the most important step in creating a new page, as it will leave a lasting impression on how you convey your brand across the social network. Facebook sums up the importance of a name nicely in their help docs:
Usernames allow you to easily promote your business, brand or organization’s presence on Facebook with a short Page address. Your Page address can be used in your marketing communications, company website and business cards.
DO: Pick a name similar to your website address so that you remain consistent with branding.
DON’T: Pick an overly lengthy or confusing name. Remember, you have to request to change your page name if you decide to down the line.
2. Fill in the About section. Again, this may seem obvious, but I’ve seen many pages with pretty lackluster “about” sections. When I click “about” I want to get a quick snapshot of the company, where it’s located, what it does, and how to contact them. As a rule of thumb, this should be seen as your space for SEO on Facebook. Search engines will pull from the about section on your page, hopefully revealing results when people search for your business.
DO: Include your website address in the ABOUT section of your profile. Even though there is a dedicated place for web address further down, this will ensure that users see your website on the front page of your timeline! (As seen below with 2nd Green Revolution.)
DON’T: Leave any sections blank. Each extra bit of information about your company you can provide, the better. Give it a personal feeling to connect with visitors instead of a blank, empty canvas.
3. Plan your posts. What could be worse than NOT having a Facebook page? Having a Facebook page with NO CONTENT! Don’t fall victim to your own initiative by creating a page just to have it sit there. Plan your posting strategy and make sure you have an idea of possible content to post down the line. Think about your tone, your brand personality, and your commenting policy. All of these should be defined aspects of your business page so that fans receive consistent attention and interactions.
DO: Create a content calendar. Simply fill in a calendar with small blurbs about what you want to talk about for a given week. For bonus points, SHARE a Google Calendar between your colleagues so that everyone knows the theme of posting for week!
DON’T: Leave a blank page. Nothing looks worse than an inactive Facebook page. Remember to check your news feed for interesting posts that are relevant to your brand and post accordingly!
4. Add graphics (get pretty!) Aside from a name, the images that are used on your Facebook brand page have the strongest impact on your brand and its potential audience. Facebook has given users a beautiful canvas to fill with unique, interesting images with the Timeline format, so use it! Make sure to add a cover photo that is representative of your brand personality. Then, add a profile photo that simply is your brand logo, clear and easy to read even when scaled to a small size.
For a great guide for photo dimensions, see Jon Loomer’s Facebook Dimensions Guide. Also, take advantage of the newly introduced feature that shows your cover photo in users’ news feeds. Though smaller, it gives fans who hover over your brand name a chance to see your graphics and connect with your brand. (As seen below with Casepops)
DO: Change your cover photo frequently to reflect seasonal changes, special milestones, or even to highlight special Facebook fans.
DON’T: Change your profile photo often. Because it should be your business logo, a Facebook page profile photo should remain consistent and recognizable. No one likes to be confused by different logos!
5. Promote your page. We know that it’s sad to see a measly 1 or 2 likes on your page when you first start, but that’s where connections come in handy! Facebook etiquette dictates that it’s okay if you politely request that your own personal friends Like your business page, just don’t spam. Even if Mom and Dad are the only ones who jump on, it’s a start! Then, turn to the rest of the 900 million users and start looking for pages of similar topic or category to your brand. Like them, follow them, interact with them. Get your brand name out on Facebook naturally by engaging its other users! Demonstrate that you are active on Facebook and users will be drawn to your page.
DO: Invite email contacts, interested acquaintances, and friends to Like your page to build an initial fan base. Then, look outward to similar pages and start interacting with them.
DON’T: Look like a desperate marketer! As the Oatmeal outlines in a humorous comic, How To Suck at Facebook, if it seems annoying, spammy, or all around silly to do, DON’T do it! Facebook is built on social interactions, not horribly contrived self-promotion. Also, do not buy Facebook Likes. Doing so will only waste your time and money, hurting your brand in the long run.
6. Use photos. Seriously, use photos! Based on Facebook’s EdgeRank, photos generally earn pages the most engagement, which in turn allows them to show up in fans’ news feeds more frequently. People are drawn to images naturally, so make your page stand out by posting unique, relevant images!
DO: Create unique images that your fans will be tempted to share. Stick your logo in the corner so that when they are shared, your name remains attached to the image. Everyone these days has a camera and some photo editing software, just make use of your resources and don’t be scared to share!
DON’T: Post photos without attribution. Social media is about sharing, crediting, and thanking others for creating great content. Don’t take someone else’s great content without an @Tag or source link.
7. Use your brand voice to engage with fans. After creating your first business page, you might be confused as to how to interact with fans. On the drop-down menu of Facebook’s main page, to the right of HOME, you can select to “act as” any page you’ve created or manage. Do this to make sure you’re acting as your brand across Facebook. Doing this ensures that any Likes or comments you make come from the brand NOT your personal account.
DO: Respond to fans’ comments and inquiries using the brand voice. Let them know that someone who manages the page is paying attention to comments and willing to help if needed.
DON’T: Like your own status updates as a page! I see it happen so often with growing Facebook pages. A manager will post an update on their Facebook business page, sharing it with their fans, and in turn, into their own personal news feed. Thinking that they will help “jump-start” getting Likes on the status, the manager will Like the status when they see it in the news feed. DON’T DO THIS. It will appear as if the brand has just liked it’s own status, confusing fans and looking like a selfish act of promotion. Instead, manage the page as your own personal account, and Like the status after “switching voices” (as seen below) if you really want to help boost the Like count of a post. Better yet, switch to your personal voice and SHARE the content you just posted from your brand page.
Remember, managing a Facebook page takes time and some dedication. Hopefully, following these steps, you’ll be armed with enough resources and understanding to create and manage a successful business page. There are an abundance of free resources and apps available to the small business owner, so take advantage of what’s out there, and start marketing your business on Facebook!
Are you ready to take your page management to the next level? Check out our second blog post on The More Advanced User’s Guide to Managing a Facebook Page.
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