Facebook Pages give your business a presence on Facebook where you can promote your products or services. Facebook Pages are the business equivalent of a Facebook member’s Timeline.
Facebook users can like your Facebook Page, find out about new products and promotions, post content on your Timeline (photos, videos, and links), send you private messages, and even converse with others in comments on your Page posts. You can also add branded custom tabs with various features to engage customers, capture email addresses, and even sell your products or services, such as the tab offered by Bordentown Guitar Rescue, a music store in New Jersey.
With all these features as well as exposure to thousands of potential customers, the Facebook Page has become a central tool in the marketing toolbox of thousands of brands.
In this article, you find out what Facebook Pages are all about and what that means for your business. I walk you through creating a Facebook Page and give you tips on how to set up your Page so that you convert more visitors to fans. I also help you understand how to make the most of Facebook marketing resources.
The Differences among Pages, Timelines, and Groups
One of the most common mistakes businesses make when they start using Facebook is using the wrong Facebook tool. Many start by creating a Timeline, which is really intended for people to share personal information on Facebook. Or they start by creating a Group, which is intended for people to connect with one another on very specific goals and interests.
Each of these Facebook tools serves a very different purpose:
- Timelines: Timelines (otherwise known as Facebook Profiles) represent people. They allow Facebook users to connect with friends, upload and share videos and photos, and store their activities over time. If you use Facebook personally, you’re using a Timeline.
- Pages: Pages represent businesses, brands, nonprofit organizations, public figures, and celebrities. Pages allow you to create awareness of your product or service within the Facebook community, engage with customers and products, and even sell your products or services.
- Groups: Groups allow people (using Timelines) to organize around shared goals or topics of interest. People can join Groups; Pages can’t.
Many businesses start with the wrong Facebook tool because they may be comfortable using a Timeline and don’t know anything else, or they received no clear direction from Facebook or a marketing expert.
How To Create a Facebook Page For Your Business
Here are the steps for creating a Facebook Page (I recommend reading all the steps before you begin):
Step 1: Go to www.facebook.com/pages/create.
Step 2: Select the business type that best describes your business. You can choose among six types of Facebook Pages:
- Local Business or Place: These Pages are meant for businesses that would benefit from a strong local market presence: a museum, a pizza shop, or a movie theater.
- Company, Organization, or Institution: These Pages are meant for large national businesses, which could include nonprofit organizations and large companies. Apple and Dell are good business-to-consumer examples; Avaya and Oracle are good business-to-business examples.
- Brand or Product: These pages are meant for large brands. Think Starbucks and Coca-Cola.
- Artist, Band, or Public Figure: These Pages are good for politicians, artists, TV celebrities, or musical groups, such as Jimmy Kimmel, Barack Obama, and Lady Gaga.
- Entertainment: These Pages are meant for brands and companies in the entertainment industry, such as Broadway shows and cable TV networks.
- Cause or Community: Community Pages are intended for Facebook users who like a topic or experience and are owned collectively by the community connected to it. Because you want to have administrative control of your business presence on Facebook, I don’t recommend using a Community Page as a primary way to market on Facebook.
Step 3: Type your business name in the Company Name field to secure your organization’s name on Facebook.
When you name your Page, it’s much more difficult to change after you’ve acquired 100 fans. (After you have 100 fans, you can request a name change by clicking a “request change” link next to your page name on the basic information tab, but it’s up to Facebook whether to grant the request). So choose a name that you want your fans and customers to associate with your business. In most cases, this name will be the name of your business.
If you select a Local Business or Place, you also need to enter your address and phone number.
Step 4: Select a category for your Page.
Depending on the Page type you select, you have a variety of choices regarding your Page category. Choose a category based on how your customers think about your business rather than how you think about your business. A museum of science would choose Museum as its category even though its executive director might think of the museum as being a nonprofit organization, which is another category choice. Choosing a customer-oriented category makes it easier for users to find your business on Facebook.
Although you can always change the category of your Facebook Page, try to get it right from the start. You can also request to change the name of your Page, but there’s certainly no guarantee that Facebook will approve the request.
Step 5: Click the Get Started button.
When you click Get Started, you automatically agree to the Facebook Pages Terms. Read the terms for Pages at https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php.
Adding your description and website
The next step in creating your Page is entering a short description of what your company does and your website URL. Fill out the description to the best of your ability for now.
If you selected Local Place or Business, you’ll also be asked to add up to three categories for your page.
After you enter a description and website URL for your business, you’re asked to verify that your business is a real business, and that you are authorized to represent it.
Uploading your profile picture
Your next step in creating a new Page is uploading a profile picture. A good way to start making your Page unique is to upload your company logo or a photo of your product. This picture represents your business on Facebook, so make it a good one. If you’re a services company, you can have photos of happy people using your service.
Facebook does give you an option to import an image from your website, but I recommend that you upload a square picture that’s specifically designed for your Facebook Page.
You can upload photos in JPG, GIF, or PNG formats only. Pictures should be 180 pixels square and are resized to 160 pixels square.
To upload the first picture for your Page, follow these steps:
- Click the Upload from Computer link on the Step 2 tab.
- Browse to the picture you’re looking for and then click the Open button to start the upload process. Your profile picture appears as soon as the upload process is finished. You can also import a photo directly from your website. To do this, just click the Import from Website link, enter your website URL in the pop-up window, and then click the Import button.
- Click the Save Photo button. Your profile picture is displayed in the News Feed as small as 32 pixels square, so make sure to keep it simple and easy to see at 32 pixels square.
Adding your Page to your favorites
After you save your profile picture, Facebook prompts you to add your Page to your favorites. Your favorites is the list of apps, Pages, Groups, and interests displayed in the top-left corner of Facebook.com when you’re logged in. Favorites are items that you frequently access, so add your Page to this list.
Advertising your Facebook Page
The last step in the initial setup of your Page is promoting your Page with a Facebook Ad. At this point, your Page isn’t ready for prime time, so I recommend skipping this step by clicking the Skip button.
Adding a cover photo to your Facebook Page
The most powerful way to engage Facebook users is to use images. Facebook allows you to upload a cover photo that appears at the top of your Facebook Page. (Note that the dimensions for the image should be 851 pixels by 315 pixels.)
Think of your cover image as the primary way to create a powerful first impression when someone visits your Page. You can also use it as another tool to engage your most passionate fans. Coca-Cola, for example, encourages fans to submit their photos, which the company uses in its cover images.
To upload a cover image, click the Add a Cover button on the right side of your Page, and either upload a photo (851 pixels by 315 pixels) or select an image from a photo album. Facebook covers can’t consist of more than 20 percent text.
Editing your Facebook Page’s profile picture
When you first create your Page, you are asked to upload a picture to be used as your profile picture. To change your profile picture, simply follow these steps:
- Mouse over your Timeline picture, and click the Update Profile Picture link. You can also select a picture from a photo album on your Facebook Page.
- On the drop-down menu, click the Upload Photo button.
- In the pop-up window, select the new profile picture from your desktop.
- When you have selected the image, click Save. Your new profile picture will automatically replace the previous profile picture.
Limiting access to your Page until launch
Before you go live with your Page, you may want to consider limiting access to admins only until you’re ready to launch your Page.
You do this by choosing the Settings tab at the top of your Page and then clicking Page Visibility in the General tab. Selecting Unpublish Page will hide it from all users, including your customers and prospects.
Only the administrators of the Page can view the Page while it’s unpublished. Your Page won’t be visible to users until you change this setting back to Published.
How To Add More Information about Your Business
The About tab contains detailed info about your business. Which details appear in these areas depends on which category and business type you chose when you created your Page. To add or edit information about your business, simply choose the About tab on your Facebook Page. You can edit each item within your About tab by mousing over that item to the right, where an Edit button will appear.
Here’s a general rundown of the various sections within the About section:
- Business Info: Here you enter your basic contact information, such as a business address and phone number, as well as hours of operation. For bands, for example, this information would include band members’ names and the type of music the band plays.
- Website: Add your website’s URL.
- Company Overview and Description: Add your company’s boilerplate text about who you are and what you do. Or you can add content that’s more social and less “corporate” to give your Page more personality.
- Mission: Add your mission statement. You don’t have to enter one if you don’t have one, or you can make up something provocative.
- Products: Add a listing of your products or services.
Be sure to click the Save Changes button when you finish entering information or editing an item within the About tab.
Facebook Pages are public, and these fields can help you with the SEO of your Page. Fill them with content that contains the keywords under which you want to be found by a search engine.
Setting age, location, posting, and messaging restrictions
As a business owner, you have rules regarding those you do business with, and preferences about how you want customers and prospects to contact you. Liquor stores, for example, can sell alcohol only to people over a certain age. Facebook understands this fact and has built a few settings into Facebook Pages to restrict access to your business on Facebook.
Setting Page access allows you to restrict access to your Facebook Page by country: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and several others. You can also restrict access by age: Anyone (13+); People Older Than 17, 18, 19, or 21; and Alcohol-Related (which represents the legal drinking age where the user resides). Restricting by age is something you may want to consider if you’re a local bar or a tobacco brand.
To access and edit your Page permission settings, follow these steps:
Step 1: Click the Settings tab at the top of your Page.
Step 2: On the General tab, scroll down to view the following settings to restrict access to your Page:
- Country Restrictions: List the countries from you want to restrict access
- Age Restrictions: Make a selection if you want to restrict access to your Page based on the user’s age.
- Posting Ability: Select these check boxes to allow anyone to post updates, photos, and videos to your Timeline. You can also review posts by others before they are published to your Page. My advice is to allow as much interaction as you can with your fans, so be sure to select these check boxes. If you’re in a heavily restricted industry and have a specific legal requirement to maintain control of your message, however, you may want to restrict your visitors’ ability to contribute.
- Post Visibility: This setting allows you to display recent posts from Facebook users on your Facebook Page. If your business has a thriving community of customers, displaying this section on your Page can help amplify your community’s voice on your Facebook Page simply because what people post on your Page has more visibility.
- Tagging Ability: This setting allows fans to tag other Facebook users and your Page in photos that you post on your Page. Keep in mind that only Timelines, not Pages, have the ability to tag photos on your Page.
- Messages: You can also let fans send your business private messages. This feature works exactly like the messaging feature that all Facebook users have except for one important difference: Your Page is limited to two replies for every message sent to you (so making the first impression is critical). Whether you decide to use this feature depends on your goals for the page, your brand, and other ways fans can contact you through your Facebook Page. If you have a contact form within a custom tab, for example, using the message feature could be redundant.
Step 3: Click the Save Changes button for any settings you change. You can change these settings at any time.
Configuring, commenting, and posting moderation settings
Facebook allows you to set up rules for comment moderation on your Page. This feature is especially useful when you remember that any Facebook user who has access to your Page can comment on your Page stories. Even if you deselected the Posting Ability options (see the preceding section), Facebook users can still comment on any of your Page updates.
Within the Manage Permissions tab of your Page, you find two ways to automatically hide comments that contain specific words:
- Page Moderation: To prevent certain words from being posted on your page, add them as keywords under Page Moderation. When users include any of these words in a post and/or comment on your Page, the content is automatically marked as spam and isn’t displayed on your Page.
- Profanity Filter: Facebook blocks the most commonly reported words and phrases marked as offensive by Facebook users.
How To Add Apps to and Remove Apps from a Facebook Page
Facebook allows you to configure or rearrange your Page tabs, which include a Video tab, an Events tab, and a Photos tab.
To add these tabs to your page or remove them, follow these steps:
- Choose the Settings tab at the top of your page.
- Click Apps (on the left side of the screen). You’re taken to the Added Apps tab within the administrative area of your Page
- Click the Edit Settings link below the tab you’d like to add or remove. A pop-up window appears.
- Add or remove the tab by selecting the appropriate option.
- Click OK.
Make sure that you remove any unused apps on your Page to create a good impression for Facebook users. If someone visits your Page while you’re displaying the Events app but haven’t published any events, for example, Facebook users see the message This page has no Events. This isn’t the kind of impression you want to make on people who visit your page.
Adding more apps to your Facebook Page
In addition to the apps that are included with your Facebook Page (Photos, Videos, Notes, and Events), you can choose among thousands of free and premium apps. These apps allow you to add further functionality — such as promotions, videos, and e-commerce — to your Page. One way to do this is to search Facebook for an app and add it to your Page by following these steps:
- Type the name of the app in the Facebook search bar at the top of the screen. If you don’t have a specific app in mind, simply search for the type of app you’re looking for. Type the phrase contact to search for contact form applications, for example, and then select any apps that appeal to you. You can also filter by app types at the right of the search results
- In the search results, click the Use Now button for the app you want to use. In some cases, you will be taken directly to a permissions box.
- Follow the prompts to add the app to your Page. These prompts are different for each application.
Changing the order of your Facebook Page views
To change the order of your Facebook Page tabs views, simply click the More button to the right of your Page tabs, then click Manage Tabs. A pop-up window will appear, allowing you to drag each tab into the desired order. The About tab always appears as the first tab on the left and can’t be reordered.
How To Add Page Administrators
Facebook Pages allow businesses to add multiple administrators. I recommend adding other admins to the Page, for several reasons:
- Additional administrators can share the workload of managing a Facebook Page.
- Having additional administrators on the Page helps ensure that someone replies to comments quickly. The last thing you want is to be left waiting for the only administrator of your Facebook Page to come back from vacation.
- Additional administrators can help promote your Facebook Page through their personal networks.
Adding admins to your Facebook Page takes just five steps:
Step 1: Choose the Settings tab at the top of your Page and then the Page Roles tab on the left.
Step 2: Enter the email address or name of the person whom you want to add as an admin.
Step 3: Select one of the five levels of administrative access you’d like this user to have:
- Admin: Can manage admin roles, send messages and create posts as the Page, create ads, and view Insights
- Editor: Can edit the Page, send messages and create posts as the Page, create ads, and view Insights
- Moderator: Can respond to and delete comments on the Page, send messages as the Page, create ads, and view Insights
- Advertiser: Can create ads and view Insights
- Analyst: Can view Insights
Step 4: Click Save.
Step 5: In the pop-up window, enter your Facebook password to confirm the addition of administrators. Manager roles have full control of your Page, so make sure you know the people whom you make managers very well!
Getting the Most from Facebook Marketing Resources
Probably the best resource on Facebook for marketers is the Facebook Marketing Page (https://www.facebook.com/MetaforBusiness). This Page includes several useful tabs for marketers, including a Videos tab with great educational videos and a Resources tab for average Joes. The Resources tab includes the following areas:
- Educational Videos: At the top of this Resources tab, you see the latest videos on using Facebook for marketing.
- Facebook for Business: This area links to an educational area for businesses, with resources on using Facebook Pages and Facebook Social Plugins.
- Webinars: This area links to an area where you can sign up for on-demand webinars on a variety of Facebook marketing topics.
- Step-by-step Guides: Throughout the Resources tab are links to downloadable PDFs on a variety of topics, including marketing best practices, using Facebook Ads, crisis-response guidelines, and using Facebook Insights.
Understanding Facebook’s Terms and Conditions
If you’re a business owner, one thing that you care about, in addition to marketing your business, is protecting your business. This is why you need to understand Facebook’s terms and conditions, at www.facebook.com/terms.php.
These terms and conditions set guidelines in the following areas:
- You’re responsible for the content you post on Facebook. Any copyright violation or other legal consequences are your responsibility.
- Anyone younger than 13 can’t use Facebook.
- You can’t misrepresent your relationship with Facebook to other people.
- You can’t spam users on Facebook.
- Facebook reserves the right to delete any of your content and even delete your account if you violate the terms of service.
You have nothing to worry about if you read the terms of service and practice common-sense business ethics. If you already do (and I hope you do), the terms and conditions should be of little concern, and you can focus your efforts on building your business with Facebook!