You’re checking on your friends’ weekend camping trip and there’s that familiar thought, creeping into the back of your head. Why haven’t I made a Facebook page for my small business yet?
And with nearly 1 billion users (yup, billion with a capital B), Facebook is the giant of social media marketing for small businesses yet so many businesses are hesitant to get started. Does that sound like you?
If it does follow along to find out how you can stop procrastinating and get you page up in less than 30 minutes.
Beginner’s Guide to Facebook for Small Business
In this guide we’ll cover:
- The difference between a profile, a group and a page (and which you should choose)
- How to create your Facebook business page
- Facebook terms and lingo you need to know
- How to Start Growing Your Like Numbers
- Easiest ways to start to engage your audience
- Mobile tools to manage your page on the go
The Difference Between a Facebook Profile, Group and a Page
The simple distinction between a profile, group and page is the most important place to start. What kind you set up makes a huge difference in how you can market your business.
A personal profile on Facebook is what most people think of when they think Facebook. Although it can be public, most people choose to exercise some level of privacy over their personal Facebook profile. You will need a profile to set up a page for your business so it is important to get a profile even if you don’t plan to use one in your personal life.
A Facebook group is a place within Facebook designed for small group communication around a topic, interest or event. A person who creates the group is the administrator and they can choose varying levels of privacy for the group: public or private, by invitation only.
For your business you want to start a page. A profile is what you have for your personal Facebook account but that’s not usually the best course of action for most businesses. Even if you run a personality based business, think career coaching, personal training, etc. a page is usually the best option.
How to Create a Facebook Business Page
Creating a page only takes a few minutes and all you need is a regular Facebook profile and an image to use for your business page. A logo works well for this and needs to be fairly small but don’t worry about exact measurements, Facebook will kindly resize it for you.
Start by heading over to the Facebook Page creation page. You will see something that looks like this:
As you can see, you have 6 choices available to you. Most of the time, local business is appropriate if you have a location based business. If you’re more of the online sort of business (or in multiple locations) then the Company, Organization or Institution or perhaps Product/Brand will work better for you.
This choice doesn’t impact the look or functionality of your page, it does change how you’re categorized in the grand Facebook ecosystem but it’s not a terribly big deal what you choose.
Next you’re taken to a screen where you upload that image we talked about, fill in your about section and decide on your Facebook URL (that’s the website address: facebook.com/yourpagename).
When naming your page, try to stick as close to your business name as you can to ensure people can find you. For your about section, you can make the information hyperlinked (contain a clickable link) to your website so be sure to have that in there!
After that, your page is pretty much set to go. The Facebook Page tutorial will take over from there. Take a minute to read the instructions provided and follow along to get the best start on things. You’ll need about 15-30 minutes for the whole process.
For many businesses new to Facebook pages, I suggest taking advantage of the unpublish feature for their page. It lets you temporarily hide your Facebook business page from viewers until you’re happy with what it looks like. This is a great feature to take the worry out of having an “ugly” page that everyone can see. It gives you time to source out some fancy images for that HUGE cover photo too.
To enable “unpublish”, you can click on Edit Page in the top right hand corner, then Manage Permissions and check the Unpublish button as shown below.
When you’re happy with your page, just head over and uncheck the box to make your site live.
Facebook Terms and Lingo You Need To Know
The nice thing about using Facebook for you small business social media is that most of you will already be familiar with some of the Facebook lingo.
You can’t be on the internet for long without noticing all the “like” and “recommend” boxes.
A “like” of your page means that someone has given you permission to send updates to them in their newsfeed and is the start of (hopefully) a long and beautiful Facebook relationship.
Encouraging “likes” is often a companies primary goal but there are many other strategies to help you actually grow you bottom line instead and we’ll take about those below.
Pages have similar options to your personal profile. You can post status updates about projects you’re working on, questions for your followers, links to various helpful items you’ve found online or pictures, videos and events/milestones from your business (think incorporation dates or being featured in the Edmonton Journal.)
How To Start Growing Your “Like” Numbers
When your page is new, no one likes you. It feels gross. You should at least like yourself so you have one. We all start somewhere and growth takes time but there are a few steps you can take to get yourself started.
Facebook encourages you to share your page with friends and family when you first start up. You can definitely go ahead and do that, but more importantly, if you can encourage them to share your posts, at least in the beginning, that would be even more helpful.
Next, do some Facebook research. Head off and find other related businesses or organizations and like their page. (You can Like something as a page rather than as a person, just make sure to toggle this option on in the “Edit Page” section at the top.)
What like a competitor? That’s crazy, right?
Related doesn’t mean direct competition. It means if you’re a massage therapist, liking a physiotherapist in your area is a great related contact. Customers have similar interests, service is different and a relationship could be very lucrative to all.
Doing all this liking, will not only make others aware of your new page, it helps populate your news feed so you have ready access to articles, posts and pictures to share with your audience on your page. Every time your share a post from your news feed, the owner of that post is flagged.
If you consistently share other businesses and organizations’ content, you begin to develop relationships on Facebook that can be very lucrative for your business.
Easiest Ways to Engage Your Facebook Audience
Whenever you do something on your new Facebook page, think: “How can I make this more visual?” That’s the easiest way to try and improve your page and get higher interaction.
Outside of the initial “liking” of a page, many people never come back to the actual page and interact primarily through their newsfeed. Your job is to create visual content for your page that stands out on that newsfeed.
Plain old text updates without any visual impact are easily lost in the stream of incoming information and rarely get the interaction you need.
Interaction (on Facebook this takes the form of “likes”, “comments” and “shares”) is the most important metric, even more so than total number of page “likes.”
How could this be? How can likes be less important? It’s because your business won’t even show up in someone’s news feed if you don’t have interaction. A survey done this past January looked at 4000 Facebook fan pages and only 17% of posts were actually making it into news feeds of fans. Shocking isn’t it?
That’s why interaction is vital to your page growth and Facebook marketing success.
How do you increase Facebook page interaction?
By posting something for starters. Status updates, links, pictures and videos.
Nothing says “unlike” faster than coming to a business page where the tumbleweeds are blowing through.
The second piece is to post content that’s for and about your target market and audience. As much fun as it is to publish stuff about your business, being a source of helpful information is far more useful and likely to be interacted with than using Facebook as an online business card.
For example, if you’re an electrician, posting photos with links to a DIY article about changing a bathroom light fixtures would be better than posting a status update about your rates. Be useful (and visual!)
How to Manage Your Facebook Page on the Go
A vital piece for increasing interaction on your new Facebook page is speed of response.
Timely responses to questions and comments helps increase interaction on your page (making you show up in news feeds) and makes your page more lively.
Until recently, this was quite challenging until Facebook recently released it’s dedicated Page Manager App for iPhone.
Now you don’t have to wade through all your family’s photos to get to your Facebook page. You can get instant notification if someone posts on your page and you respond from anywhere.
This app makes managing your new page simple and practical so no more excuses about not updating that page!
Setting up a business page on Facebook is very simple and something that every business owner can do no matter how un-tech savvy they are.
Learning the lingo of Facebook is usually a non-issue since it’s become so much apart of our everyday vocabulary and pop culture. Pages and profiles operate in much the same way so you likely already know much of what to do.
Interact with other brands, businesses and organizations in your field to start building your Facebook network.
Engagement and interaction are the name of the game on Facebook and going big and bold visually will make your business stand out and encourage likes, comments and shares.
Growth takes time and don’t get discouraged if you don’t have 10,000 fans in a day (because you won’t unless you’re Brittany Spears) focus on the engagement and putting up quality pictures, links and content on a regular basis to improve your page.