By the end of June 2017, Facebook reported having over 2 billion active users each month. This type of user engagement is at a level which most brands can only dream of, and the activity does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
Any business who says they do not need a Facebook page could be missing out on valuable leads and potential customers. Many shoppers will check the social media giant first for reviews and deals before even thinking about Google.
It is free and relatively easy to create a business Facebook account. Now is the time to embrace the social network, and here are some of the best tips to help you along:
Start by creating a page
This may vary slightly depending on the device being used, but at the top right of the screen there is an option to create a new business page. There are a variety of options to choose from, try to find the one which fits most closely with the business model. This can be changed later if required.
Business page types
- Local Business
- Company, Organisation or Institution
- Brand or Product
- Artist, Band or Public Figure
- Cause or Community
The local business and company options offer additional fields such as phone, address, business hours, check in and map.
Choosing the right page name
When choosing a page name, it should reflect the brand and be easily recognizable to customers. Facebook even allows businesses to have a custom URL which can be used to promote the page in a variety of ways. This link cannot be modified so it is essential it is correct the first time.
For example, for the popular drink, Coca-Cola is the page name and they have selected www.facebook.com/Coca-Cola as the unique URL.
TIP: For marketing purposes, the shortened version of “fb.com/coca-cola” will also work or even @Coca-Cola is self explanatory.
Talk about the brand
There is an opportunity to include an “About” page and other business information. Fill out any fields which are relevant to give readers some additional insight into the products and services being offered.
This may include, but is not limited to:
- Mission Statement
- Contact Details
- Brand Story
- Website Link
- Milestones and Progress
- Page Information
Having relevant, up to date information will make the business more appealing. Just remember, don’t use any jargon, slang or references which won’t be understood by the target demographic.
It might sound obvious, but if something could be potentially offensive it probably should be avoided. What may be funny to one person could be upsetting to another and the business could suffer. Always check, and re-check all spelling and grammar as failing this makes a company appear unprofessional.
Upload the right graphics
Consistent branding is what makes a business stand out and stick in the minds of consumers. The right logo can subtly remind people of the product or service and creates a feeling of trust. If there is an existing logo, the Facebook graphics can replicate this.
Images should be high resolution and tell followers what is being offered. There are two graphics which need to be considered:
- Profile picture
- Cover photo or video
The profile picture appears on the top left of the business page. It is generally a logo and is displayed in various sizes depending on the device. On a computer screen, it is 170 x 170 pixels, on a smartphone it is 128 x 128 pixels and on a feature phone, it is displayed at 36 x 36 pixels.
The profile picture appears square on the business page, however recent changes to Facebook have seen it being cropped to a circle when shown throughout the various newsfeeds.
The reasoning behind this was to make the user experience a more positive one. After some research, Facebook determined a circular shape is more appealing to its members.
TIP: Choose a graphic which works well as both a square and a circle.
Cover Photo or Video
The cover photo is a rectangular image which is shown at the top of the business page. It works as a header and allows additional space to be creative. Often this will be the first thing which is seen, so make it stand out!
The minimum size for this is 400 pixels x 150 pixels, but keep in mind this will be displayed at 820 pixels x 312 pixels so a bigger image will be crisper and clearer. A .jpeg under 100kb will be fast loading, but a .png may look better. Experiment with graphics to see what fits.
A good cover photo will complement the logo as they sit closely together. Try to find something which is original and unique. If this is not possible, at the very least make sure there are no copyright infringements.
For those who are skilled at video creation, there is now the choice of sacrificing the traditional cover image for a video version. This has the same aspects as the image option, and the recommended length is between 20 and 90 seconds.
Video works well for movie promotion, band pages, popular advertisements or product demonstrations. The cover image or video can be changed at any time.
TIP: Don’t go overboard with text, let the image do the talking.
A verified business page will display a grey tick which shows users it is legitimately linked to the company it is advertising. This helps to create trust, and minimize any damage to the reputation of the brand which may be caused by fake accounts.
It is relatively easy to get verified and is worth the few minutes it takes. On the top right there is a button titled “Settings”. Select “General” and find “Page Verification”.
Follow the step by step process which involves a quick phone call via a publicly listed number for the business. A verification code will be given and this will then be used to verify the account.
For those who prefer not to have their phone number made public, there is the option to verify by uploading a business document. This may be slightly longer, but Facebook will still only take a few days to process the request.
Add a Call to Action
Facebook now gives brands the opportunity to create a call to action which appears on the business page. This is a big blue button and the choices are as follows:
- Book Now
- Contact Us
- Use App
- Play Game
- Shop Now
- Sign Up
- Watch Video
Don’t neglect the call to action button as it is a significant value-add. It can be promoted and highlighted in a variety of ways. It can take users directly to a page on the website without them having to navigate very far.
Add extra staff members
Managing a business page can be a big commitment, as content needs to be kept up to date and any messages should be responded to. If there is someone else in the company who can share the load, it is simple to add extra admins with different permission levels.
TIP: Giving someone administration access does not mean they will be able to see the creator’s personal account.
Understand the intended audience
With any business, knowing who the target audience is will be essential. When it comes to Facebook, knowing who to target will help shape the content of the page. Many brands use social media as a mini-blog and a way to communicate directly with customers.
Go through a brainstorming process and determine:
- Is the goal to promote to existing customers, or create new ones?
- What is the purpose of the Facebook business page?
- Is the target audience predominantly male or female?
- Where is the intended audience located?
- What are the ages of the target audience?
- Are there any specific interests which align to the business model?
Grow a following organically first
Once the business page has been set up, it is time to get the right people following! The target audience should have already been determined, and it is time to spread the word. Personally invite any friends, send out an email to current subscribers and add a follow button to the website.
If there are other social media accounts such as Instagram and Twitter, share the new page there too. Before spending advertising dollars, be resourceful and utilize what is already in existence.
TIP: Consider running a competition but remember to adhere to Facebook’s promotional guidelines.
Advertise via Facebook
Facebook promotion is flexible as it allows businesses to choose a demographic and add a daily budget. Only a small percentage of followers will actually see the organic content appear in their newsfeed, so there may be times when a top up of funds is required.
Committing to an ad is a thing of the past, as there is the option to pause or cancel at any time. Focus on likes or clicks and boost those posts which are attracting attention.
TIP: Facebook advertising isn’t only for boosting posts, try creating an offer!
The final say…
Having a Facebook business page is essential for those who are serious about growing their online, or offline business. A neglected page is almost as bad as no page at all, it is important to make sure there is always fresh content. While two posts per day is said to be the ideal number, aiming for one post a day will be sufficient.
If offering followers the chance to communicate with the brand via Facebook, make sure to answer this type of engagement quickly. Set up an auto responder and check in regularly.
Facebook shouldn’t be the only marketing tool a business uses, but part of a much bigger plan. The hardest part is getting started, after that maintaining a regular schedule will become a priority.
Marry Ann is a branding consultant. She is mainly passionate about building brands in all aspect of online marketing.