Facebook Like Button

The Smart Way To Set Up A Facebook Business Page

Posted on September 12, 2012 · Posted in Social Media

Are you thinking you really need to figure out this Facebook thing and get your business on there? Or have you dabbled in Facebook marketing a bit, have a double-digit of fans (most of them your friends) but still don’t quite know what to do?

If for your Facebook business page you’re still not sure about the dimensions of the cover photo or if the idea of setting up an app makes you sweat more than the recurring nightmares of forgetting your locker combination, then you’re in the right place.

This is the ‘help I don’t know where to start’ guide to getting your social car out of park. Then you can get the super scoop about using Timeline for business and pick up a few pointers for engaging your audience.

But for now, let’s talk getting started. So what do you do first?

GET YOUR PAGE

If you’re brand new to Facebook for business, the first place to start is with a business page. You don’t actually create an account for your business page. Rather, you create a page through your personal account. So you must be logged into your own personal Facebook account before you can build a page.

To begin building a page, start here and choose a category.

Create A Facebook Page Choices

Holy mackerel, would you look at all those choices! One might expect a bit of exposition about each of these page types considering many businesses can fall into more than one of these categories.

Alas, there is a dearth of useful information from Facebook on what to select here. The important thing to know about these categories is that the primary difference is in the type of information you can enter about your organization.

Here is a short breakdown.

  • Local Business or Place: you can enter your store hours, parking availability, address and price range along with basic info like web address, phone number and about info. If you want to list your store’s details, this is a good choice.
  • Company, Organization or Institution: you can enter product information, awards, your mission, founded date, address, description and web, contact and about info. If you don’t have a storefront or you’re an online business, this is a good choice.
  • Brand or Product: you can enter similar information as the company page but no address. The assumption here is that your products are sold through multiple vendors or retailers, like Apple or Dell. If you’re one of these guys, or you’re mass-distributing a product, go for it. Otherwise stick to Company.
  • Artist, Band or Public Figure: in addition to similar info as mentioned above, you can also include your birthday, bio, political affiliation (for public figures), influences (for bands) and other specific details depending on the subcategory you pick. This is a good choice if you’re looking to promote yourself personally rather than as a business.
  • Entertainment: you can enter a website and description but no contact info. This is a good choice if you’re promoting a book, movie or something similar.
  • Cause or Community: you can enter a bunch of personal info here, such as your educational information, employer, interests and contact info including web address and cell phone. This is a good choice for no apparent reason I can think of. Oddly, Non-Profit is listed under Company/Organization, as is Religious Group and most baffling of all, ‘Cause’. I’d check the other categories first before attempting this type of page.

The good news is that if this is all rather much, you can (sort of) change your mind later. After you create the page, you can go to Edit Page > Update Info and change the category. The bad news is that the categories here don’t match the initial selections one to one. For example, Artist/Band/Public Figure is not on the list but ‘People’ is, and you can select ‘Band’ from the subcategories.

Your best bet is to think about this for a moment and select your best choice. But don’t get so hung up that you stop. It’s not impossible to change later, it may just take a bit of exploring. Worst case scenario? You can delete the page entirely (before you get it going) and just try again.

CLAIM YOUR NAME

Your page URL is going to start its life looking something like this: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MyPage/968243039976812

That’s not sexy to say at a party. Ideally you want your URL to be your business, organization, book or band name. If you can’t get the exact name for length or other reasons, then aim for something printable, say-able and relevant to you.

Now, not to split hairs but there’s a difference between your actual page name and your page username. Your page name is what’s visible on your actual page itself, right under your Cover Photo on your Timeline. Your page username is what appears after facebook.com in the URL. That’s how your page appears in a browser address bar and how you print it on business cards and letterhead.

Facebook Claiming Your Name

Clear as black ink, eh? The important thing to know is that you can change your page name only up until you have 200 Likes. After that, you cannot change it, so make up your mind early!

When it comes to usernames (URLs) you can set it once and change it once. If you set a username and then change it, you cannot change it again.

COMPLETE YOUR INFOMATION

Now that you’ve got all these empty information fields, start filling ‘em in. Go to Edit Page > Update Info and that will take you to the Basic Information screen. Knock yourself out.

Memorize that edit button! It’s going to be your new best friend.

Facebook Page Edit Info

As you enter info, the important thing to know is that if you’re a brand, company or person, your about info is going to show up under your Cover Photo on your Timeline. If you’re a local biz, you’re going to see address, phone and hours.

SETTING YOUR COVER PHOTO AND PROFILE IMAGE

Your profile picture is the small-ish square the sits at the bottom left of the Cover Photo on your Timeline. It’s also the picture that appears beside your posts in other people’s newsfeeds. Since it ends up being a tiny icon in the newsfeed, you should consider this when you select a photo. Choose something with too many intricate details or that doesn’t compress well and it will be harder for people to recognize.

Generally a logo works well here for businesses. You can set your profile picture in one of two ways.

Go to Edit Page > Update Info and select ‘Profile Picture‘ from the left side navigation. From here you can browse for a photo. There’s no Save function here so once you browse and select a photo, it’s a done deal.

You can also change your Profile photo from the Timeline itself. When you arrive there for the first time, a popup box will guide you to browse for a photo the same way. In the future, you can change your photo by going back to the edit page or simply by hovering over your photo until the ‘edit’ button pops up.

Facebook Change Profile Image

A note about size: Although Facebook won’t tell you (unless you do it wrong), you cannot upload a photo less than 180 pixels wide. Given that the photo itself is square-ish, I suggest you upload a photo at 180 x 180 to reduce the likelihood that it will end up squished or cropped. If you upload a larger photo, Facebook will automatically downsize it but then you risk some nasty compression, so stick to 180 x 180 and you should be ok.

The Cover Photo gets added one way and that’s by clicking on the little “Add a Cover” icon on the Timeline itself.

Add Facebook Cover Photo

There’s a boatload of restrictions about what you can’t put in the image so I’ll let you read those here. The important thing to note here is that you should upload a photo that’s 851 pixels x 315 pixels. Talk about precise, right? If you upload a smaller photo it will get stretched and look horrendous, so stick to those dimensions.

You might find that your photo looks horrendous anyway. What’s the deal with that? Whatever fancy compression Facebook does on the back end can wreak havoc with some types of photos. Photos with large expanses of a single color fare the worst. Photos with some depth of color and texture do better.

Any time you want to change your cover photo, just hover over it on your timeline and you’ll get a ‘Change Cover’ popup.

Once you’ve done this, you’re pretty much set as far as getting the basics in place!

TAKE A LOOK AT THE OPTIONS

There are a few other settings to be aware of, all of which can be accessed by going to Edit Page > Update Info. I’ll go through those briefly.

  • Your Settings: go here to check whether you want to be alerted when someone comments on, Likes or messages your page. Since we’re talking marketing here, I suggest you check some of these boxes!
  • Manage Permissions: these are fairly self-explanatory when you see them, but note that you can set whether or not people can post or add photos to your page, tag photos or message you. You can also add blacklisted words that should not be allowed on your Timeline. Finally, this is where you go to delete your page, but this is totally un-doable so be very sure you mean it!
  • Featured: lets you essentially Like another page as your page and show it on your Timeline. This may be a good option if you’re building reciprocal relationships with other businesses.
  • Resources: among other things, this is where you go if you want to set up an ad or get some marketing guidelines from Facebook.
  • Admin Roles: use this if you want to make someone else an admin on your page. There are various permission levels you can select to determine what that person can do. This lets you give someone else access to help you with your page without giving them access to your personal account.
  • Apps: lists the apps added to your page. Some are default apps, such as photos and events.
  • Mobile: this is where you can get your ‘upload email’ so that you can send a photo and caption to your page directly via your phone.
  • Insights: all sorts of statistical goodness about interactions with your posts, demographics of your audience and reach. A post in itself! But good to check out early and often.
  • Help: exactly what it sounds like. More information than you’ll ever want to process.

NOW WHAT ABOUT THESE APPS

In my experience there are three things that wake people up at night in a cold sweat: the prospect of losing their job, the threat of nuclear war and Facebook apps. Can you get all fancy and complex with Facebook apps? Sure. You can spend lots of money on designing and programming custom apps. But you can also set up apps that are no more difficult than anything else we’ve just done, assuming you can dry your palms and stop them from slipping off the keyboard.

Just think of an app as another page, but instead of sitting there with posts and a status box, it does something else. What that thing is, is up to you. Some people use apps to display a special welcome video or tutorial. Maybe you want to pull your most recent blog posts into your app, or even set up a store right on Facebook.

Let’s start at the beginning and you’ll see how easy it can be. For starters, your apps will appear in small rectangles – called tabs – below your cover photo. Up to 4 are visible at a time, but you can see more by clicking the small arrow to the far right of the last tab.

Adding Facebook Apps

The Photo tab is always visible and it’s always the left-most tab. It shows the last photo you uploaded, so you may want to consider that as you begin to upload photos.

Visible tabs are called ‘Favorites’ and once you have multiple apps, you can add any 3 additional apps to your favorites by clicking the + icon at the top of the app. A couple of things you can do:

  • Swap position with: this lets you rearrange the order of your tabs and will come in handy when you have more than 4 apps and you want to show some and hide others.
  • Remove from favorites: takes it off your tabs but does not delete the app.
  • Edit settings: the goldmine! This is where you go to change the default image and the name that appears under the tab. Use this wisely – make sure both the image and text invite people to click. The size of the image you upload for your tabs should be 111 pixels x 74 pixels. Yup, more exactness.
  • Link to this tab: if you want to send people directly to an app, perhaps a storefront, video or special message you can get a direct URL here.

HOW ABOUT THAT BLANK PAGE?

Now that you’ve set up your Facebook page, all that empty space will be staring at you along with the one fan your page has – you. So yes, it’s time to get out there and start marketing, winning fans and influencing people. That’s a whole other topic, but the good news is that you’re starting rock-solid and you don’t look like some befuddled newbie tinkering around on a computer and just hoping something clicks.

But before you get to the juicy heart of marketing, there’s one more thing you can do to pimp out your page a bit and look a little more legit than just a big empty space.

At the top of your status box, there is an option to add Events and Milestones. I suggest you throw a few Milestones in there. A milestone can be the date you made your first piece of work, landed your first big gig or released your first book. The nice thing is that you can date it with the year, month and day it happened, so it begins to fill out the story of your organization. Add a little exposition and don’t overlook the photo. Remember, this is a visual medium and people like the pretty, shiny things.

Facebook Add Milestones

No need to go overboard but if you can create a bit of backstory for your organization with milestones, dates and photos, it will be a much more compelling experience when you finally do invite people to Like your page.

One last tip: milestone photos display full-width at 843 x 403 so if you size your photos properly you’ll take advantage of the full space without any weird cropping or compression.

FINAL DISCLAIMER

Everything I just told you is true as of… right… now (12th Sept 2012). In five minutes it may not be. Facebook has a reputation for changing things often and unexpectedly.

Just remember that things change. If something doesn’t work, stops working or looks kind of… wrong… it’s quite possible that something has changed again. No sweat. There’s bound to be someone out there writing about this stuff!

If you have any nagging questions or if anything here didn’t quite add up, let me know in the comments below!