This is #1 in a series of articles on getting started marketing your business on facebook – a series we’re calling”‘Tis the season to be social“
Yeaaa..you made it to Day 1, congratulations! The first step in getting your business on facebook is ..well, getting your business on facebook – that is, creating your Business Profile. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps needed and highlight some important factors to consider.
But first, you might be wondering how a business page is different from a personal facebook account (or profile) you might already have. It’s simple, a Business Page clearly identifies you as a business and has characteristics best suited for marketing. We recommend that you use a Business Page instead of only using your personal account since it gives you more control over how you present yourself.
But this doesn’t mean your business presence needs to be devoid of all personality. Check out this interesting post on how to apply your personality to make your business presence more genuine. The best business pages (or websites for that matter) are those that artfully combine marketing with personality and authenticity.
1. Registering the Business Page
- From the Facebook home page, click on Create a Page at the bottom. If you’re logged in automatically, you will need to logout to see this page.
- Choose Local Business and select the type of business from the drop list. Type in the name of your business.
This name will be used extensively on your profile in all your marketing activity, so
- Keep it short and digestible – e.g. Sinful Organic Cupcakes, not Sinful Organic Cupcakes Café & Catering
- You might want to first search (on Facebook) for other business pages with the same name, which might allow you to tweak the page name to differentiate
- Your business page can be linked to your existing Facebook personal account, if you have one, or you can create a Facebook login by providing an email address and password. Note that Facebook will not allow you to create a new account just for the business page if you already have a personal account – it validates this using your email address. Here’s a great article on other considerations of linking your business page and your personal account
- Now, wait for the confirmation email and click on the validation link to access your newly created profile.
2. Describing your business
The next step is to provide all the information that you will want your friends and visitors to see about your business. You will see your profile with the Getting Started page when you click on the link in the validation email.
As you complete each step, the Getting Started page gets shorter and shorter and will ultimately go away altogether.
- Think carefully about the profile picture or logo you want to use. This can be your business logo, a photo of your storefront or even a product (e.g. cupcakes!). Depending on the nature of your business, you can also use a photo of yourself. Whatever it is, give it some thought and be creative.
- Provide a brief but creative description of your business. Remember that this is not the place to list all your services or try to fully express your personality. You’ll have plenty of other opportunities for that.
3. Making your first connections
The Tell your Fans section allows you to add your first business contacts and connections.
These can be your friends, your contacts or your customer list. Facebook allows you to import contacts from virtually anywhere – your email service, a file or other social networks like LinkedIn. If you already have a customer database or program, be sure to export the data in CSV format (all you need are email addresses).
- Since you’re marketing your business, you would want to add as many contacts as you can find. You might want to review the list, but don’t be shy.
- Remember that facebook uses Email addresses to find contacts, so that’s all you need – and more important, that’s the only thing that matters, so ensure you have the right email addresses.
- It’s always a good idea to start off by first adding only a couple of “friendlies” – contacts who can help you verify that things look right before you make the big announcement.
4. Account Privacy Settings
If you created a new Facebook account earlier in the process, you will want to review the default privacy settings to make sure that what you share and who you share it with is business-friendly. To access this, click on Privacy Settings link in the Account menu.
- Managing a facebook presence is all about sharing, so don’t be overly restrictive, especially if you plan on using your facebook account only for business marketing.
- But if you opted to use your existing personal account (earlier in step 1), it is especially important that you review those settings to ensure you’re not “over-sharing”. For example, having status updates about having a bad day at work may not be top form for marketing.
- In any case, make a note or reminder to revisit the privacy settings after a few months. You wil have a better sense for what kind of information will want to share (and what kind of friends you have) after you start using it.
5. Choosing a username
Your facebook “username” is a short identifier that can be appended to the facebook url such as www.facebook.com/SinfulOrganic that makes it easy for users to access on the web. This is helpful in marketing your business on store windows or flyers. You can define this by accessing the Account Settings from the Account menu. It will require you to validate your identity using a mobile phone number.
- As with your business name, keep this short. If the username you want is taken, consider creative alternatives – based on your region (/SinfulOrganicVA) or even catchy phrases (/BeSinful). Anything is better than numbered suffixes (/SinfulOrganic2635)!
And that’s it! Your basic profile is done and you’re ready to start sending out those updates. Next in the series, we will show you how to promote your business, get connections to like you, and how to be creatively use wall posts and status updates.
- ‘Tis the Season to be Social
- Step 1 – Creating your Facebook Business Page
- Step 2 – Engaging Fans on Facebook
- Step 3 – Create a Custom Welcome Tab for Free without HTML or FBML
- Step 4 – Claim a Facebook Place For Your Business