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How to set started on Facebook

It has been 10 years since the launch of Facebook. 10 years that, and I don’t think I’m over exaggerating when I say this, have changed the world we live in today.
Facebook for us is everywhere. It has 1.28 billion active monthly users, 829 million daily users and the numbers are still growing. An omnipresence. This means you have lots and lots of people that you can potentially reach, without having to pay for it. That’s great news, but involves a bit of work on your part to get there.

There are 50 million business pages on facebook already. If Facebook isn’t something you tend to use, you might be thinking “what are they all doing on there”? Well, they already know that most of their customers are using or are going to be using Facebook at some point. These aren’t just young users either, in fact, contrary to how it started, most of the users on facebook today are over the age of 35. Only 23% of users are 18-34 years old. This means being on facebook is crucial for you short and long-term as all walks of life are represented here.

Where to start

There are two facebook pages that are going to be of value to you as you set out to start your business. Your own personal profile and your facebook business page.  At the very beginning your own facebook profile will be very important to you. It will let you share the articles from your business page and lets you share your posts with your friends to get them to initially like your page.

How to set up a facebook page

There’s only 5 steps you need to complete to start your facebook page! It’s relatively simple.

The first step in creating a page is choosing the category of page that you will be. You can chose from “Local Business or Place”, “Company, Organisation or Institution”, “Brand or Product”, “Artist, Band or Public Figure”, “Entertainment” or “Cause or Community”.

facebook business

Pick whatever category is most relevant to you and then chose from a subcategory. These vary depending on what category you chose. In this case I have chosen Company, Organisation or Institution. This is just used as an example and you might well want to use a different classification that suits you better. Just give it a try and see what seems best for you.

It then asks you a few more questions about your business that you need to fill in before the page goes live. They differ depending on what category you chose:

facebook business

Source: Hubspot

So in my case it wanted to know “About”, “Profile Pictures”, “Add to Favourites” and “Reach More People”.

The About section will hold the main description of your company. It will need 2-3 on point sentences that clearly describe you company and what you do. You need to be able to distinguish yourself from other brands that might be similar. You want to be memorable and to do that you will have to become creative. This is hard work in in just 2-3 sentences, but it is worth spending time on this – it will pay dividends down the line. Also make sure that you mention your domain name in the About section.

You also enter your unique domain in this section. You can only change this domain once, so be aware of using the correct domain in this.

Profile Pictures will ask you to enter a picture for your company profile. This will be the small square icon that appears on the left of your profile. It will be the representation online. It will show up in searches, it will be what people see when you’re posting comments. It’s the main visualisation of your company. A perfectly square image of any size will work, but the ideal size would be 180×180. We would recommend that you use a version of your logo for this. You want to avoid your customers not recognising that the page is a representation of your company.

Add to Favourites just lets you add your page to your favourites list on the left hand navigation bar. This way you can easily access it at all times without a problem and without having to search for it.

Reach More People will try and prompt you to start advertising using facebook. Whilst this ultimately is a good idea, I would not recommend it at this point in time. Your site is still lacking content and people that get brought through to your page will most likely not remain there and like it. We will cover this in a later chapter however and at that point it might well be something that could be worth considering for you!

 

Welcome to the Admin Panel

The Administrator panel of your facebook page can seem very confusing. Rest assured though that it used to be a lot worse and that today you will actually get used to it very quickly. It is ever evolving, but as you will be using it daily, you will get used to it and it quickly becomes second nature.

The admin panel is very important for all that you do. It is the area on Facebook that will let you know how well you and your posts are performing.

If you click on Settings in the top navigation of your facebook page a vertical navigation bar will appear. This looks like this:

facebook business

Once you start playing around with all the buttons you will soon find out what they all do and how to best utilise them for your business. There are three key pages in these “settings”. Page Roles, Page Info and Notifications.

Page Roles lets you add further staff members to your page, which comes in handy if you aren’t the primary or only person that is going to be using the page. You might have somebody there to specifically does the marketing for you, or maybe some customer service representatives that will respond to customer service queries via facebook. You can decide how much access they have, what they can edit and to what they can respond. That way you are in full control and don’t run the risk of anybody going where they shouldn’t be.

Page Info is where you are able to add all the important information about your business. Depending on the type of business you have chosen, it will also display different fields to fill out.

Notifications will be the most rewarding, but potentially the most annoying, setting on your facebook page. This will decide how, from what posts and when you will receive notifications for anything that happens on your page. You will have to decide for yourself what time frames allow you to do. Customers expect quick responses to social network queries, so my advice would be to set your notifications up to be sent out immediately, but they can be very distracting and if you are still a small business, you might not have the time to respond to everything straight away.

 

Time to fill your page with content

Finally we can start posting and to get people active on/liking your page. This is a huge challenge, but a lot of fun. It’s a great, direct way to communicate with your customers. You will over time learn what will get the most interaction on your site and what will reach the most amount of people.

What can I post?

There are currently six different options for posts. Plain text statuses, Link with caption, photo with caption, Video with caption, an Event page and Location check in.

You need to learn to tread a fine line of advertising your products, whilst simultaneously posting interesting content that will encourage people to participate. You don’t want to oversell your products, so there is no point in spamming adverts to your page all day. Limit yourself to a certain amount of posts per day. There’s quite a bit of research that has gone into posting on Facebook and this excellent article by Kevan Lee from Buffer sheds some light on what the ideal amount of social sharing is and what the reasoning behind the frequency is.

It is suggested that for Facebook you should limit yourself to 1-2 posts per day. Everything over two posts can be seen as annoying, so keep the number around 1-2. Make sure you post regularly though. If you post less than once a week it can have the result of losing connection to your audience.

As a general rule it can also be said that visually appealing posts will receive more interactions than plain text posts. Make sure you at least have an image to upload with anything you post. This will also make your post more visible to your audience.

You also have the option to “Pin to Top” one of your posts that you might want your customers to see for a longer period of time, or as the first post that new audience members will see when they click on your facebook page.

facebook pin to top

 

Cover Photo

The cover photo is an important part of your facebook presence. It is the face of your facebook page and the first thing that people will see. Therefore it is important to convey exactly what your are with this image. It needs to be 315px x 851px to perfectly fit into the space without looking distorted. You should brand it up to fit the design of your homepage so that people know that they are in the right place.

If you offer customer service on your social media sites, then you could also put the times onto the cover photo to let your customers when they can expect to receive an answer from you.

Get your first likes

The first people you should invite are your friends, family and anybody that you know might be interested in what you are doing, in the products, or whom you know will be willing to help you out to get started.

Start posting daily updates on your page and encourage your friends to interact on the page. Then you can start to invite customers that you might have already acquired through your shop or previous ventures. Send them an email and inform them of the exciting addition to your business and hopefully you will gain some more likes of people that will find what you have already posted interesting.

How do you know that you are doing well?

Once you have reached thirty likes you will see a new tab appear in your admin panel. This one is called “Insights”. When you click on Insights you will be able to see Overview, Likes, Reach, Visits, Posts and People.

facebook business

People will give you a nice breakdown of who your customers are. It’ll give you all the information you might want, ranging from the sex of your followers to the Town that they are from and the age ranges.

Posts gives you an insight into how well your posts are doing, how many people they’ve reached, how many people clicked the links and the engagement on each post. It also lets you know when most of your followers are online throughout the day, so you are able to schedule your posts accordingly, making sure that you reach as many people as possible.

Visits shows you where on facebook your views are coming from.

Reach will tell you exactly how many people your page is able to reach on a day to day basis. You can use this data to see how your customers respond to certain content. Some might be particularly popular, which you then should try and replicate, whilst others might be particularly unpopular, which you should then avoid or see how to change them to make them more popular.

Likes is relatively self explanatory. It will let you see how and when you have been receiving and/or losing likes. Again you can then compare that data to the content you were posting that day and you are able to gauge what is working for you and what isn’t.

Overview lets you see somewhat of a cross section of the past 7 days and lets you see what has been going on during that time. You can see page likes, the reach of the posts during that time period and the overall engagement you have had. You can also add Pages to Watch to the overview page. That way you can see at what rate competitors are growing, you can see what they’re doing and either try and see whether their strategies can be replicated for you, or you could come up with your own strategy and see how it compares to your competition.

As you can see…

…there’s quite a lot that goes into a Facebook page. It’s possible to go into a lot more detail about all this, but for a start this should set you up for a good beginning onto one of your most important social networks that you will be using to gain customers. You will find that whilst it might take up a bit of your time, it will be a lot of fun and once the likes start coming in it will be really rewarding as you can see that your hard work is paying off.

 

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