Nowadays most of us are familiar with using Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family, but it’s a whole different kettle of fish when you pull on your brand mask and use the Pages functionality for business purposes.
There are a number of key differences between personal ‘Profiles’ and ‘Pages’ on Facebook and it’s important to get to grips with these so you can make the most of this powerful opportunity (avoiding any potentially embarrassing faux-pas while you’re at it).
Before you start:
- You need to have a Facebook Page for your business.
- Establish a voice for your brand – brands generally use Pages to promote themselves in a less formal way, so have a look at competitors and other brands you like to see how they do it.
Now let’s get started:
Step 1: The first thing to understand is that the world of Facebook is your oyster. With a personal account you can have up to 5,000 friends (congrats if you’re anywhere near that number by the way!) However, with a business Page there is no limit to the number of fans you can acquire.
Step 2: After setting up your business page you can, if you want to, create custom tabs using third-party plug-ins or apps such as Woobox (Woobox provides free custom tabs for your Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube accounts).
Depending on the type of business you are, you can tailor the experience with a range of functions such as maps, menus, photo galleries or feeds from your blog or Twitter account. You can also create custom tabs within Facebook. To do this, click on the plus sign in the right-hand corner of your chosen tab. A pop-up will appear allowing you to create a ‘Videos’, ‘Events’ or ‘Note’ tab automatically. You will also be given the option to ‘Find more apps’. This will take you through to Facebook’s App Centre, where there are plenty more options to choose from.
Step 3: Facebook provides business Pages with a valuable analytics tool called Insights. You can use this to monitor the performance of various aspects of your page, from how each post performed in terms of engagement, to finding out who your fans are. The general gist is to take notice of what people are interacting with and tailor your posts according to which ones are having the best results.
Step 4: With a page you can take advantage of the Facebook Offers function allowing you to create deals or offers exclusively for your fans. This is another great way to naturally promote your Page and business, as redemptions of Offers show up in news feeds and help to steer traffic off Facebook and on to your main site. Only available to pages with at least 100 likes.
Step 5: If you’re a business with a physical location, be it a permanent shop or a pop-up stall, you can connect your page to that place by adding either an address, location or map. This allows people to check-in when they visit. If you want people to be able to do that, you’ll have to add your business address in your public information settings on your page, which will allow you to create a map on which customers can ‘check in’.
Step 6: Owning a business Page means you can take advantage of Facebook Advertising to direct targeted sections of the Facebook world to your page. You can also create sponsored posts to help give your posts more reach. There’s no lower limit to the budgets you can set, so it’s worth running a few campaigns to see who you can attract.
Step 7: While it’s unlikely you’d want to let anyone else loose on your personal Facebook profile, there may be a few people in your business who you’d like to be able to post in an official capacity. You’re able to assign different admin roles to other Facebook users by selecting ‘Admin Roles’ from the ‘Edit Page’ menu. As you wouldn’t want anyone messing with your carefully constructed design, you can also restrict staff to how much control they have over different aspects of the page with five authority levels available.
Step 8: Another useful tool that a Page provides is the ability to schedule future posts. This can be very helpful for posting at optimal times for your audience, especially if you’re dealing with different time zones or if you want to announce a new product, but will be too busy promoting it elsewhere to get online. To do this, click in the text box as if you’re about to write a status update, click on the clock symbol in the lower left of the sharing tool, then choose the future year, month, date, hour and minute when you’d like your post to appear.
Step 9: In the same way you’re able to head to the Facebook page of a celebrity, company or event and post as yourself, and post comments on their wall, you’re able to do anything on Facebook under the guise of your business. Head to ‘Edit Page’ and choose ‘Use Facebook as X’ which will turn this function on. Anything you do will then map to your page feed, so be careful what you say and what you like – this is the voice of your business that people will see!
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