Having a presence on social media is no longer an option. Whether you’re a local business, a regional company, a national firm, or a global brand, your customers expect you to not only have a website, but also be active on social media.
Of the many social networks out there today, Facebook remains the largest and most crucial. It’s reach makes it a must-have for any business owner. To make use of Facebook as a business, as opposed to using it for personal needs, you’ll have to create a Facebook Business Page. If you’re not sure how to do that, this guide will walk you through the process.
Step 1: Sign Up for Facebook
You will need a personal Facebook account in order to make a business page, so if you do not yet have a personal account, signing up for the social network should be your first step. Simply complete the form fields on the right-hand side of the page and click the "Sign Up" button.
Once you have created your personal page, you can then make a business page. Here’s how:
- Click on the Create from the top menu heading
- Choose Page from the dropdown menu
- Next, decide which type of Page you’re creating
- Click Get Started
You’ll now have the opportunity to choose your page name and your business category. Your page name should ideally be your business name. Your category should relate to what your business offers or the service it provides.
To choose a category, you will need to type a couple of words that relate to your business, products or services, and Facebook will show you relevant categories. Choose the one that fits best, but don’t worry if there isn’t a perfect match.
Next, you’ll be taken to another section that allows you to add your street address and your phone number, and choose whether you want your address shown to customers or not. You have to provide your business address, but you can keep it private if you do not want it to be public knowledge. Click the "Continue" button and you’ll be taken to the next step.
At this point you can start skipping steps, but you should take time to upload a quality profile picture and a cover photo. Facebook recommends these optional steps, especially if you want to "get more Page likes" and "help people find your Page."
Step 2: Page Tips
Before you start inviting your friends to see what you've made, you'll want to fill out some additional information that will help potential customers find your Page and eventually your business. Facebook provides Page Tips based on best practices of Facebook Business Page owners like you.
- WRITE A SHORT DESCRIPTION - Your description tells fans and customers what your business is all about. It will also help your Page show up in search results on Facebook when people search for a business like yours.
- UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS - Listing your business address (if possible) is always a good idea. It gives mobile users the ability to instantly map your location. It also helps improve NAP consistency across the web. Variations in NAP can lead to confusion among consumers as well as reduced rankings in the SERPs.
- ADD HOURS OF OPERATION - Facebook gives you the ability to list your hours of operation. This is important for some obvious reasons. Perhaps the most obvious is that it lets you tell new customers when you are open during the week. However, it is also important for consistency across search results and for showing up in Facebook search results. Google lists NAP (name, address and phone) as one of the single most critical factors in local business listings placing correctly in search results.
- CREATE A USERNAME - Creating an easy-to-remember username will help brand your Page. Typically, it should be your business name, if it's not already taken. A free service, like Namechekr, can help you look up available usernames on Facebook and other social networking sites. Your username plays an important role in your page. It shows up whenever you comment on posts and helps customers identify your brand.
- ADD YOUR WEBSITE - Unless your business is run primarily through your Facebook Page, you'll want to add your website so visitors can learn more about you.
- CREATE A BUTTON - Adding a Facebook button is a simple way to turn Facebook traffic into new customers. You can choose from a variety of button types depending on what call-to-action is most important to your business.
Step 3: Build an Audience
Finally, your Facebook Business Page will only do you so much good. Yes, you'll show up in organic searches for your business name, as well as for searches involving your location and business focus (furniture stores in Atlanta, GA, for instance). However, building a Facebook Business Page is not a magic bullet that will automatically generate success.
The whole point of creating a Facebook Business Page is to engage with your customers and build a local audience. If you're a local business owner you don't just want to build an audience online. Facebook has a number of tools to help you drive customers from your Business Page to your physical location.
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In the end, building a Facebook Business Page allows you to tap into the world of social media marketing, build your brand, and expand your reach. It can help you improve profitability as well. This starter guide should have you up and running in no time at all.