Did you know that over 1.4 BILLION people currently use Facebook? For many, Facebook has become an integral component of their inbound marketing strategy and a key part of their social media outreach.
Yet, as more and more Facebook features change, so does the process of setting up a page. With so many new components, options, analytics, etc., the idea of setting up a new Facebook business page could seem like a daunting task... but it shouldn't.
Don't waste any more time poking around aimlessly on Facebook, guessing what to do. Today, you're finally going to set up that Facebook page for your business and make it successful. In this article, we'll take you step-by-step through the process of setting up a Facebook page. We'll then discuss the when, what, and how of interacting with your audience, and how to use data to better inform your business practices.
If you don't need a complete run-down, here is how this guide is set up so you can feel free to navigate to the specific area you're looking for information on:
Choose A Page Category
The first thing you'll do is click on this link to create your Facebook page. When you follow that link, you'll be asked to enter the name of your business and choose from six main page categories (and subsequent subcategories). You have several options to choose from:
Local Business or Place: You want to choose Local Business or Place if you have a physical address where customers can come and do business with you or if you have an office where you offer services. This option will also allow your customers to check in when they're at your location or post reviews about your business on Facebook.
Company, Organization, or Institution: If your page represents an organization that is not location-dependent, such as Coca-Cola, NASA, or the University of Phoenix, choose the Company, Organization, or Institution category. Some local businesses choose this category as well because they want to allow check-ins, but don't want customers to be able to leave reviews.
Brand or Product: If you're creating a page for your product that's sold through a variety of retailers, or for a company that doesn't have an address, then the Brand or Product option is the correct choice.
Artist, Band, or Public Figure: Choose Artist, Band or Public Figure if your page represents an individual such as a politician or a celebrity (real or fictional). This is also a good option if you want to market yourself separately from your Facebook personal profile.
Cause or Community: If your page doesn't fit under any of the above main categories (and subcategories), then choose Cause or Community as your page's main category. However, look through the above options first to make sure that your page won't better fit a different category.
Complete Basic Information
Once you select the type of Facebook page you're creating, you'll be taken through a wizard to help guide you in filling in critical information.
Begin with the "About" section, which will go on your main page and provide users with a 2-3 sentence description of your business. You'll also be able to select your unique Facebook domain name here, which can only be changed once. It's recommended that you include a link to your company website as well as any information that differentiates your company from others.
Next you'll be asked to upload a profile picture. This will serve as the main visual representation of your page, appearing in search results and alongside any comments you publish. While any square image will work, the recommended size from Facebook is 180 x 180 pixels.
The last thing you'll do is specify your preferred page audience so Facebook knows who should see your page. You'll also be asked if you want to create an advertisement for your page at this time. I'd recommend saving any of the more advanced audience targeting for when you feel more comfortable with managing your Facebook page.
Edit & Familiarize Yourself With Your Page Settings
Now that you've finished filling in the information from the wizard, you'll be taken to your Facebook page. You'll notice that it looks pretty bare.
Your page is now live and can be found on Facebook by other users. I'd recommend that you change your page to private until your page is finished and you're ready to begin publishing content and interacting with other users. To do so, go to your Page Settings (in the top right of your page) and change the Page Visibility option to unpublished. Facebook may also ask if you want to "Like" your Page. This is also something you'll want to hold off doing until your page is finished, since once you do, this activity will appear in News Feeds of those you're connected to personally to on Facebook.
If you look to the left side of the page you'll see a vertical navigation bar with different sections. Here is where you can make changes to different aspects of your page. You'll want to become familiar with all of them eventually, but for now we're only going to focus on an important few. Click on Notifications. This section will allow you to customize when and how you receive notifications from your page.
Assign Page Roles
Next you'll want to set up the Page Roles. Here you can choose who else has access to your page, as well as what type of access they have. This could be a PR/agency person, a support representative, or other team members who may serve as your backup for when you're away.
There are 5 different types of roles you can assign:
Admin: Complete and total access to everything (you are an admin by default).
Editor: Can edit the Page, send messages and post as the Page, create ads, see which admin created a post or comment, and view insights.
Moderator: Can respond to and delete comments on the Page, send messages as the Page, see which admin created a post or comment, create ads, and view insights.
Advertiser: Can see which admin created a post or comment, create ads and view insights.
I would generally recommend not giving anyone else admin powers, since anyone assigned the role of admin has full control of the page, including the option to remove you as an admin or delete the page altogether.
The first thing you should add is a cover photo. This is the large, horizontal image that you see across the top of your page. This image needs to be 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall, although Facebook will automatically size any image you upload to fit those dimensions.
After you've uploaded your cover photo to your page, that photo will automatically come up as an update to your timeline, which can be seen by anyone who follows your page. If you edit the description of the photo, you can add a message to the update. Click on the drop down arrow on the top right corner of the photo and click on "Edit Post."
Now click on the About tab. This will allow you to update all of your company information. The specific information you're about to include depends on which subcategories you chose for your page, which is why it's important to choose the category and subcategory that are most relevant to your business.
Make sure to fill out the following information:
Start Info: You can choose when your company or product was founded, created, started, or launched. This information will appear on the history timeline to the right of your page's feed and as an update at the very bottom of your main feed.
Long description & Mission: Add additional details that explain your business or brand even further. This is a great way to go beyond the 155 character description that appears on the main page.
Phone number / Email address: Add additional contact information.
Now, if you feel like you're ready, you can publish your page and begin posting and interacting within your community. Facebook currently provides six different posting options:
- Plain text status
- Photo with caption
- Link with caption
- Video with caption
- Event page
- Location check-in
Generally speaking, posts that have visual content as well will do better than plain text.
It's important to remember when you're posting, that you keep in mind what you would want to see from a company. What images would you or your audience want to see? What kinds of information would they find valuable? It's important to keep in mind that how much people interact with what you're posting does have a direct impact on how often your page will be seen by people.
Before you invite anyone to like your page, I recommend publish at least five posts to show a history (even if it's brief) of good information.
Build Your Audience
Now you can invite your Facebook friends. All you need to do is click on the "Invite Friends To Like This Page" link on the upper left part of your page, then choose which friends you want to invite from the dropdown menu. The built-in tool will let you select specific sections of friends based on location, school, lists, and recent interactions. Once invited, your friends will receive a direct message with an invitation to your page. You won't have a chance to edit the message they receive.
Next, invite all of the people that work for the company to like the page and interact with it to build up an initial record of activity. Ask them as well, if they're willing, to recommend the page to any friends of theirs who might be interested.
Lastly, you may begin inviting customers now that you have activity that they may be interested in.
Promote Your Page
Facebook offers a wide range of widgets and buttons that you can add to your website to make it easy for any visitors to like your Facebook page.
One of the most popular plugins is the Page Plugin. With the Page Plugin, your visitors can like and share the Page without having to leave your site. You can even show who likes your Page with real people's profile images rather than just a number and let them see what you've recently posted.
To add this to your website, simply click on the link above, enter the size you'd like your image to be, and then click "Get Code". This code will be inserted into your website.
You should also be promoting your new Facebook Page in your email signature. Edit your email signature to include a link to your Facebook page and make it easy for those who work with you to find and like your page.
Increase Your Reach
One of the common sayings you read on the Internet is "Facebook marketing is dead", but that's just not true. Well, it's not completely true. What is true is that like most algorithms on search engines and social media networks, Facebook's organic reach algorithm keeps changing. How people got their posts seen in the past won't necessarily work today. And likewise, you have to remember that what works today may not work tomorrow. That's what makes tracking your results all the more important. Since you don't have any statistics to go off of, what we can do for now is look at what typically works for other brands and start by emulating what worked for them.
When To Post
The first thing we want to do is post content during the time period and day of the week that is most effective. This is where looking at data can be helpful, because although it may seem like posting during typical working hours would yield the best results, the opposite tends to be true.
The data shows that posts on Sundays receive 2.72 interactions and are 25% more effective than posts on a Wednesday. If you are updating your page during weekdays we can see that posting during lunch hours or posting after typical work hours will yield the best results.
Posting photos on Facebook is the best way to get more attention from your fans because images are easier to consume than text. Just last year, photos accounted for 75% of content posted by Facebook pages worldwide. However, be aware that not all photos are created equal. As we discussed with content earlier, it's important to remember that you only want to be posting photos that are of interest your target audience.
A couple of additional tips to remember:
- Include relevant links with your images to ensure that you're sending all that traffic back to your website.
- Only post images that you have created or that you have rights to publish.
- Mix up different types of images (e.g., banners, infographics, photos, memes, etc.).
- Take impromptu photos on your smartphone and post them in real time.
- Post "Caption This" photos - post a funny picture on your page and ask fans to offer their best caption for the photo.
- Avoid "selfies" unless you're posing with a celebrity.
Did you know that just by using an exclamation point, you can receive more engagement on your post? Using this kind of punctuation can convey excitement and emotional value that can help you connect with your users, which is backed up by the fact that posts with an exclamation point see an average of 2.7 times as much engagement.
While 71% of posts do not use them, there's a positive correlation between post effectiveness and number of exclamation points.
Organic Post Targeting
Most pages have a wide variety of fans of varying levels of importance and engagement. There's always going to be a percentage of fans that are simply friends, family, users who are no longer active on Facebook, or don't engage for whatever reason. While you probably don't mind having the added numbers, these unengaged fans are probably hurting your organic reach. One of the main filters that Facebook's new algorithm uses when deciding what to let into people's Newsfeed, is checking how many people engage with or hide posts.
All pages have the ability to turn Targeting on. If you don't see the target symbol when you click to create a new post, it is disabled. To enable it, all you have to do is follow these four steps:
- Click Settings. Make sure you're in the General tab on the left sidebar (available to admins only).
- Select Targeting and Privacy for Posts.
- Check Allow targeting and privacy options when I create posts on my page.
- Save your changes.
Interest targeting lets you define your ideal audience by their interests, hobbies and Pages they like. Facebook combs through their Timeline, keywords associated with the Pages they like or apps they use, ads they've clicked on, and other similar sources to identify interests.
The problem that a lot of pages run into, is that regardless of the post, your fan base is made up of a lot of casual fans. By showing your content to people who are most likely to engage with it, the theory is that you you will have a higher engagement rate even though the actual "reach" is lower. This should also help Facebook show your post to more people because it will look more appealing to the filtering algorithm.
Interest Targeting will only work as well as you set it up to and how accurately you choose interests for each post. While this will take more work than just posting, there is the potential for a much greater return on your time.
The Length Of Posts
This gets a little trickier. One of the nice things you'll notice when using Facebook, as opposed to a platform like Twitter, is that you're not limited to any number of words. Well, there is a 60,000 character limit, but that shouldn't be an issue. The question is whether or not to use all that extra space.
I've seen compelling data (and will provide it below) both for short posts and for long posts.
BlitzLocal studied 11,000 Facebook pages and found that engagement increased as posts got shorter. Track Social noticed the same effect in its study: So-called "tiny" posts of zero to 70 characters saw the most likes, comments, and responses.
The opposite side of the argument argues that posts that are long enough that Facebook inserts a "Continue Reading" link will benefit from additional intrigue.
In a study done by TrackMaven analyzing over 5,000 Facebook pages and over 1,500,000 posts, the data showed a positive correlation between word count and post effectiveness. More specifically, posts of 80-89 words got 2 times as much engagement, topping out at 6.19 average interactions per post.
Which of these is correct? Both, technically. While this may not seem useful at first, it illustrates (and hopefully emphasizes) why you need to track your data. Keep trying new things and adjusting your strategy accordingly. How do you do this?
Measure Your Growth
While looking at what works and what doesn't for other pages is a great jumping off point, after you've been interacting on your page for awhile, you'll want to begin using your own data to influence when, what, and how often you post. To help page managers, Facebook has two "levels" of marketing analytics: Page Insights and Audience Insights.
Facebook Page Insights provides a general overview about the content you share on your page, such as demographics, user growth, and how frequently a piece of content is consumed.
Once you feel comfortable with that data, you can dig deeper by using the Audience Insights tool. Instead of solely looking at interactions with your own business page, Audience Insights looks at a much greater range of information and is more customizable.
Don't be overwhelmed, we'll start at the beginning.
Facebook Page Insights
First, click on the "Insights" tab in the top navigation.
Once you click the Insights page, you'll automatically be redirected to the Overview tab, where you'll see an overview of page data available. This section shows how well your individual posts or pieces of content from the past week have resonated with your audience. You'll see the total amount of 'likes` your page has received for the week (compared to the week prior), your posts` reach broken down by day and compared to the prior week, engagement (likes, comments, shares and clicks), and some stats on your five most recent posts: the type of post, who you targeted, reach and engagement.
If you're interested in finding out about who is interacting with your page, click on the "People" tab to see statistics about the age range, location, language, and more. You'll also be able to find out about the check-ins you receive at your physical location if that's set up for your page.
Additionally you can click on the following:
Likes: This tab shows your overall fan growth and losses. You can also see the breakdown between organic 'likes` versus paid 'likes`, as well as information on the number of times your page was 'liked,` broken down by where it happened.
Reach: This tab highlights the raw number of people your Page is reaching every day. You can compare organic versus paid reach here as well. The section also shows the number of people served any activity from your page - mentions, check-ins, 'like` ads and posts by other people in addition to your own posts. It charts likes (and unlikes), comments and shares, as well as the number of times your content was hidden or reported as spam. If you notice spikes on a specific day, try cross-checking what you posted that day to see if you can replicate that reach.
Visits: This tab indicates where on Facebook your viewers are coming from and how many times your page tabs (including your photos tab, info tab, timeline, etc.) were viewed, actions people have taken involving your page (such as posting on it), and the number of times people came to your page from a website outside of Facebook.
Posts: Posts can be a very helpful tab. It shows you a breakdown of the days and times that your fans are online, the paid and organic reach of your posts, as well as interactions with them (comments or likes).
If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you'll be taken to the "Pages to Watch" section. Here you can add other pages that you wish to watch, which can be an extremely helpful way of doing competitor research or finding inspiration for new ways of interacting with your audience.
To add a page, simply click on the Add Pages button at the top of the section.
Search for the name of the page you want to watch, then click to add it to your watch list. Once a page has been added, you can click on the name of the page from your Insights dashboard, and you'll see an overview of their best posts from the week.
Facebook Audience Insights
Now onto the more in-depth Facebook Page Insights. Before we were looking at data from just your audience, but now you'll have the option of choosing to view data between three different audiences: data from all the people on Facebook, people who are connected to your Page (or event), or a "Custom Audience" comprised of your current customers.
After you click on Facebook Audience Insights, you'll notice you significantly more data to view, as well as five tabs to choose from:
Demographics: The demographics tab is similar to Page Insights in that you can see the age and gender of your group, but additionally you can now get information on user's lifestyle, education, relationship status, job role and household size. This will allow you to compare the age and education of your specific audience with a more general audience to determine who you should be targeting with your product or brand.
Page Likes: This tab will show you what other pages that people in your group follow, which will help you see what potential competitors you may have, as well as what other interests your customers have.
Location: This is similar to what you see on Page Insights, except that now you'll have information about where people live and the languages they speak within a specific group, rather than just those connected with your page.
Activity: This tab shows you how often people in your selected audience use Facebook and on which devices. This may help give you a deeper understanding of your engagement and views data.
Household: Household data is available only for users in the US, and the estimates are based on survey responses, purchase activity, census, and publicly available data through external parties like Acxiom. There are five data sets included in this tab: Household income, home ownership, household size, home market value, and spending methods.
Purchases: This tab can be extremely helpful in that you will now be able to see past purchasing behavior and how they shop (in store, online, etc.). If you have a physical store, but you see that your target audience is more likely to shop online, than this information could help you make decisions moving forward.
I hope you found this article helpful in getting your Facebook business page setup. Please comment if you have any questions that we can help you with, and make sure to come back soon: we'll be adding updates as necessary. Good luck with your social media endeavours!