Posted on Aug 20, 2015

The Small Business Guide to Facebook

Everyone seems to have a Facebook account so you may assume that it’s easy to run a Facebook business page. Not so fast. Even though it’s one of the most accessible social media platforms today, there’s still quite a lot to learn. In previous posts explaining thebenefits of social media for small businesses we used a fictional gourmet food store to help with the explanation. We’ll keep this example going for this small business guide to Facebook.

Create The Page

The starting point is to log into Facebook using your personal account. Make sure that you do this rather than getting one of your employees or a contractor to do it. You should be the one who controls your page. You can give your employees administration access later so they can post content. But make sure that you set up the page initially.

Once logged in, go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php.

You have six options:

  1. Local Business or Place
  2. Company, Organization, or Institution
  3. Brand or Product
  4. Artist, Band, or Public Figure
  5. Entertainment
  6. Cause or Community

Pick the one that best suits your organization. For our fictional gourmet food store, we’ll select “Local Business or Place”.

We are then asked to enter a number of other details: category, business name, and contact details. We select Food/Groceries, enter our business name, and fill out our contact details, including the telephone number.

Add Basic Information

Now add some basic information about your page. This includes a short description which will be visible to users, so make it as descriptive and helpful as possible. You should also include a link to your website.

Here is an example:

“J’s Gourmet Food, specializing in the world’s finest coffee, smoked fish, caviar, cheese, deli meats, condiments, spices, herbs, and more.”

And here is what the basic information looks like on a real Facebook page:

image05

You will also have to pick a unique name for your page. Take time deciding on this name. It is difficult to change later.

Facebook will also prompt you to upload a profile image. This is an important image because it features on your main Facebook page, every post you make, and every action you take on Facebook – when you like, share or comment on a post.

This is a profile image:

image04

Your profile image must be square, with a recommended size of 180 by 180 pixels.

Facebook will also prompt you at this stage to like your page, and create an ad. It’s best if you do neither at the moment as your new page doesn’t have anything on it.

But you can add the page to your favorites. This puts it in the left column of your personal page, which makes it easy to access.

Start Adding Content

Start by uploading a cover image. This is a cover image:

image06

It has to be 851 by 315 pixels, but remember the profile image covers up part of it in the lower left corner. Also, your cover photo cannot contain more than 20 percent text.

You can check out this guide to ideal image sizes if you want more information on image sizing. 

Now you should start adding posts. Facebook offers six different options:

  1. Plain text status
  2. Photo with caption
  3. Link with caption
  4. Video with caption
  5. Event page
  6. Location check-in

Here are some tips for creating Facebook posts:

  • Use a variety of types  (don’t just post photos)
  • Posts with images or video are usually more engaging
  • As a general rule, keep them short, but don’t artificially restrict the length – use both short and slightly longer posts
  • Ideally upload your videos directly to Facebook, rather than posting a link to a video located elsewhere (such as YouTube)
  • Make your posts engaging and relevant to your audience
  • Keep up to speed on the endlessly evolving Facebook algorithms (it changes a lot!)

Spread The Word

Once you have content on the page you can start telling people about it. Get your employees, colleagues, family and friends to like your page (but try not to be annoying about it). After that you can start reaching out to other folks who may be interested. You may also want to consider running Facebook ads to promote the page to an even wider audience.

Getting started with Facebook is pretty straightforward when you post consistently creative, engaging content. Grow your audience by getting started today.

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