Facebook can be a powerful social networking tool for your business. When your business has a Facebook fan page, you can connect with users in direct and personal ways, not to mention publicly. The way you interact with a customer can be seen by all the fans of your business and those who come to your page with a passing interest. This can be a huge benefit to you when used wisely and effectively. This tutorial will help you set up a Facebook page for your business under the new Timeline developments.
Facebook Timeline creates a more interactive experience for Facebook users. With Timeline, it’s easy to jump into a person or company’s past to get a more comprehensive picture of the page’s owner. Instead of just seeing what your company is doing today, a user can see your company’s entire history. You can use Timeline to your advantage to highlight the positive changes and progress your company has experienced.
To get started with your own Facebook fan page, go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. Click on the box labeled: Local Business or Place.
Once you click on this box, you fill out basic information like the name of your business, address, phone number, etc.
After agreeing to the terms of service and submitting your business, you can upload a Profile Picture. This can be a picture of you, your company’s building, a logo, whatever you want to include.
You can then fill out an About section. The About section lets the Facebook community know who your business is what you do, or any other information you choose to share. You can also link to other sites associated with your business, be it a Twitter account, blog, or Yelp review page.
In the third step for setting up your account you can choose what the URL for your business’s Facebook page will be. Facebook will offer you one that you can accept, or you can make up your own. Having a personalized URL will make it easier for customer’s to find your page online.
Once your page is created, Facebook will prompt you to Like your own page. On Facebook, “liking” a page publicly associates your personal user profile with the business page you have created. Once you like your own page, Facebook will prompt you to invite other Facebook friends to do the same, as well as your various email contacts.
Having invited your initial fan base to join you on your Facebook page, you can then start Sharing on Facebook. With the Share feature, you can write a short message that will appear on your Facebook business page. This message could be a special promotion or just a note to say hello.
Once Facebook has finished prompting you through these steps, you will be able to view your Admin Panel at the top of your page. The Admin Panel looks like this:
Here, you can get information about your page’s activity. You will receive notifications if a user shares something on your page, likes your business, sends you a message, and more. If you scroll down, you will see your page as it appears to your customers. It looks like this:
You can start fleshing out your page by adding a picture, updating your Status, and adding important information about your company’s history to the Facebook timeline. If you scroll to the bottom of your page, Facebook will ask you, “When was this opened?” You can make your first Timeline post here by adding the founding date of your company.
Click the Edit button in the top right of the box where Facebook asks you this question.
The box opens up to allow you to add this information.
You can add the date, the location, story, and even pictures from the opening day/event. Now, when users scroll through your Facebook page Timeline, they will see the opening date of your company as the very first thing on the page – even before you joined Facebook. This is because Timeline operates on a real-time frame. It does not matter to Facebook when you started the Facebook page. Facebook tries to give an online structure to the actual events in your company’s history.
If users scroll through our example Facebook Timeline, they will see our most recent post first, followed by the date and time we joined Facebook, followed by when we actually opened our business. Your company may appear differently depending on your schedule.
Now that you have set up your page, invited friends to Like it, and established an opening date for your company, you can start interacting with customers and potential customers. Try asking your audience a question. Click Event, Milestone at the top of your Timeline, and select Question.
Type your question. It will appear like this:
You can even add options to let users have something to select.
Using tools like Questions or simply engaging customers in conversation can be a great way for your business to build rapport with your community. To get the best results, post two or three times a day, but no more. You want to aim for consistency, letting customers know that you actively use your Facebook, but you don’t want to be obnoxious or have an overpowering presence on all of your Facebook fans’ pages.
If you have further questions about how to set up your Facebook business page, Facebook has a terrific help menu to walk you through any possible scenarios. Click the Help tab at the top of your Admin Panel:
Take action now and create your Facebook business page. You’ll start seeing results that will open up your business opportunities even more. Don’t forget to investigate into other social media platforms (i.e. Twitter, Google +). If you already have other profiles on social media sites, be sure to let your Facebook fans know about it!