illustration_of_facebook_iconFacebook is a platform that seems easy enough as you first dive in, but like any social network, it has a multitude of nuances that make or break a business’s overall reach. Understanding the steps to create a compelling professional presence on Facebook can make the difference between a mediocre social experience and one that drives the majority of your acquisition marketing efforts.

Below we outline all the critical Facebook page information, from setting up a wow-worthy page to adding intriguing and relevant applications. If you’ve put off creating or expanding your Facebook page due to confusion or frustration, let’s demystify the process and light-up your social prowess.

How to Set-Up the Perfect Facebook Page

First of all, a definition is in order, as there is still plenty of confusion between Facebook pages and profiles. A profile belongs to an individual, whereas a Facebook page is created by a company, brand, or public figure. To create a page, you must first have a legitimate profile to tie it to. If you don’t yet have a profile, that’s your first step. It is not necessary for the profile to be comprehensive and fancy, but it should say enough about you that curious customers will feel satisfied and secure.

By the way, if you attempt to create a profile for your business, it may be deleted by Facebook at any time. It’s clearly not worth the risk, and since pages are free as well, there’s no valid reason to not follow the rules.

Your Facebook page will do more than just advertise your business, it will also shed light on your demographic, and give a public face to your brand. As you create the page, truly put your best face forward, and resist the temptation to market the page until you feel it’s complete, engaging, and tells an interesting story about your business. If you fail to impress in your first iteration and get legions of unhappy visitors, you will likely never be able to win them over later on. Build a fabulous page first, then sound the alarm.

As you set up your page, you’ll first select from the six categories. Your choices are:

  • Local business or place
  • Artist, band, or public figure
  • Company, organization, or institution
  • Entertainment
  • Brand or Product
  • Cause of community

As you can see by the selections, you may even want to have several pages. If you have a company that also has prominent brands, create a page for your organization, and one for each brand you market. If you’re just starting out, however, stick to a single page, and as you build an audience, branch out from there. You cannot change a category once selected, so choose wisely.

It’s imperative that you fill out all the company information on your page with exact details. This isn’t just critical for your visitors and customers, but for SEO purposes as well. Especially if you’re a local business, every time you add your address online, it helps to validate your existence and good practices all the more, so don’t skip a single field in the About section.

Next, upload logos and relevant photos (as well as an eye-catching cover photo), and add a few starting posts to make your page look vibrant and alive. To change any of the information you’ve entered, just select the “edit page” option, and you’ll have free reign to modify any information, anytime.

Customization is Critical

While Facebook has never been the design free-for-all that MySpace is, businesses still have options to create custom pages. It is highly advised that you add design elements and customized tabs to your page, as it helps tremendously to make you stand out from a sea of sameness. Brands like Skittles, Coca-Cola, and Threadless do an excellent job of creating graphic-rich pages with compelling content.

Facebook also gives you the freedom to create limitless custom tabs on your page. Remember that only 4 can appear at any given time, but you can encourage your users to click through to see other options. Be very strategic about these 4 prime calls-to-action; make sure your choices are the most relevant selections for your business. These can include links to Instagram galleries, groups that you monitor, events you host or promote, videos your company is featured in, or specific information about your organization. These are just ideas; the only limitation here is your creativity.

Popular Facebook Applications

Blank pages with no personality often have the fans to match. Applications are splendid ways to give your page some much needed pizzazz.

Here are a few top options to give you an edge:

1) Extended Info – Extended Info allows you to significantly beef-up your Facebook page with loads more information about your organization. You can include relevant reviews from your industry, milestones and launches, popular products, and various categories of intriguing data and customization. Extended Info is wonderfully easy to use, and doesn’t require in-depth knowledge of HTML for proper setup.

2) Poll – Poll gives businesses the power to get valuable feedback from their visitors and customers. This app enables you to set up simple or complicated questions in a snap, and it tallies responses in real-time.

3) EasyPromos – If you run an ecommerce site, or a local business that offers special discounts and promotions, EasyPromo will be very useful. This app lets you run contests and sweepstakes, customized to your content and prizes. Promos are a fantastic way to earn customer loyalty.

4) NetworkedBlogs – For companies that blog, you absolutely want to join a blogging network like NetworkedBlogs. This app facilitates a blogging exchange, sharing your posts with their entire network. Users can subscribe to a given blog, and you can also feature relevant content from other bloggers.

Remember, it’s fruitless to pull out all the marketing stops to promote a Facebook page with little to no content. Taking the time to customize your page, as well as adding valuable applications and content, will give you the incentive to share your social presence with an audience that actually wants to engage with your offerings. Always commit to spending time on your page each week, adding fresh content and replying to customer inquiries and posts. If you start with the two principles of dynamic, valuable content and the willingness to stay connected with your customers, you’re off to a brilliant start with your company’s Facebook presence.

By Tina Courtney-Brown