I begin our series on Expanding your Digital Footprint with the mechanics of setting up a business page on Facebook. I should start with a necessary warning. Facebook has a history of altering their instructions and policies without notice. Thus, if any aspect of the instructions below have changed, a little creative searching with Google and some trial and error should greatly assist your efforts.
Firstly, understand the difference between a personal profile and a business page. A “Profile” is a Facebook presence for individuals. “Pages” are where a business builds its presence. There are many good reasons not to use a personal profile as a business page. The best reason is to do so violates the Facebook Terms and Conditions and they can shut your profile down without warning! If you have Friends, then you have a personal profile. If you have a “Like” button on your page, then you have a Business Page and you have Fans, also called Followers.
Facebook produces some guides you should review now to familiarize yourself with a Page.
- A product guide from Facebook explains the different features and segments of a Facebook business Page: http://ads.ak.facebook.com/ads/FacebookAds/Pages_Product_Guide_022812.pdf
- You can also get more detailed information here: http://www.facebook.com/help/pages
Have ready the following:
- A cover photo– This is a photo you can change whenever you want. The ideal size is 851 x 315 pixels. Note that this picture is meant to be decorative. You cannot make offers or have contact information on your cover photo. Your cannot reference Facebook activities such as “Like” or “Share” on your cover photo, nor can you have any call to action. I suggest investing in a high quality picture from a source such as www.istockphoto.com. If you take a look at my Travelhoppers page, you can see our current cover photo. www.facebook.com/travelhoppers
- A profile picture – This is a much smaller graphic typically representing a key aspect of your business. This, it might your picture or your company logo. This is the thumbnail image which will appear on any post from your page. Thus, it needs to look good at both larger and smaller dimensions. The ideal picture will be 180 x 180 pixels but will be clear and easy to read at 32 x 32 pixels. Again, take a look at the Travelhoppers profile picture.
- “About” paragraph – prepare some basic information about your travel practice. What is your mission statement? What are you all about? Use three to four sentences for this section.
Now, let’s build your page over the next couple of days. Don’t worry: we are not going to “publish” the page until it is finished and ready to go.
Creating the Page:
- Go to this page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
- Click on the panel that indicates “Company, Organization or Institution”
- Choose Company, Organization or Institution
- Choose Category: Travel/Leisure
- Type in your Company Name
- Click I agree to Facebook Pages Terms
- Click “Get Started”
If you already have a personal profile and are logged in you will now proceed to set up your page or should log in now. If you do not have a personal profile, then you will be asked to provide an email address and password. This is a recent change. You are no longer required a personal Profile to have a business Page.
Set Up Your Page
- Upload your profile picture you have ready. Note – this is the smaller profile picture you have ready, not your larger Cover Picture.
- Cut and past into the next screen your “About” paragraph you have prepared. On this screen you can also enter the URL of your website(s).
- Click Save Info.
You are now taken to the page you have created. Still some work to do here!
At this point, Facebook may conduct a short automated tour of your page and ask you to “Like” your own page and perform a few small tasks. It is too early to invite your Profile friends to join you on your page so at this juncture decline to do so if Facebook gives you the option.
You are now the Administrator of your Page. At the top of the screen, just under the blue Facebook bar, you will see “Admin Panel”. If the Admin Panel is collapsed, click on the SHOW button.
Once the admin panel is showing, click on the Edit Page Button, and choose Manage Permissions. You will see an option to “Unpublish Page”. Check this option. Now, click Save Changes. Your page is now invisible to anyone but you as an admin. We will make the page visible, and therefore searchable, after we are finished setting it up.
Now, click on the “View Page” button at the top right of the page. You are now returned to your page. The Admin Panel should be visible and you should see an indication just under the admin panel that the page has not been published.
Next, let’s add your Cover Photo. Look to the right of your Profile Picture for a button that says “Add a Cover” and click it.
Choose the “Upload Photo” option and then upload the cover photo you earlier prepared. You can reposition your uploaded cover image to give it the best possible framing. When you are happy with it, choose “Save Changes.”
Congratulations! You have come a long way through the process of setting up your page. Remember, it is not yet published and nobody but you can see it. That means we can continue with the set up process tomorrow and create your first post!