This week the 365 Guide is working through the most basic steps of setting up a Facebook Page as a part of our Expanding Your Digital Footprint series. Today we will finish building your Facebook page, publish it and make your first post. Log into Facebook and go to your unpublished page. Expand the Admin Panel and click on the “Edit Page” button, choosing the “Update Info” menu item. From there, choose “Basic Information” from the menu on the left.
Username and Address
Our first task will be to register a username for the Facebook Page to build your brand and make it easy to remember. Choose a username similar or identical to your brand, e.g. www.facebook.com/abctravel. You can use only on alphanumeric characters, and you cannot infringe on other’s trademarks.
- Click on the “Create a username for this page?” link.
- You must have a cell phone to receive an SMS message available to you. Enter the phone number.
- You will receive a confirmation code by phone. Type it into the text box on Facebook. Once you confirm your telephone number, you can turn on text notifications if you want, and allow others to see your number on your page.
- Next, type the Username you want into the Name Field.
- Add a start year and month if you wish and then choose the “Start Type”, probably “Founded”.
- Next, fill in your address if you like. This is an optional step.
Now fill in information about your company. As you do, use key words likely to be picked up by search engines such as Google. For example, use your hometown more than once, use the phrase “travel agency” and also words associated with your niche. Each of the fields will show up in your About link, but only the first field “About” will show up on your Facebook home page. Thus, you may find it best to keep the first field to only a few sentences and let the other fields bear the burden of additional information.
Don’t forget to Save Changes! If you typed in an address, you will now have the option of showing the map of your location on your page.
At the very top of the page You will see a “View Page” button. Click on this button and you will be taken to your Page. You can see how the changes you have made are now reflected on your still unpublished page. Click on the About link to see the additional information you entered. You can edit any information you entered by going back to the Admin Panel, clicking “Edit Page” and choosing “Update Info.”
Next, click on the “Edit Page” button and choose “Manage Permissions.” This section allows you to choose who can view your page and how they interact with the page. As a general rule, there is no reason to be overly restrictive, unless you service a niche market where you wish to intentionally exclude some viewers. For example, I have seen agents set the age limitation at 21+, thinking people who are under 21 are not their clients. However, this restricts the children of clients! If you are a clothing optional travel company, good move! If Disney is your niche, maybe not!
- For now, leave the page unpublished.
- Country Restrictions? You can choose to limit where a viewer can originate.
- Age Restrictions: You can limit the age of viewers. Most choose “Anyone” for general interest travel. If, however you have a niche that parents of young viewers might find objectionable, it is best to restrict the age group.
- Next, decide if you want to allow posts by other people to your timeline. If you do, your Timeline will be more interactive, but you also risk something being added as spam or inappropriate. You can always remove such posts, but monitoring becomes a necessity. Most consider this a necessary risk. You can also create an approval process for other’s posts by setting the Default visibility to Hidden From Page.
- If you want people to be able to privately message you, choose the Message option. You can then choose a list of terms not permitted to show up on your site such as profanity.
As you work through these options, use the small question mark (?) help menus to learn more about any topic.
Note there is a link in this section to permanently remove your page. Stay away from this link.
Now, Save your changes.
Publish Your Site
There are a number of other tweaks you can make to your page, and no doubt over time you will wish to do so. On the left hand menu you will see a Resources link where you can get additional information on other aspects of Facebook. For now, however, let’s publish your site. Remember, prior to marketing your presence, it is highly unlikely anyone will see your site in any event, so you will have plenty of time to make additional changes and adjustments.
- From your Page, choose the “Edit Page” button and then the “Update Info” link.
- On the left hand menu, choose “Manage Permissions”
- Uncheck the Unpublish Page box.
- Save Changes
Your page is published!
Your First Post
Now let’s make your first post.
- Click on the “View Page” button at the top right corner of the page.
- Under your Cover Photo on the lower left hand side of the screen, you will see your Status bar. You can type anything you wish! “Hello World!” is a great first post!
Congratulations! Tomorrow we will discuss content for your posts and Thursday we will cover how to begin building your audience.