Image courtesy of Pixabay and Simon

Image courtesy of Pixabay and Simon

Facebook has come a long way from the college email address-only policy. Having a valid and current college email address is no longer a VIP ticket to Facebook — anyone can join!

Facebook still skews young — with 86 percent of online 18 to 29-year-olds using it. But the good news is that users 45 to 54 years old have increased by 46 percent since 2012. As far as income goes, 73 percent of internet users with incomes above $75,000 have a Facebook account. That’s a lot of consumers. That means you as a marketer or small business owner need to get on it.

We’ve assembled some helpful steps for you to start your Facebook page if you haven’t already.

Step 1 — Decide On Your Branding And Set Your Goals

A big part of social media is having consistent branding and decidedly writing down your goals/what you’d like to use it for. That said, most people’s goals end up being “use Facebook for marketing.” That’s obviously why you’re using Facebook for your business. But if your goal is that vague and bland, there will be nothing to set you apart from anyone else using Facebook for their business. Plus you won’t know how to meet that goal.

Branding

So you have to start with branding. Ask yourself: do I already have a branding strategy? If yes, make sure you apply this to your Facebook page so that it’s consistent with your other operations.

If you do not have a branding strategy, here are a few helpful questions to help you make one:

  1. How do I want people to think of me?
  2. What are some of the things my business stands for particularly? (Is it family? Is it thought leadership?)
  3. What does my business do that sets me apart from others like me?
  4. Do I have a motto or tagline? Do I want a motto or tagline if I don’t already have one?

Once you have an idea of what to do for your branding, write it down.

Goal Setting

You should try to set goals — that you write down — of both long- and short-term nature.

A long-term goal that every business should have is to cultivate a community around what they do — since Facebook is about communities and being social.

Examples of short-term goals include things like gain a certain amount of followers in a specific amount of time (be reasonable with this), to have a visible increase in interaction on the page, or to post one piece of original content a week.

Step 2 — Gather Materials

Before you even start a Facebook page, you should have a logo to use as your profile picture. It’s best to have a logo as a profile picture so that when you post, it’ll appear as a logo in the newsfeed of those who’ve liked your page. The best dimensions for a Facebook profile picture are 180×180 pixels.

Next, you need a banner. Your banner should match your color scheme and go with your branding. Whether you’d like to choose a graphic or an image is up to you — but it must be of quality. The best dimensions to use for your Facebook banner are 851×315 pixels.

Lastly, you must have a formal written description of your business. If you have a website, that’s likely your “about us” section. You need a shortened version — in a couple of sentences — that sums up what you do.

Step 3 — Make the Page

Now that you’ve got your strategy and materials, it’s time to make your page.

On Facebook, you click the down arrow and go to “create page.” Once there, select the type of business you have and fill in the information. Upload all of your photos and graphics, fill in all of the information — particularly important is your address, website, and how to contact you.

Another thing you should forget about is to add managers if you have someone helping you by adding to the page. That way they can access the page from their own Facebook account and you can remove them if necessary. You can learn how to do this here.

Step 4 — Let Everybody Know About Your Page

The very first thing you do once you’ve created a page is to invite all of your Facebook friends to like your page. You do the same with email. Shoot people an email saying you’ve made a new page and encourage them to like it.

If you have a website or another social media platform, you should put a link to your Facebook page on all of them. You should also add a link to your business email’s signature.

Don’t forget to post on your personal Facebook page announcing that you’ve made a business page — some people you may not expect might want to like it.

Step 5 — Content Strategies

There’s one thing that’s important to all social media platforms: original content.

Original content can be anything from blogs to YouTube videos to Vine videos to photos to homemade memes and GIFs. Platforms with original content do much better than those that don’t have any.

But making original content isn’t as scary as it seems. Let’s take something we know about Facebook — photos do better.

If you have a visual business, you’re in luck. You should be posting photos of your product. But don’t fret if you have a business that’s more service oriented. There’s always the option of behind-the-scenes photos.

Step 6 — Posting Related Content

You won’t always have a bunch of original content. So you can post related industry news. Or a meme. For example, people love the hump day meme — so you can post that on Wednesday. But don’t overdo it — only use it once in a blue moon.

You can hunt for some usable memes on this website.

Step 7 — How Often To Post

Facebook isn’t like Twitter where the life of a post is short. So you don’t need to be posting 20 times a day. Honestly, once a day or once every couple of days is fine. However, there’s no exact science to this stuff. If you find that your fans like a ton of posts, go right ahead and post more often.

If you have problems getting on Facebook to post every day, you can always

Step 8 — Create a Conversation and Always Stay Social

The trick to posting all of this stuff is to make it a social experience. That means you need to do things like asking questions, asking for feedback, doing polls, and giving choices (ie. do you like option one or two better?)

But there’s another catch — you have to keep up with people asking you questions or talking to you. People like thinking that the brand they admire see their feedback.

Even if things are negative, you should respond and do damage control (crisis management is a whole different blog post, though).

Step 9 — Always Toot Your Horn

The last piece of advice I leave you with is to always “toot your horn.” Did something good happen to you or your business? It’s not bragging (of course, you should set a tone that implies so). People like to share in your success.

You no doubt see tons of likes on posts where people announce an engagement, marriage, a new job, or a baby. It’s the same with your business!

To sum things up, Facebook is no longer just for college kids. People from all demographics are joining Facebook. With some prep work and following these 9 steps and you will find that getting your business started on Facebook is easier than you expected!

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