Facebook has come a long way over its comparatively brief 13-year history.
While it was once only the domain of selfie-obsessed teens, Facebook now boasts more than a billion active members worldwide.
Chances are, your mother, or grandmother, are on it. People have set up accounts for their cats and dogs. You may have even encountered the profile of a long-dead celebrity, seemingly posting from beyond the grave.
Pets and dead celebrities aside, that billion active users represent a huge opportunity for new business owners looking to attract first-time customers. Also, it’s now easier than ever to get your business up and running on Facebook.
Here’s how to set up a Facebook Page for your new business in five easy steps.
Step 1: Create a Facebook business page
For many, this first step is the most daunting. But, it needn’t be. In recent years, Facebook has streamlined the Business Page set up process and it’s now very straightforward.
You just need to visit, www.facebook.com/business, and select ‘create a page’.
From there you will be prompted to enter:
- The type of business you operate
- Your business’ name and a profile picture
- Your address and a contact number
- Some basic details about your business
- The audience you want to target
Simply follow the prompts and you’ll be up and running in no time.
Step 2: Give your new page a great cover image
Now that you’ve created your Facebook Business Page, it’s time to bring it to life.
Think of your new page as an empty shop-front. You need to put up a few signs, displays, or even free samples to attract potential customers and passersby.
Start by putting up a ‘cover image’. This is the large banner at the top of your page. You can alter it by selecting the ‘add a cover’ icon in the cover image space’s top left.
Choose a great photo. Remember! Your cover image is the first thing most people will see when they visit your page. So, make it eye-catching.
If you’re a café-owner, use a picture of your most mouthwatering sandwiches, coffee, or cakes. If you’re a hairdresser, use a photo of some of your hippest hairstyles.
Your cover image doesn’t have to be complicated. You can use a snap taken with your phone. Just ensure its enticing and that it tells people a little about your business’ services.
Step 3: Tell people about your business in the ‘About’ section
The second tab in the top navigation, just below your cover image, will be labelled ‘About’. This is your chance to tell people a little about your business.
You don’t have to write a lot, just some basic details and a little colour about you.
If you’ve just opened a fish and chip shop and you make the best darn homemade dim sims in all of Melbourne, say so! If you offer local, fresh or sustainable-sourced fish, let us know!
Now that you’re in business, it’s no longer called bragging, it’s advertising.
Elsewhere in your page settings, you can add other information which may be helpful to your potential customers. Including your:
- Opening hours
- Price range
Don’t worry if you haven’t got a lot to say right now. You can also add more later as your new business grows and progresses.
You may also want to add a custom ‘Call to Action’ button. Located at the base of your cover image, this button allows users to contact you, book or shop now with one tap.
Step 4: Add some photos
A picture tells a thousand words. And these days, taking a happy snap is as simple as pointing your phone and shooting. You can even upload your picture straight to your Facebook Business Page via the Facebook app.
Need inspiration? Try photographing your favourite product, dish, or service. Get a co-worker or friend to photograph you doing what you do best, running your new business. Or share a candid behind-the-scenes moment.
A common misconception is that a business’ Facebook photos must be expertly choreographed and created with a team of ten ‘food and product stylists’.
This isn’t true.
People use Facebook to connect and have fun with their friends. That means a raw, honest or funny photo is often far more engaging than a tightly scripted corporate message.
So, don’t be camera shy. Take some photos and show, not tell, people why they should give your new business a try.
Step 5: Get posting!
That’s it, you’re done, so long as you’ve followed all the steps and have:
- Set up your Facebook Business Page
- Added a great cover photo
- Told people about your business in the About section
- Added in some photos
If you have, well done! Now comes the real work…
Managing your Facebook Business Page. Engaging with your customers. Responding to their queries (or complaints). Keeping them abreast of business announcements, changes and new products. It’s all part of running your Facebook Business Page.
What? I didn’t tell you that in the beginning?
Sorry! But it’s true. Your Facebook Business Page isn’t something you can set-and-forget. Think of it as an extension of your business’ physical store. You wouldn’t leave your café or clothing shop or restaurant unattended with an ‘open now’ store in the window.
You don’t have to watch your Facebook Business Page all day, every day. But taking the time to respond to customers, to post fresh content, and to add new photos is essential for promoting your business on social media.
So, get involved, take a few risks, and don’t be afraid to have fun. It is Facebook after all. Most importantly of all though, just get going and get posting!