Nearly every organization out there right now, whether it's a small business or a non-profit, knows that it should have a company Facebook page – but setting it up, and more importantly utilizing it once it's set up is easier said than done. Below are the basic steps for getting your organization started on Facebook.
Creating a Fan Page on Facebook
1) Go to Facebook.com and click on Create a Page for a celebrity, band or business beneath the main Sign Up form.
2) Choose the type of Fan Page that best applies to you:
- Local Business or Place
- Company, Organization, or Institution
- Brand or Product
- Artist, Band or Public Figure
- Cause or Community
If local deals will be an important online campaign tool for you, make sure to choose Local Business of Place to take advantage of Facebook Places in the future.
Personalizing and announcing your organization's Fan Page
Facebook suggests the following six basic, initial steps as soon as you set up up your Fan Page:
Add an image
While you'll most likely want to show your organization logo in your main Fan Page image, it should be noted that while your image can only be 180px wide, it can be up to 540px tall. That means you can upload an image with a 3-1 height-to-weight ratio and give yourself much more visual real-estate to work with (for example, Skittles).
Invite your friends
Facebook rewards you by being a heavy Facebook user by letting you easily invite all your friends from your already-existing personal Facebook account. You can filter your friends individually, by friend list, or by network.
Tell your fans
If you aren't already planning on announcing your new Facebook page in a customized email blast, you can share your organization's Fan Page by emailing your Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. contacts.
More likely though, you'll want to upload an email contact list of people who have signed up on your website or through other services to receive updates from you when your organization is doing something exciting.
Post status updates
There's no set way that organizations need to utilize their wall (the place where all status updates go), but there are some general strategies that are usually helpful.
- Post upcoming events
- Share pictures and videos taken at events once they've passed
- Respond to comments that fans write
- Post interesting articles that employees are sharing internally if they're relevant to the industry
Promote the Page on your website
You can add a Like Box on your website so that you can convert visitors to your organization website into Fans of your Facebook page. Once you've customized your Like Box, click "Get Code" and copy the iframe code. Then go to your website and paste the code anywhere that you have direct access to the HTML.
Set up your mobile phone
Facebook has become a real-time platform and timing is often key. You are able set up your mobile phone so that if you take pictures or video, you're able to instantly update your Facebook status by either emailing a personal email address or texting a personal number from your phone.
Set goals and continue learning and experimenting to reach them
It's important to set specific goals whenever you're working with social media so that you have something concrete to measure success against. Some example goals as you build your page are:
- Post at least three updates each week
- Gain 3 new fans each week
- Get at least two Likes or comments on each post for every thousand fans you have
If you're not reaching your goals like you want to on your Facebook page, it's important to continue experimenting to find your Facebook voice. Check out other brands that are using Facebook well and follow organizations that you can relate to. If you're a non-profit for example, Like a few non-profits that have found their Facebook voice and learn from their example.
Social media are always evolving. Follow Facebook's Blog and try out one of their latest features, like adding Questions to your page. Experimenting with new features is a great way to better understand what your fans are hoping to get out of your Facebook page and more fully engage them with your organization.
Get your hands dirty
The biggest thing you can do when you're just starting with Facebook is to simply try it out. Sometimes a new technology can be intimidating but you don't get to be as successful as Facebook without having an intuitive (and even fun!) user interface. Sign up for an account, get your hands dirty and start engaging with your future Facebook fans!