How to Set up a Facebook Page for a Business, Charity, Community or Interest
Facebook pages are free and so simple and quick to set up. Very often they will do the job instead of a website if you’re a community, cause or interest category. Here are 12 key tips to make sure that your Facebook page works well for your organisation or interest, fans and audiences.
1. Choose a recognisable page title
With the mass usage of Facebook pages, make sure that you choose a title that will differentiate you from similar or the same Facebook page names. So for instance if your Facebook page is Smiths Books, carry out a search on Facebook first to see what other pages come up. You may find that there are many other pages called Smiths Books, so you will need to differentiate your page from the others; perhaps using the title Smiths Books US, Smiths Books USA or Smiths Books Brighton. Consider that when people search for you that they must be able to see and locate your page quickly and easily through a list of similar pages and titles. As part of Facebook’s guidelines, your page title (and Facebook url) must accurately portray the content and purpose of your Facebook page. Check the guidelines here: https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php.
2. Complete your `About’ information
The `About’ section is to explain to everyone – i.e. audiences that know you and audiences that haven’t heard of you before – about who you are, what you do and what you offer. Don’t assume that everyone will know who you are outside of your friends and family connections. You need to factor in the lowest common denominator of your audience which means writing your `About’ section for someone who doesn’t know anything about you.
The `Description’ section will allow you to go into more detail. The best approach is to encapsulate a clear summary of what you stand for using a short paragraph in the `About’ section and have a more detailed explanation in the `Description’ which will sit below the `About’ summary paragraph. You can also separate your `Description’ with headings to make your content clearer and easier to read. If you are referring to terminology, information and other organisations then make sure you include links where people can go to read further information.
3. Avoid jargon. Think about language and tone of voice
Avoid using jargon on your Facebook page as not everyone – or anyone! – will understand it and you will be alienating and confusing your fans. If you need to use acronyms, write the words in full then use the acronyms after in brackets – eg Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Think about the language and tone of voice that you will be using with your audience. The tone of voice is really important and needs to be friendly and conversational. Avoid authoritative, dictatorial and lawyer-speak posts that feel formal, condescending and stilted. You’re using a Facebook page on a social media platform, so the tone and approach should be friendly, on your fans’ level and social whilst establishing trust and credibility.
4. Timing and regularity of posts
Facebook posts are your communications to your fans, whether via video content, text content, polls, web content or photos. Keep posts regular so that you show often in the news feed to fans and this keeps you in their attention span and on their radar. If you have more than one post per day, schedule these so that they are evenly timed. This has three benefits:
a) You avoid looking like you’re spamming (fans may hide posts, possibly permanently from your page if they see too many at once)
b) You can catch fans’ attention at different times of day and night
c) It will help with Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm (see Point 6) and get your posts and content prioritised in fans’ news feeds.
You can use tools such as www.hootsuite.com and https://bufferapp.com which are absolutely free for a capped number of Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. Through your Facebook insights (see Point 12) you will also get to understand when the best day in the week and the best time of day is to post for maximum reach, engagement and visibility. So with this in mind, post important content when more people will see it.
5. Content for posts
Your content for posts need to be:
Keep posts simple and in plain language, and make sure if you have a call to action, it is clear for your fans. You can write posts of around 63,200 characters, however, avoid lengthy and wordy posts as a general rule so that people can read them quickly and easily especially on mobile phones. If you need to post something that is lengthy and wordy then use the `Notes’ Facebook app and link to it. A notes app can be written like a word document and include links and more detailed text. More details here: https://www.facebook.com/notes. Notes are also easier to share across Facebook accounts and pages.
If you are posting details of an event, use the `Events’ app and give all of the details, i.e venue, location, time, dress code, price and what’s on. If you are posting an offer, give all details of what’s included and also make clear the terms and conditions of the offer to cover yourself legally and to negate misunderstanding.
Make posts more engaging by inviting feedback about what people want to see and asking people to share. You will see by the amount of shares if your post is popular and goes viral. Also share other posts from other relevant and interesting Facebook pages so it’s not just your content being shared. There will always be other great content out there that is relevant to your fans too, so share what will be interesting to them from other pages. These pages will also see what you’re sharing and possibly add you to their `Likes’ section (see Point 8).
Also make sure that your posts (if you’re stating facts, news items or posting something that is being clarified) are factually correct as incorrect information will mar your brand and credibility.
6. Exploit Edgerank
Facebook uses an algorithm called `Edgerank’. When a user logs into Facebook, there are normally many more posts destined for a user than that can fit on a user’s news feed. Facebook uses the Edgerank algorithm to determine which posts should be prioritised in the news feed. The algorithm uses a range of factors to determine top stories, including the number of Likes and comments and the type of post it is, i.e. video, photo, status update etc, and the effort each individual action requires from the user. Using this algorithm means that Facebook can prioritise content that has more Likes and interaction over one that doesn’t. The popular posts will be prioritised and shown in fans’ news feeds, so essentially your page will get seen over others. It’s important that you use a variety of post types to share and encourage people to share your posts and `Like’ and interact with them. It also goes back to the fundamentals of posting interesting content in the first place that fans find relevant and interesting and interact with readily.
7. Get mobile
Your Facebook page is also going to be accessed by a huge volume of mobile devices. You can download the free Facebook Pages Manager app that allows you to quickly and easily update and manage your Facebook page on the move via iPhone, iPad and Android devices. More details and get the download here: https://www.facebook.com/help/261725130600682. It’s free, easy to use and an essential app.
8. Build relationships through your page
A Facebook page is a fantastic and appealing way to build relationships with other Facebook page owners as well as your fans. You can ‘Like’ another Facebook page as your page which adds a page to your `Likes’ section and is available to your fans. Drop a note to the Page Admin or post on that page to say that you’ve added their page and ask if they can add you too which helps you to reach a wider audience. You can see a list of Facebook Pages who have added you as their favourite by selecting `See Likes’ from your Admin Panel, and from the drop down menu on the left hand side – `Pages that like this’.
You can also comment on other Facebook pages as your page rather than you personally. This will help get your page seen by other users. When you go off your page onto another page, you need to set it so that you can comment as your page. Select `Edit Page’ on the top right hand corner drop down menu and select `Use Facebook as (your page)’.
9. Integrate all your social media
If you have other social media presence, be sure to integrate them with your Facebook page. You can integrate Twitter, YouTube, RSS feeds, Google+ and lots more social media with Facebook by using apps. The best thing to do to find the right app for you is to search on Facebook and see what apps come up, read reviews and view comments on their pages (you can often pick up on any user problems with the app). That way you can pick the best one. Because most of them are free anyway, give them a trial run to see how they work and switch to the best one you find.
10. Be responsive
Remember that a Facebook page is a two-way medium. One-way transmission is not how social media is meant to work. Accept feedback – good and bad – and respond to it promptly and honestly. Answer questions from your fans who have taken the time to ask you a question and make efforts to engage your fans with questions, polls and posts that they want to see rather than what you want them to see. At Espan, we think that feedback is a virtuous circle, and you can harness it and use it to your advantage to make your Facebook page – and organisation – the best it can be. Some Facebook pages stop their fans posting on their wall. We don’t think that’s a good thing and counteracts the spirit and concept of social media. Allow fans to interact with you, it shouldn’t be a one-way platform and beneficial to you only.
11. Give treats and rewards to your fans
A great way to reward your fans for their loyalty and interaction with your organisation through your Facebook page is to offer treats to them. These could be in the form of a prize draw, competition, giveaway, offer or discount – anything that says `thanks for being our fans’. You can run these as often as you like and it also helps to get new fans for your page as these treats and rewards will certainly go viral. Check the Facebook rules and guidelines for competitions, offers and prize draws prior to setting up here: https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php. There is a range of software tools that will create prize draws, competitions, offers etc to interface with Facebook and comply with their policy and user regulations. Most will charge you based on the number of fans you have.
12. Use your insights data
Facebook has recently launched their improved insights and measurement data. The data now available is significantly better than previous performance measurement and gives a greater level of detail for Likes, demographics, engagement, reach and page visits broken down into page activity and external referrers. You can also see the popular content and post type (video, photo, link etc) with the most reach and how they are shared. If you track and understand these figures on a weekly basis you will start to get a good view of the trends of visitors and engagement to your page. This will help you to continually improve and better target your page and content moving forward.
Why are we so passionate about Facebook pages? Visit http://www.facebook.com/moonbearrescue which we set up and run. Our page has over 8000 fans and builds awareness for charities and their causes. We also offer social media services in Surrey, London and across the UK for businesses and charities and set up Facebook pages for a variety of clients for consumer and business audiences, as well as maintain them. We also offer social media training for a variety of companies and organisations. Click here for more information on our social media services.
Author: Sonya Brucciani, Founder and Director, Espan Digital.