How do I set-up my business Facebook fan page?

You start from your regular FB page, scroll down to the bottom of your home page (click on home on the top right blue navigation bar to be sure you are on the home page).  You will be prompted from there through a fairly straightforward process.  As of March 30, 2012 all Facebook pages are on the Timeline format.  If you already have a fan page you will probably see a big space at the top of your page with an orange flag – that means it is time to update your page, follow the instructions – it’s easy. BUT, before you get started read-on to better prepare yourself for a smooth set-up (this applies to new pages and existing pages.)

Fanpage Start Up

This is your business page and it says a lot about your business.  For example – not updating your page to Timeline is like waving a big orange flag that you haven’t been at your desk or in your “virtual store” in a very long time. Who wants to do business with a business like that?  So, if you set-up this page and never tend to it, nurture it, and use it to engage your customers and prospects —you may be missing out BIG TIME.

Let’s get started; put on your sales and marketing cap because this can be an amazing tool to market your business.  The first step is to begin to build your fan base by creating a welcoming look and some good information about your business that clearly communicates your brand message.

First big decision is how to use the new spaces to communicate your image – the cover photo and your profile photo.  There are two ways to go, work with your available assets or get some design assistance.  If you google Timeline Cover Photo Ideas you are going to see lots of great creative ideas for using this image landscape to communicate your brand.

Profile Photo – It should not be your personal photo, even if you are the brand; plan on using your logo or icon.  The space is a square 180×180 pixels.  If your logo is extremely horizontal you will want to adjust it for this purpose or choose a part of the logo that is a graphic image.  If neither of these options work, look for images online that uniquely represent your business.  Not too busy because this image shrinks way down in size and accompanies every post you make from your fan page.

Cover Photo – This is the most obvious change.  The dimensions for this image space are 851×315 pixels. If you choose a strong horizontal photo with a good graphic image that says something about your business, service or customer. ( For example; my business is all about words, I took a picture of my hands on the keyboard.)  You can load in several images to see how they will look in the space before you publish. Remember the logo profile photo will cover part of the big image.  Timeline will automatically choose the rectangular field from your photo, but you can move it around until you are satisfied.

Facebook also has some guidelines on what types of images are appropriate and what is not acceptable – such as blatant sales offers or discounts. timeline-admin-panel

Use a sales and marketing focus when you fill in the “About” section.  As you go about inviting friends and e-mail contacts to “Like” your page the message from the about section is served up along with your profile image and an invitation to visit the page – so make it a good opening volley that will entice them to visit and “Like.”  Be sure there are some current and relevant posts to greet your visitors.

There is much to learn about getting the most out of this tool, but for now slow and steady wins the race.  Plan on visiting the admin panel once or twice a week and use the “Build Audience” button to gradually build your fan base; set some goals on quantity.   Make a commitment to post regularly, and consider what kind of information will inspire comment or sharing.

Once you hit 30 fans the analytics function “Insights” on the admin panel will be activated. There is a lot to learn from this feature that will help you keep growing and improving – more about that next time.

My best to you – Katie Donovan

For more ideas, visit my Facebook Fan page K.Donovan Consulting and “Like” it to receive regular updates, you can access it on the sidebar here on this site.
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