"Your Friend has invited you to like his new Facebook business page..."
Has this ever happened to you? One of your friends invites you to like their new Facebook business page. You click on link only to be taken to a page that's the digital equivalent of a hook shot lobbed up by a blindfolded 5-year old; horrible cover and profile images, incomplete business information and worse yet - no unique and interesting content to engage you and for you to want to share with others. For folks like me, it's "GAME OVER" before the game has even begun. (Geek trivia: click on the "GAME OVER" audio link and tell me what vintage arcade game the audio is from).
A Facebook business page gives your business its voice on Facebook. You, as a business owner, have to decide how that voice will carry. In order to do that, you have to use all of the tools in your toolbox to maximize your potential - and maybe even whip out a MacGuyver here or there too. Here's a few notes on how to execute the absolute essentials required for your new Facebook business page BEFORE you invite your friends to like it.
Cover and Profile Images
In most cases, your profile image should be your company's logo. Your logo is your brand in its simplest, most basic form, you want to brand it on the minds of everyone who visits your page. If you don't have a logo, you should definitely consider having one designed for your business. The minimum profile photo size is 180px X 180px - it will be resized to a "natural" size of 168px by 168px and displayed at 160px X 160px. Square photos work best, but you can edit the thumbnail and use Facebook's cropping feature to tweak the image if it's not square. Whatever method you use, make sure the complete logo displays in the space allotted - logos that don't fit and are cut-off look sloppy and demonstrate sloppy business practice.
Your Facebook cover should be a minimum of 851px X 315px. You can upload larger or smaller images, but if you want your voice to sing, size it to fit before uploading. Don't be casual with your cover photo. Make it look sharp. Include what you do and perhaps a hook or slogan on the image. You want people to stay on your page and images are what make the internet go 'round on any and all devices. Here's a nice Facebook image size cheat sheet by Jon Loomer that can guide you. Pay attention to how the cover will display across devices (you may have to play with text sizes and fonts so they display properly on mobile devices).
Facebook recently added a 'Call to Action' button to their business page functionality that you cannot, and should not, ignore. It's easy to configure, though its functionality is limited ('Book Now', 'Contact Us', 'Use App', and 4 more choices are those available). Your call to action will depend on your business, but I guarantee you that one of the seven choices Facebook gives you will fit. Pick one and configure it accordingly.
Complete the About Section - Completely
The 'About' Section on your page will appear differently depending on your page type. For instance if you are a "Local Business or Place" page, you'll have the opportunity to locate your business via Push Pin on a map so that people can find you. On mobile devices, people will be able to get directions to your place of business by clicking the 'Get Directions' button on the map and using Google Maps. People will also be able to review your establishment on your page with a rating of one to 5 stars. Restaurants can even link to a .pdf file of their menu so potential customers can get a taste of what you're serving even before they arrive.
You can even feature a video in your About section, which is a fantastic attention grabber and a great way to engage people. And here's a MacGyver tip: Put your website URL at the top of your Short Description. Or, perhaps you may want to put a link to your TripAdvisor review page in the short description, and a link to your website in the unique field.
The information contained in your 'About' section will vary based on the type of Facebook business page your are creating. Nevertheless, it is extremely important to complete as much information in the 'About' section fields as possible, regardless of the type of page you are creating.
Facebook allows you to install custom or third-party apps on your business page. These can be as simple as your Twitter or Pinterest feeds, and can feature your website too. Or they can be as robust as sweepstakes, photo contests, quizzes, coupons and more. Companies like AgoraPulse, Tabsite, Woobox, Offerpop and ShortStack provide free and paid apps for Facebook that can add an entirely new dimension to your business page to make is soar above your competition.
Contest and sweepstakes apps by third parties allow you to capture user information for future e-mail campaigns and re-marketing efforts, via Facebook Ads. Some are "cross social channel platform-friendly" allowing you, for example, to promote a Facebook photo contest on Twitter and Instagram simultaneously using a specified hashtag on those channels. Tweets and posts using the specified hashtag then appear as entries on the Facebook photo contest page. Apps are also mobile and tablet optimized, ensuring that you can get the maximum engagement out of your contests or sweepstakes across all devices. You can view performance and demographics statistics via your campaign dashboard.
Facebook apps add a completely new dimension to Facebook pages by turbo charging the manner in which you engage your audience and allowing your business to collect real, measurable statistics and user data than can be utilized in other marketing efforts for your business.
Be Brief, Or Have Great Content
From a social marketer's standpoint - or just about anyone's standpoint - being asked to like something that has little to offer is a bitter pill. When you create your Facebook business page and Facebook prompts you immediately to promote the page to your friends, DON'T DO IT. Keep your page a secret for a while while you populate it with great content - photos, videos, links to relevant posts and websites and other information your audience will appreciate. Make the page look like it's been lived in BEFORE you start soliciting your friends on Facebook to like it, and before you start promoting it via Facebook Ads or boosting posts.
Remember, it's not just about collecting likes. While likes can be very important in respect to targeting Facebook ads and promoted posts to people who have liked your page and their friends, but the big picture for the long haul is engagement. A page with 500 likes and 20k reach will reap more ROI than a page with 20k likes and 500 reach.
Make sure you take the time to set your Facebook business page up correctly and populate it with some great content and some third-party apps before you pull the trigger on your launch. And be sure to have fun while you're doing it.
Main image via rvlsoft / Shutterstock