This is a copy of an article written for The Net Effect

Have you heard about all this Facebook craze and know that the clock is ticking and you should have set-up your Facebook page for your business a year ago but were still too busy with other things to do it?  Start the New Year right by setting up your business on Facebook today! 

Over the last month I have spoken with 3 different successful small business owners to help them set-up their Facebook page for their business.  Here are some of the same steps I have shared with them on how to get your business set-up correctly on Facebook! 

Setup or choose a personal profile on Facebook.  

In order to create a Facebook page, you must first have a personal profile to link it to.  Be careful here before assigning your outsourcing team or employee to do this job for you.  Once a page has been created, the url cannot be re-assigned to another profile.  In other words if your hourly employee Suzy is tasked with the job of creating the Facebook page for your business and she creates it under her own profile, you are linked to Suzy for life. Well at least the life of your business!

If the business owner does not have a personal account then a business account can be created.  The business account has more restrictions and in most cases is not needed.  It is easier to simply crate a personal account and then create a page for the business. 

 Create a Page.

create facebook page 

Community Pages vs Official Pages

For our purposes, choose official page.  You want to create the official Facebook page for your business.  The community page is a way to create a page that is not the official page and can be edited and linked to by multiple users without granting admin priveleges.  The official page is the way for a business, service provider, or website to create the official page for their business to have a page on Facebook to communicate with their clients and customers. 

Local Business vs Product vs Public Figure 

If you own a brick and mortar store or offer services to clients in your local area, then choose Local Business.  If you are a public figure and are creating a page for your own name brand, then choose Public Figure.  If you are promoting a website, then choose: Brand, product, or organization.  When you select Product, a drop down menu will appear where you will be able to select the option of “website” or “online store”. 

For illustration purposes I claimed the name “CyberMonday”.

 cyber monday 

Once you create the page, Facebook will ask if you have an account or not.  This is important.  You must put the login and password of the person you want to own the account here.  Note that if you are already logged in to your account this screen will not show. 

When you login, you can navigate to and choose “Pages I admin” to see your list of pages you either own or have admin access for.  You will usually see the following when you create a new page: 

One of the first things you need to do is to get your custom url.  When you first create your page, the first url that generated is not but rather a url with a string of numbers or other characters.  To get the custom url you must first have 25 fans.  If you have friends or employees, the easiest thing to do is to ask them to friend your new page.  Once you hit 25, you can upgrade to the custom url. 

To edit your page, click on Edit Page from your admin page and then begin to fill out the required information. 

Don’t forget to add a company picture as well!

company picture 

After filling out the basics, the next step is to link your company blog via networked blogs. 

news feeds  

Click on Register a Blog and fill out the required information.

register new blog  

Once completed you will need to link your blog to your page.  Once you do, as you add new posts to your blog, your followers on your Facebook Page will automatically be notified. 

We have this setup with our page .

company page  

This post was posted automatically to the Facebook page when the blog was updated.  A really cool feature is that it also tells you how many times your link (wall post) was seen by others.  It also links to your blog so your customers or prospects can click on the post and go to your blog to read the whole blog post. 

The next step is to start posting to your page wall.  Just like you can post updates to your friends on your personal profile, you can also post updates to your clients and prospects on your page wall.  This is the place to share coupons and specials for your Facebook fans.  CVS Pharmacy does this well. 

cvs page

First they have customized the image on the left side nav to show a 20% offer.  The graphic shows a specific call to action: Click on … tab.  If you click on the tab indicated, you will see that the 20% offer is available but first you need to “like” the page. 

cvs like page

Once you Like their page, you are allowed to sign up for the special 20% discount offer. 

cvs offer

Also don’t forget to do the following: 

Fill out the info tab with as much info as possible about your company.  This is the place to put links to your other social media profiles as well as the best way for your customer’s to contact you.

Choose which tab you want as your landing tab for when your customer’s land on your page.  The landing tab should greet your visitors and also direct them to what they can find on your page.

Definitely have an offer or coupon available for your facebook page fans.  Statistics show that the number one reason people like a page is to get a coupon or other reward. 

Communicate.  Don’t forget that the #1 purpose of social media sites such as Facebook is to communicate with your customers and prospects.  Begin discussions and participate with your community!   What could be better than hanging out with those that have already self-identified themselves as your customers or prospects?

Use the photos and video tabs to add photos and videos of employees or the owner of the company in accordance with your social media strategy.  Think company culture.  People do business with people.  We know that by having pictures of real people on a website, the conversion rate increases.  If you can add pictures of the company softball game, do it!  People will feel like they “know” you and your company and be more likely to buy from you.  Your facebook page is to business what your personal page is to your friends!  Admit it, aren’t you disappointed when a new friend on Facebook has not uploaded any new pictures? If you don’t want to post company employee pictures then at least post some product pictures and product videos.

One of the most important factors of any marketing strategy is determining the effectiveness as well as the ROI. 

To determine if your social media strategy is effective it is important to set up some metrics.  Decide what are you trying to accomplish.  The goal with a Facebook page is of course to send more clients to your site to make a purchase. In order to track this metric, use special codes in your coupons that are only available to fans of your Facebook page.  A better metric for social media however, is to measure the engagement of your customers or prospects.  Facebook has some general metrics they provide to you about your pages such as visitors and views but a better metric would be to track the increase of comments on your wall!  Each month record how many new comments you have on your wall post updates and track which posts had the most comments. Learn what was the most engaging part of those wall posts was so you can repeat!  Study the most commented posts on other business sites and see if you can replicate the same type of conversations on your Facebook page.

Whatever you do, do something! Make it your New Years Resolution for 2011 to be the year for your business to master Social Media!

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Nicole Munoz is an SEO expert, mom of 7 kids, and missionary wife that runs her business from Puebla, Mexico.  Get your virtual team up and running in record time with her newest venture  If you are interested in full service SEO work with an emphasis on link building, check out her website