Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at October 13, 2017
How do you go about creating a Facebook page?
You may have been in business for a few years or months or days, or even several. Yet, for whatever reason, your small business is not on Facebook yet. Maybe you’ve been busy. Or maybe you, personally, can’t stand Facebook and you don’t really want to spend any time there. Or you feel you need to hire someone to manage it, and it’s just not in the budget. And if you have to personally manage it, it can feel a lot like another task is being piled onto you.
One thing about Facebook is that it has become so widespread that it is practically what the old yellow pages used to be. It is where people get plumber recommendations, make restaurant reservations, download soft drink coupons, and read blog posts from companies. It is also where people consume a ton of advertising copy every single day.
Also, you may find that even if you don’t want a Facebook presence for your small business, it could very well be there already. Really? Why? This is because if your service or product is beloved, then your customers might want to celebrate that. And if your business has messed up too many times, they may be going onto Facebook to complain about your company, and even to warn people away.
You cannot control every aspect of the conversation, nor should you try. However, you can counter the negatives with positives. You can have a presence to answer questions or even put up a FAQ (frequently asked questions) so that your customers don’t have to guess. Basic information such as your company’s address, telephone number, business hours, and a means of contacting customer service, and a map or directions should be no-brainers.
Restaurants can upload their menus. Hardware stores can showcase their goods or even host a modest ‘Ask the Handyman’ corner. Trucking companies can put up maps of where their employees go. A pet store can set up a web cam for the fish tanks. The only limit is your imagination.
Want to do more? There are companies which handle virtually all of their customer service online. If you don’t want to, you can always at least provide a means of contact – but recognize that people might still want to have you handle customer service online.
You can use Facebook as a place to announce a new product line or that you’re opening a new store location. You can offer coupons to print, or tell the story of your company’s founding and how you got started.
You might even find you are handling a social media or other crisis through Facebook. What if your hummus has listeria bacteria in it? What if your company building was flooded and records were lost? What if you have to lay off a lot people?
While you wouldn’t be announcing layoffs on Facebook, you might need it as a place to answer questions, and even to assure customers that your company is still in business and looking to thrive, and you will hire those employees back when you can. There are a lot of choices for how to handle a crisis online, but sweeping it under the rug and ignoring it is not an option.
Therefore, you are going to need a meeting place. It should be your business’s Facebook page. Here’s how to get started.
Why do you want one over another? Why does it matter?
Groups, as might be expected, allow for more discussion. However, everyone is on a more or less equal footing when it comes to creating web content. And if that is what you want, then of course that is perfectly fine. However, if you are looking to only showcase your own products, then a group is not going to help you much. Rather, your own messages will be lost in the shuffle of everybody else’s content and messaging. As the administrator, however, you can clear away any discussions you do not wish to see. This can get tiresome, plus you lose the complete discussions.
With a page, you are the site owner/administrator. You generate the content, which in turn other people respond to, which can include commenting, and those comments can include hyperlinks. If you want those comments and links removed, you can get rid of them– an activity which is also destined to become tedious. But at the very least the general discussions would remain. Your post will still exist.
We have all noticed branding for our favorite commercial ventures, whether it is the shade of green for Starbucks and its products, or the use of a mascot/spokes-character like Flo from Progressive Insurance. Or it could be the backward ‘R’ in the Toys ‘R’Us store signage. For your Facebook page, your website, your Twitter stream, and your background image, it pays to brand these items. Facebook page branding can be subtle, such as a color scheme, or more sophisticated, with the creation of a unique logo for your page.
Facebook is always altering the means of performing tasks, as it is continuously A/B testing (that is, it tests which layout or color scheme, etc. gets you to click more). Currently, the way to make a page is, click on Pages on the left side of your feed and then click on Create a Page. Then select the page type that you want.Include the full name of your business and then click Get Started.
Truly, it’s that simple.Now go make a Facebook page!