Back in 2011 we published How Can Facebook Help My Business, an article about how Facebook – and in particular a Facebook Business Page – can really help to drive your business forward. Although it was published just two years ago, so much has changed since then that we thought it would be a good time to revisit the subject and write an in-depth guide to making the most out of the social media behemoth that is Facebook. This series will focus on how to build, brand and market your Facebook Business Page effectively, as well as amass a following of highly engaged customers.
Facebook Page or Personal Profile
Whatever you do, don’t just create another personal Facebook profile to promote your business; create a Facebook Business Page instead, which functions much more effectively for businesses. If you don’t already have a personal Facebook account, sign up as an individual and search “Create a Page” in the search box at the top of the site, or click the “Create a Page” button at the top of any existing Facebook page. Alternatively, visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/create to get started. When creating your Facebook Business Page, make sure that you categorise your page correctly as this will make the task of finding you via a Facebook search much easier.
If you’re running a personal profile as business page, there’s a chance that Facebook will close it without notice. It’s therefore a very good idea to convert your personal profile to a Business Page as soon as possible. To do that, use Facebook’s “migrate” tool to make the switch (and retain all of your friends/followers in the process). Visit this link to get started.
Naming Your Facebook Business Page
Keep your Facebook Business Page name short
If possible, try to keep your Facebook Business Page name short, as this will help if you go on to create Facebook ads where the headline space in the advertisement (often the name of your Page) is limited to just 25 characters.
Get it right first time
You can only change the name of a Facebook Page with fewer than 200 Likes, so make sure you are happy with yours very early on. If you’re not happy with the name of your Facebook Business Page, and it qualifies to be changed, follow these simple steps to rename the Page:
- From the top of your Facebook Business Page, click “Edit Page”;
- Select “Update Info”; and
- Change the text in the “Name” field and then save your edits.
Set Up a Vanity URL for Your Facebook Page
Once your Facebook Business Page has acquired 25 Likes or more you can set up a vanity URL (also known as a custom URL or search engine friendly URL) for your Page. Typically, this is named after your company or brand, e.g. www.facebook.com/yourcompanyname, where “yourcompanyname” is your username. This will make it much easier for you to tell people how to find your Facebook Business Page. It’s important to choose your vanity URL carefully as you will only be able to change it once in future, otherwise you will have to delete the Page and start again.
In order to reach the 25 Likes target and be eligible for a vanity URL, invite your email contacts and current Facebook friends to visit and Like your Facebook Business Page via the “Build Audience” menu at the top of your Facebook Page. Once your Page has 25 Likes, follow the steps below to change your Page’s username/URL:
- From the top of your page, click “Edit Page”;
- Select “Update Info”;
- Click “Change Username” in the “Username” section;
- Enter a new username and click “Check Availability”; and
- If the username you want is available, click “Confirm” to save it.
Page names and Facebook web addresses must accurately reflect Page content. If it doesn’t, Facebook may remove administrative rights to the Page in question or require you to change the Page name to something that more accurately reflects what the Page is about. Page names must:
- not consist solely of generic words such as “pizza” or “food”;
- use proper, grammatically correct capitalisation and may not include all capitals, except for acronyms;
- not include character symbols, such as excessive punctuation and trademark symbols; and
- not include superfluous descriptions or unnecessary qualifiers.
Complete Your Business Profile
When setting up your Facebook Business Page, ensure that you fill in as much of your company information as possible, including name, address, contact details and website information. Fully-completed business profiles look good to potential customers and are also good for SEO as Google indexes the content. Use relevant keywords to describe your business and what it does.
If you did not categorise your Facebook Business Page as a Local Business when setting it up, any website URLs added to the “Short Description Box” (situated directly below your profile photo) will be viewable and clickable. The “Short Description Box” has a 125 character limit, but that should still be enough to add some text and a website link, so you should definitely make the most of this feature. If you did set your Facebook Page up as a Local Business, your opening hours, address and telephone number will be displayed instead.
Create a Facebook Cover Photo
Use the large Timeline cover photo to effectively communicate your brand or message (the ideal image size is 851 x 315 pixels), and reinforce your brand identity with the smaller profile photo. Make the design as compelling and visually representative of your brand as possible, and experiment to see what works best for you – maybe a fancy collage of products or a photo of customer using your product or service. When someone Likes your Facebook Business Page, a large portion of the cover image – along with your profile picture – will show in the News Feed of that person’s friends, thereby inviting them to Like your Page too. Keep users engaged by periodically updating your cover photo and profile picture.
Facebook has very strict rules with regards to cover photos; if you break them you could have your cover photo removed without warning. Facebook’s rules relating to cover photos is as follows:
“Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.”
Facebook does allow you to include call-to-actions, contact details and pricing and purchasing information about a product or service on your cover photo, but you should still do this sparingly. Too much text can make a cover photo look spammy and unprofessional, so I would recommend keeping text to a minimum and focus on creating an instant visual impact.
Add a Call-to-Action in the Facebook Cover Design and Description
When you upload a cover photo and are asked to include a description, write a short blurb and add a call-to-action and related links to your website, a product, an offer, a Page tab or a discount code or special offer as a reward for clicking. A lot of Facebook Page visitors click on cover photos to find out more about the business, and this is another way to encourage more clicks and interaction.
Another way to encourage more clicks on the cover photo is to include a “button” as part of the cover design. Not only will people who land on your Facebook Business Page see this button but – whenever you update your cover photo – the new image will appear as an update in the News Feed of your Fans. If the design features a “Click Here!” button to one of your offers contained within the cover photo description, you have effectively created a clickable banner ad that a lot of your Fans will see.
Create the Perfect Profile Photo
The Facebook profile photo displays on pages as a 160 x 160 pixel image and is 23 pixels from the left and 210 pixels from the top of the page. Facebook recommends a profile image at least 180 x 180 pixels because it will automatically be cropped around the edges to 160 x 160 pixels. Any image smaller than that will be stretched to fit the space and will look blurry as a result. For optimum results, upload a large square image – something like 640 x 640 pixels. It will automatically be scaled down to 160 x 160 pixels but will still look nice and sharp, and anyone who clicks on your profile picture will see the large image.
Optimise Your Facebook Cover Photo & Profile Image for Mobile Devices
The cover photo you design for desktop devices will not look the same on the default Facebook Business Page view for mobile devices because, in the Facebook mobile app, greater emphasis is placed on profile photos. Although the cover photo is still visible, the profile photo now sits on top of it, spanning almost the whole height of the cover photo and obscuring over a quarter of its width. Because of this, important design elements in the cover photo – such as a call-to-action button or special offer text – should be positioned on the far right of the image to avoid being covered by the profile image on mobile devices.
Add Images to Custom Facebook Tabs
Adding images to custom Facebook tabs can help to unify and enhance branding on your Facebook Business Page. To edit your custom tab images, click the pencil icon over a tab when all of them are showing and click “Edit Settings”. The images cannot be any larger than 111 x 74 pixels in dimension, otherwise the images will be distorted and will look blurry. You can also further customise your Facebook tabs by replacing the name with a call-to-action, such as “Contact Us” or “Special Offers”.
Customise the Order of Facebook Page Tabs
Change the order of your Facebook Business Page’s custom tabs to make the most important ones appear first and above the tabs “Fold” (the four tabs that display before a user has to click on the arrow icon to display the ones that are hidden by default). To do this, click the pencil icon over a tab (when all are displayed) and select “Swap position with” to begin switching the order of your Facebook tabs. The Photos tab cannot be moved, but all others can.
Create Custom Facebook Tabs Using Static HTML
You can use the Static HTML Iframe application to add new tabs to your Facebook Business Page (simply search for and install it from Facebook’s search box). Custom tabs are perfect for promoting other products and services, or encouraging people to sign up to your email list. If the basic HTML required to use the app is beyond your knowledge, check out other services such as Pagemodo that will allow you to create a Welcome landing Page quickly and easily without having to use HTML.
Create an Alternative Facebook Landing Page
To create an alternative landing Page to your main Facebook Business Page, you will need to build a “landing page” in a custom tab using the Static HTML Iframe app referred to earlier, and direct visitors to that tab instead of your main Facebook Business Page URL. In order to find the URL of any custom tab, make sure all tabs are displayed by clicking the arrow to the right of the tab section, then hover over the tab you want to link to and choose “Link to this tab” after clicking the pencil icon. The URL of the custom tab will be long and difficult to share, but if you purchase a new domain (e.g. www.yourcustomfacebooktab.com) and set up a redirect to the Facebook tab, this new address is the one you can use to promote your custom landing Page.
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