Have you ever gotten a strange friend request with a name like “Wally’s Wigglers” or “Dave’s Kung Fu Studio”? As a consumer, I am always hesitant to accept these requests because I struggle with a business that has not taken the time to set up an actual Facebook business page but rather has chosen to represent themselves through a personal account. Personal pages do not offer the breadth of information when vetting out a business, nor do they allow a consumer the opportunity to rate the business based on performance.

It is crucial to the credibility of your business to represent itself with integrity on social media. A Facebook business page is a free public profile you can create for your local business, brand, or product. Similar to your personal Facebook account, you can use the Page to promote your business or products by posting status updates, links, event announcements, comments, or photos and videos. Fortunately, it is fairly straightforward to build your business listing on Facebook.

Step 1 — Create a Page on Facebook
Login to your personal Facebook account. You will be able to create a new Facebook business page directly from your profile. To create your page, start by clicking the drop-down arrow at the top right-hand corner of your Facebook page. From the drop-down, click “Create Page.”

You will next be taken to a different window where you can choose a category that best fits your business. If you are a local business with a physical location, you will want to choose “Local Business or Place.” There are some other categories as well, but Local Business or Place will fit a majority of business owners needs.

Step 2 — Enter Your Information
To complete setup of your page, you will need to provide basic information about your business, including your business name, your Page Category, your address, and phone number. Be sure to plug in your email address and actual website as well. Be as accurate as possible as this will help customers find your business much easier. Check to ensure any online business listings and your website have identical information as your Facebook page, as this really impacts search engine optimization and how Google links your facebook profile to your online presence.

Step 3 Upload your Profile Picture & Cover Photo
Choose a profile picture that will draw people to your page. Products and services can be professionally photographed and used to draw customers to your page. You can also use your logo or other iconic images associated with your business. (Think “Giant Bagel – Main Street Bagels) You also want your cover photo to be visually appealing and representative of your business.

Once you upload your profile and cover photos, the initial setup is done, and you will be the proud owner of your new Facebook business page. You are not quite done yet, however. Next, you need to let consumers know your page is out there.

Step 4 Invite Friends to Like Your Page
On the first screen after uploading your cover photo, you will receive a prompt to invite your friends. Invite as many of your friends as you can to increase your page following. Share your new business page on your personal profile and encourage your friends to like and share your page too. Your friends and family are your best source of referrals, and this holds true with Social Media as well.

Step 5 Add Additional Business Details
On the middle part of your new Facebook page, you will receive a welcome banner with tips on improving your page. Although it is human nature to just plunge ahead and ignore those tips, this would be a great time to Click the “See All Page Tips,” and take the time to provide as much information as you can. Provide a brief description of your business along with your business hours. You can further personalize your page by selecting a unique username which will appear at the end of Facebook’s URL (facebook.com/mynewbusiness). Don’t forget to add your link to your website so people can visit your site directly from Facebook.

Congratulations! You are now the proud administrator of your own Facebook Business page. This is the tip of the iceberg, however. There are a number of strategies you will need to utilize to promote your business page, including targeting and boosting posts.

To learn more about setting up your own business page and the strategies for attracting qualified leads to your page, join us October 18th from noon to 1:00 pm for our monthly Lunch and Learn series. Brown bag lunches are encouraged; snacks, water, coffee, and tea will be provided. Free tickets are available at 970tix.com.

Nathan Watchman is a digital brand specialist with Sentinel Digital Agency, a sister company of The Daily Sentinel that provides marketing services to businesses across the Grand Valley. To submit a question for our experts to answer, email us at digitalagency@gjsentinel.com or give us a call at 970-256-4387.

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