making the most of your little biz facebook page

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i have a facebook page for this blog. and i have a page for my little biz: smile.play.love. photography. i spend a lot of time on facebook chatting with other mums who have a little home biz, as well as with pros in biz and social media. i know there are many mums getting a start with their biz using facebook exclusively to promote their stuff, yet i still see some common mistakes being made.

create a page for your biz.

first off, you should know the facebook ‘rules’. basically:

*** you cannot have more than one username/personal profile. if you have one for 'you' and one for 'your biz' they could both be deleted.

*** 'users' cannot use facebook for making money, advertising, promoting stuff etc. business pages are allowed to do this. if you use your user profile for biz it can be deleted.

what you need to do is: 

  1. have your own user account/personal profile, which is what you create when you sign up for facebook (eg. karen gunton)
  2. then you need to create a page for your biz. (eg smile.play.love. photography). 

do NOT create a personal profile using your biz name (eg karen gunton {smile.play.love}, karen gunton - photographer, karen's photography page, etc.). do NOT create a second 'fake' account/profile for administering your biz page.

do use your personal profile to 'like' pages and connect with people. do use your biz page to do all of your biz promoting, marketing, selling etc. 

there are a number of reasons why you need to do this:

~ if you don’t, you run the risk of having everything deleted. not worth it.

~ if you use a ‘profile’ to promote your biz, people have to become friends with you to see anything, interact, comment etc. this exposes their entire personal profile to you and people don’t like that. you will lose opportunites to gain fans. if you have a page people can ‘like’ it and still keep their privacy. win win.

~ pages show up in searches on google etc. user profiles do not. you want your biz to show up in a search!

~ pages allow you to send a message to all fans. your personal/user profile does not.

~ pages are fully customizable. you can design a page that is useful for your biz by adding applications and tabs. (more info on this downthe page...)

note: facebook has an option for to create a business account for administering biz pages (rather than signing up for a personal account.) there are restrictions to this, one being that you can’t add applications to customize your page, and also it is more difficult to interact with likers. using your personal profile still seems a better option, i think the business account is meant to be for large companies.

a bit about 'personal' vs 'biz':

look, i get why people want to have a separate user profile for their biz. some people want to keep biz and personal stuff separate, some people are worried about privacy. but it really isn’t worth the risk of having your hard work deleted.

~ keep your profile settings private. just because you like a page, comment on a page, or chat with a client online, they can’t see anything set to private. you have to add them as a friend for that. (privacy settings are found under the account tab in the top right corner of facebook)

~ create lists so you can keep personal connections and business connections separate (to do this, click account in the top right corner, then edit friends, then create list.)

~ hide feeds from pages or friends to keep your news feed from getting to cluttered (to do this hover on the top right corner of a post and click that x. it will ask you if you want to hide posts from that page ore person.)

~ don’t worry too much about keeping everything separate. why not connect with clients as youinstead of your biz? you are the face behind your biz, let people see that you are a real person!

here and here is some more information on keeping your business separate from your personal profile, if that is your concern.

set up your page:

~ brand it. your biz page should clearly match your biz – use the same colours, fonts etc and display your logo prominently.

~ utilize the full space you have for your profile picture. your image can be 180px wide by 540 tall. use it!

~ adjust your thumbnail so that it looks good when you post something (just click on it to adjust it). the thumbnail is square shape, so it is best if you have one square part of your image that is recognizable as belonging to your biz.

~ be clear. is what you sell obvious to any newcomer? (i hate having to search around to figure out what a person is selling.) use the box below your image to clearly describe your biz. are your contact details easy to find? your website? your location? edit your information tab to clearly share these details.

btw - you can't change the catagories for your info tab. the catagories you have available to you are based on the type of page you chose when you created your page. one option is to add an extended info tab, see the link below.

set a username for your page (also sometimes called a vanity URL). this means the URL for your page goes from looking something like this: facebook.com/pages/php_smile_play_love_uid=13093357 to this: facebook.com/smileplaylove. better right? you only need 25 likers to set a user name, but you have to set a username for your own personal profile first.

btw – once you set your username, you can’t change it. so you are thinking at all of changing your biz name, do it before you set your username!

~ tagging people and businesses is a great way of connecting with others on facebook. (just don’t spam them. people love a shout out, an interaction, a thank you, a helpful link – they do not like to be spammed by your stuff randomly and repeatedly.) to tag a person or a page all you have to do is add the @ symbol before you start typing the name. as you type, the name will come up and you just click on it. you have to like the page or be friends with the person for it to work.

~ if you want to show up as your biz page (and logo thumbnail) instead of your personal profile on a page you like, just leave a comment on your own page while tagging that biz page. the comment will show up in both places, and will have your biz page name and logo on it.

~ while we are on the topic of spamming, stop selling your thing all of the time! don’t clog up your liker’s news feeds with constant pleas to buy your stuff. they will hide your feed, or unlike your page, or ignore you. if you want to remain on your fans' radar be helpful, engaging, helpful, funny, or helpful. a good rule of thumb – for every post where you try to sell your thing, make 10 posts that are of the other variety (commenting on others, asking questions, being engaging, being informative, helping others, entertaining others.)

customize your page:

~ there are awesome applications out there to help you customize your page by adding tabs that are applicable for your biz. be aware though that you can only show 6 tabs on your page, and 2 of them have to be the wall and the info tabs. so choose wisely for your biz, no need to overwhelm people!

btw - the other tabs are still there, you just have to click on the >> to see them, and not everyone does that. make sure your most important tabs are showing, you can rearrange tabs by holding your click and moving them.

~ add a welcome page. every new visitor to your site will see the welcome first! what you need to do:

  • create a jpeg file to insert into your welcome tab that has details about your biz, is branded to match your biz, and has a call to action: LIKE THIS PAGE! 
  • your image can be a max of 520 px wide
  • your jpeg file has to be hosted on a separate site (flicker, your own website or blog). 
  • go to edit welcome tab and insert the following code with the URL location of your image
  • you can make that welcome page image clickable – meaning if someone clicks on it it takes them to your website, etsy page etc. to do that, insert this code instead: <a href="insert URL of your image here ">

~other great tabs that could be awesome for your biz:

NOTE: some of these applications will add a tab to your page for you. others require you to add a static FBML tab which you then name and insert the application. this is very easy.

  • add the static FBML application to your page ('like' and then click 'add to page' on the left). 
  • go to your page, click 'edit page' and click on the FBML application. you just name the tab and then in the FBML box you insert code: such as the code provided by the newsletter app, the contact form app or others.
  • to add additional FBML tabs go back to the edit FBML area and look at the very bottom, click on 'add additional FBML boxes'. you will have a new FBML app in the edit area to customize. 

do more with your page:

~ as i mentioned don’t just use your page to sell your thing all of the time. use it to engage with people! facebook has a number of integrated tabs and features that are easy to add to your wall. (just click on the + button by your tabs to add these to your page....)

~ you can add a discussion tab. ask questions or start discussions about stuff your fans and ideal clients are interested in.

~ add notes to your page: you can write longer informative posts, import information from your blog each time you post, and even tag others.

~ use your photo albums. post photos of your products. invite likers to post photos, perhaps of your stuff in their homes! invite other mum biz’ers to post a photo with their logo, maybe you have the same sort of ideal client and can promote each other.

~ start a group – groups are kind of like clubs or forums - a place for people to hang out and chat. you can set the privacy settings so to only make them available to your customers – you have to invite people to join or approve them if they ask to join. or start a public group for people with the same interest as you. it can be a fun way to connect with others.

UPDATE: groups just got even better: now including group chats, notifications, and facebook docs! facebook still expects your biz/brand/product/sales related stuff to remain on your biz page, but groups can be a way to interact with your likers away from your biz page (without having to become their 'friend')

~ host an event - either the online variety (a contest, meetup, or question & answer period) or an in-person one (an event at your store, or and invitation to a market you are attending).

~ use your page to publicize promotions, give-aways, contests and more. make it fun and beneficial for people to like your page. (but be careful with this, facebook has rules about promotions too. my next post will focus on promotions to help you navigate the rules and hold a successful promotion.

do you have a question? do you have another application or tab that you would like to share with us? do you need help with your page? please leave a comment! i’d love to hear your tips and we have lots of folks who are happy to help out if they can =)