How to Configure a Small Business Facebook Page
This is for all of you late bloomers, wall flowers, hangers-on, lurkers, and sane people who’ve rightly been avoiding the juggernaut that is Facebook. Those who haven’t considered a Facebook page until now.
This is for all of you still recovering from the economic downturn. For those of you whom are bootstrapping your own small business, chief cooks and bottle washers who haven’t had the time nor the inclination to do one more thing, especially set up a Facebook page. Amiright? Can I get an amen?
This is for the recent Boomer retirees selling hobbyist and vintage Mid-Century Modern goods on Etsy. This is for everybody with a side hustle trying to make those ends. This ain’t no disco. This ain’t no country club either.
Let’s get it now.
Things to Know About Your Brand New Facebook Page
It blinks, it cries, it drinks from a bottle. That’s right, kids, your new Facebook Page can do everything other little dollies can, and even more.
Let’s take the beginning of this song and do it nice. And easy.
Your first post.
I’m continuing with my example from our previous visit, wherein I created a new Facebook page — for a blog I write under a pseudonym — just so I could get relatively up-to-date screenshots for you fine people.
Since I have a place on the web already set up to which I’m referring my (non-existent) audience, I thought I might start with a link to that. You might start with a link to your site, which I assume you have. Or otherwise, your place on the web. (Your own site is best because it’s an owned asset, not paid, not earned, and not subject to the whim of some big monopoly in the cloud.)
You might start with one of many different kinds of things as your main web presence. Some day, I hope to come back and link a new post to this line here where we talk about just that.
If your first post has a link in it, here’s what you’ll see as you set it up.
Some links pull through the image content from the referring page. That’s always handy. Some links don’t. Sometimes you don’t like the image options from the referring page. Sometimes you prefer to add your own.
Let’s say your first post is to share and comment on Talia Jane’s Flashpoint o’ The Generations and the resulting Internet Flurry o’ Thinkpieces via her open letter to whosoever happened to care. Lots and lots, as it turned out.
You’ll dutifully go find the exact link you want to share, and you’ll copy and paste it into the status update / post box.
It will appear as so. (Except you won’t see me in a hat. You’ll see your own profile pic. Hopefully much better.)
Notice that by adding this link in your post, FB ran off, found it, and pulled through the opening of Ms. Jane’s essay along with this super cute photo of the doe-eyed writer. That’s her profile pic from Medium. Other than that, it’s not associated with this link to this essay.
Please kindly remove the actual link from the post now.
Once Facebook has done its job and pulled through the content and the photo (or not, as the case may be), you can delete the http://blahblahblahblah from your update.
If you don’t, everyone will know you’re a noob. It will feel like high school cafeteria all over again. (Or is that just me?)
If no image came through, or you don’t like the one that did…
Hey, that’s no problem. Click on the plus sign. It’ll open a drop down menu for you to find and choose the image that you do like from somewhere in the bowels of your own computer.
After you’ve done that, deactivate the first image by clicking on it, if you don’t want it to show up, too.
Time to Create a Call to Action (CTA, baby, CTA)
This is a relatively newer feature from your friends at Facebook. It gives you a chance to send link juice back your owned assets. How thoughtful.
You’ve got a lot of choices when it comes to CTA buttons. But, if you’re like me, most of them aren’t viable because those are assets you haven’t had time to build out or money to hire out. Nonetheless, here they are.
Even though the screenshot implies otherwise, I’d recommend the Sign Up option because that will grow your owned email database so that you can reach out to potential customers on your terms. So long as you have, you know, an email database and newsletters to send to the members therein.
Let’s get to know your tabs, shall we?
I’ll show you mine if … Oh, nevermind.
Spend a few minutes playing around in here. You’re looking under the hood. You’re seeing what you bought.
Don’t let the About tab overwhelm you. You can come back to it.
Facebook is not a sprint, not even a marathon. Facebook is an endurance triathlon with parkour and off-road adventures and the course map is subject to change without notice.
Take a look at the More tab now.
Clicking on it leads to the Manage Your Tabs dialog box. You may not want to change anything now. Just thought you’d like to know how and where to do it.
As you build out your Facebook page and user experience, you may be adding elements, like contests or other third-party apps, even privately written code of your very own — you genius! When you do, this is where you’ll make sure that page visitors can see it as a cool place to click.
Exploring your Facebook page: What are those ellipsis about anyway?
Geez, I thought you’d never ask. Here, you can read them for yourself.
Hey, let’s finesse your Timeline a bit.
This is a completely unnecessary step, but I like to think it makes the user experience that much more elegant. It hides the man-behind-the-curtain things that nobody needs to see anyway.
When you added your profile picture and cover photo, Facebook thought it would be fun to make those into actual posts. Surprise!
But they’re not really posts, just like comments aren’t really stories on Medium. Or are they?
Here’s how you hide them from your Timeline so that when a potential customer discovers you and binges on everything you’ve ever posted ever, these little pieces of adminsitrivia don’t jam up their enjoyment of all your posting prowess.
1. Click on the little down arrow.
2. Click on Hide from Timeline.
3. Notice all the other things you can do to any post, using this down arrow.
So. Many. Settings.
Listen, friends, we’re all gonna go bananas if I step you through each of these options. Instead, let me show you the heads-up view and highlight a few that I think are important to tweak. Deal?
You only thought the About tab was overwhelming. Ha! Ha. That’s cute. (No really, wait until you start playing with Insights. I hope not to be a blogger by then, frankly.)
Can visitors post to your Page?
That’s totally up to you. Depending on what you do, you may need to develop your own personal troll policy sooner or later.
I suggest that you allow them to post and turn on the ability to moderate before publishing. If they’re jerks, you can put them on a block list. That’s third option within General Settings.
Mind your response time.
This is another relatively recent development in FB-land. Second item under General.
Honestly, I haven’t played with this yet as a page admin. If you have resources (not summatime interns) to devote to social media monitoring and response — well, then you’re probably not this deep in this post — but if you do, then leave it as recommended to automatically show your average response time and how much you care about customer service. If, like me, you don’t remember what day it is, perhaps consider customizing an instant reply, no?
Double check your post attribution.
Generally, across all the pages I’ve administrated, especially on behalf of clients, it’s important that I don’t post as me. It’s important that I post as them. You can make your own decision and see to that here. Fourth item under General.
Just know that when you post as yourself to your Page, then people who are Facebook Friends with you yourself will be able to see the content of your Facebook page. So, if you’re trying to keep it under wraps, like I am, don’t do that!
Turn off all notifications. Or whatever.
If you’re not very careful, Facebook will bombard you with notifications, which you probably already know from your experience as a private user. Here’s where you nip that in the bud. Or not. Notifications can really help you with the all important response time. But not if you’re flooded by them. Fifth item under General.
There’s so much more to tell you about your new Facebook page.
There’s more to see than can ever be seen. More to do than can ever be done. There is far too much to take in here, more to find than can ever be found.
No wait! That’s the circle of life.
This is only Facebook.
(Does anybody else hear the echo of Vincent Price’s laughter? Just me again? Really? Must be time for more allergy medicine.)