Similar to creating a Google Plus page, creating a Facebook page is a great way to share content, network, build a fan base and interact in a particular sector. Facebook pages can be created for a great number of things, from public figure pages to local business to a specific software package, to highlighting a special event and many other possibilities. Pages can be used to teach, to inform, to serve, to demonstrate, to support, etc. or any combination of those possibilities.
I like to think of a Facebook page as a mini website embedded inside of a giant social network. When gearing the page to a very unique sector, niche, topic, strategy or business, it’s rather simple to get “fans” as they search for and engage in their areas of interest. I’ve personally setup pages, which takes just a couple minutes by the way, that have gained fans with no effort on my part. The content and topic just found it’s way through Facebook and people wanted to know more so they clicked “like”.
Of course you will want to “advertise” your page with a Facebook icon or the message “find us on Facebook” or a QR Code direct to your page, but know that by the nature of “social”, when the page is of tight focus, engagement will occur. A great thing about “pages” and how they are very similar to “Twitter lists” is that you can segment your interests and engage in one “topic” at a time. Each page has it’s own timeline and news feed so you can keep your profile de-cluttered and easily engage in one topic at a time. For example, if you are passionate about the raw food diet you can build a raw food Facebook page which will immediately have it’s own timeline. Now, when “using Facebook as your page” you can “like” other FB pages in the “raw food” circles and only those pages’ updates will be included in your news feed.
Steps to create a Facebook page for business or other activity
To create a Facebook page you first visit the “Create a Page” page. The link to do that is at the bottom of Facebook but good luck getting down there as Facebook shows more and more posts as you scroll down. You can jump right to the page at this link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
Now you are given 6 main choices depending on the purpose of your page. Depending on your purpose it’s sometimes obvious what choice to make, other times it isn’t. If you are looking to create a niche page to share content from your web site you can choose “Brand or Product” then select “Website” from the category drop down box. For a brick and mortar business you would most likely want to pick “Local Business or Place”. Non profits might want to select “Cause or Community”, writers and business people would choose “Artist, Band or Public Figure”, and to interact in a community that simply interests you and allows you to control the flow and segmentation of content, “Brand or Product” again is a good choice.
Again, for example, someone looking to interact in a “raw foods” community, whether having a web site or not, “Brand or Product” could be the main selection. And if it’s setup for interest and no web site will be highlighted, selecting “Food/Beverages” as the category might be appropriate. This can be changed later from the page admin. After choosing the main and minor categories and filling out some standard information depending on selection it’s just a matter of filling up the fields in the “profile” that will define the page’s purpose and any of the specific rules that you would like to attach to it. This is also the stage where you decide the roles of other people if you want other admins or contributors.
Unique characteristics of a Facebook page
One thing to make note of is that when you simply visit your own page you are automatically acting “as the page” when making posts to that page. But if you want to have the page build it’s own “set of likes” that will contribute to the page’s news feed you will need to select “Edit Page” then choose the “Use Facebook as…” option. Now, when viewing pages and profiles away from your page you will commenting, liking and interacting “as the page”. You cannot create a Facebook page without a personal profile or Facebook account. The page is simply “attached” to your profile in a sense. This can be done in a transparent way however which is the case by default.
You add content to your new page in the same way you would to your main Facebook profile. But rather than the update options of “Status”, “Photo/Video”, “Place” and “Life Event”, on a page you are given: “Status”, “Photo/Video” and “Offer/Event”. You are also given a page-specific email address that you can send status updates and photos to which is handy when you are on the go and have an Internet enabled mobile device. There are also page management apps available for mobile devices. You can update your Profile and Canvas photos on an FB page just like you would on your profile. While people sometimes ignore this rule, keep in mind that it is a violation of Facebook terms to include web site addresses and call to actions on Canvas photos.
Also, keep in mind that in order to create a more memorable web site address (what some call a “vanity URL”) for your Facebook page, you are required to attract a minimum number of “fans”. At the time of this writing that is 30. When the fan size reaches 5000 you can also “geo target” your messages.
While there are many things that are unique, as a parallel to Google Plus pages I’d like to point out that a page has it’s own “contacts”, “followers” and “community” that is separate from the main profile. And like all social networks, you are best to interact, share and engage in an honest, respectful manner. Now go create your Facebook page. It’ll be ready for updates in minutes from now! The “profile creation” can be an evolution as you learn more and figure out what works best for you. Best of luck!