Before we set off on our voyage of discovery today I want to give you a bit of background as to why I am writing this article. I have found myself of late being adviser to a lot of people setting up facebook pages for lots of different reasons. Rather than repeat what I have to say ten times I am going to try and summarize it. Where possible I am going to use the Go Beyond MLS page as an illustration.
Now I should also point out that I am not a guru at this sort of thing but a really enthusiastic geek. With that in mind let us look at setting up pages.
What is a page?
A page is a blog.
Don’t look at me like that a page is basically a cross between twitter and wordpress. For plugins you have applications and instead of tweets you have posts with attachments.
All the basics of blogging apply to your page. We will talk about this in a moment. First some basics to make sure we have not missed anything.
Making the page
Most of you that read this article will know how to make a page already but for those that don’t this is the quick version.
1. Go to a page (the Go Beyond MLS Page is good).
2. At the bottom of the left hand column you will see a link that says “Create a Page for My Business” (this link leads tot he same page).
3. Click it, fill out the details and there you are a page. It has no fans (not even you) and is ready for customisation.
Getting the basics in place
There are some things that a page needs before you even make yourself a fan of it. These are simple that it is easy to overlook them.
1. Upload a picture. In fact if you got as far as making the page and did not have the perfect logo then you need to stop whatever you are doing and get one. Now.
Your picture is your only branding that you get. Everything else looks exactly as facebook wants it to look.
A good image can be as tall as you like but is limited in width. Take a look at the Lord Matt fan page (and become a fan perhaps). You will see that it has a customised image that fills down the page and adds my character to the page. I also get to make the public speaker and blogger points boldly while getting two pictures of me on the one space.
If you do not have the skills to make such an image then a photograph might do. Just remember whatever you use had better be yours to use.
2. Put something short and snappy in the about box.
Treat this like the most important tweet you will ever send. I like to end with a call to action (suggest to friends).
3. Find something worthwhile to say for all the fields under the info tab.
If the fields on the info tab are very much not what you need and do not fit in the slightest then you are not to late to delete the page and try picking a better category. Make up your mind now because it’s the work of ten minutes to change things with no loss if you change them now.
Okay assuming that you stick with your current settings write that “about” section and make sure you make it good.
You have around 100 to 300 words before people have to click to see more so just like blogging you must capture people’s interest within as few lines as possible and then keep it. If it takes days to get the “about” perfect then that is what it takes.
4. Consider making the about tab the default landing page because your wall is not going to be very interesting to start with.
There are more advanced things you can do like adding new tabs that people land on but for now let us just stick with the info tab.
To make it the default landing page you are going to have to click “Edit Page” which is found just under the image you set a while back. Get in there and make some changes.
5. Consider making the default for the wall both fan and page so that it is as much like a basic facebook profile as possible.
You can do this when looking at the page proper.
Still not ready, whatever you might think
It is still not time to be a fan of your own page. The basics are done (more or less) but now you need to do something so fundamentally simple that you could actually miss it entirely.
You need, and I do mean need, to make one of the best status updates you have ever written. You need this because as soon as you are a fan it is possible people you know might come and visit the page. Becoming the first fan is the first motion that starts the door opening and you do not want to invite people to the party before the catering is planned.
Only then are you free to fan the page.
How to get notifications when someone comments on your page
There are only two ways to get a notification of something getting a comment (that I know of) on a page.
1. You have to like the something in question – press that like button and move on.
2. You have to comment on the something and (I think) not be an admin.
A word of warning to page owners with many posts. If you go “like” made you will spam the hell out of your own wall and devalue it. Also if you are the only one carrying out actions on the page it will look spammy if you went and liked everything. No one likes everything. Don’t do it.
If you can get a friend or two that you trust to co-admin the page with you then you can carve the likes up between you but remember that none of you can comment as you on the page once you are an admin. So you might like to get your closest friends to poke you when there is something to look at.
Honestly though you should be going to your own page most days anyway…
Your page is a blog so write on it
Your facebook page is a blog. So like a blog you need to write on it. Daily.
You want to see regular updates. Links, videos, comments, forum posts (that’s a whole other topic), pictures and all the other stuff that walls can have and it needs to happen organically – a little at a time.
I’ll talk about how you can automate a few tasks at another time and place but before you can understand what tasks can be trusted to a computer you need to understand the tasks. Most of them can only be done by you.
Now that we are one!
Now that you have your first fan (you) it is time to get more. This is how.
1. Add value. Make it worth while to be a fan.
2. Invite all your friends. Twice if need be.
3. Link tot he page on your blog or website.
4. Do not stop with the valuable updates.
Getting fans is a slow and organic process but by removing reasons not to fan your page you help things move along well.
I’ll be talking about this and other topics soon.