Facebook is America’s premier social media network, with 1.28 billion total users around the world. Setting up a Facebook Page for your business is easy and free, and if you aren’t marketing your business through Facebook, you’re missing out on a powerful and cost-effective way to gain new customers!

Social Media Is Everywhere!

In our previous blog post, we discussed the advantages of marketing your business through social media. Chances are that your customers, prospective customers, employees and a large percentage of your community at large is using social media to connect with friends, family, brands, celebrities, groups, and businesses. Your website should still be the hub and focal point of your online presence, but small businesses and organizations simply can’t ignore the power of social media services to draw traffic to your website and connect with your regular and prospective customers.

Every Business Should Be On Facebook

Since Facebook opened its network to the public at large in late 2006, it has become the premier social media service and network in the United States. As of 2013, over 168 million people in the U.S. are Facebook users. Americans from all walks of life are using Facebook to connect, and many of them are connecting to Facebook through mobile devices. No matter your industry, geographical location or customer base, setting up a Facebook Page for your business or organization is vital for attracting new customers and driving traffic to your website.

Setting Up A Facebook Page

Setting up a Facebook page is both easy and free – all it takes is a Facebook account, an email address, and a few minutes of your time. Believe it or not, Facebook doesn’t charge anyone to set up a Page on their network, although businesses have the ability to purchase ads that will appear on the service and promote individual posts for a small fee.

Getting Started

To begin, you must create a personal Facebook account or log in using your existing account. Facebook requires that a personal account be used to administer a Page, therefore a Page cannot be created without a personal account. If you are not planning on administering the Page, don’t fear – you will be able easily transfer the page to another administrator in the future.

Verify Availability

Next, it is important to verify that a Facebook Page doesn’t already exist for your business or organization. Log in to Facebook and use the search bar at the top of the page to search for existing pages or profiles. You may discover that a previous owner, manager, employee or marketing company has already created a Page. If this is the case, Facebook has established a procedure for reclaiming your Page.

Define Your Business

The easiest way to create a Page is to enter the website address, scroll to the bottom of the page, and select “Create Page”. From this point forward, Facebook will ask you to define your business or organization – most small businesses will select either “Local Business or Place” or “Company, Organization or Institution”, depending on if your business is a local “brick and mortar” establishment or attraction. Next, Facebook will ask you to choose a more specific category to define your business. Carefully review the list and choose the most appropriate selection.

Personalize Your Page

Facebook will now ask you to provide a name, profile image or avatar, and a comprehensive list of information about your business. If you don’t have a profile image readily available, you can add one to your Page at a later date. Take your time filling out your profile information – it is important to make sure that the information you’re entering is both complete and accurate. If you mistakenly enter incorrect contact information, you can easily lose out on new business opportunities, while omitting information about your business or mistakenly entering typos can harm your reputation among Facebook users.

Choose Your Facebook Username!

The final step for creating your Facebook Page involves choosing a unique username for your business. This is a vitally important step – your Facebook username immediately becomes your address and primary identity on Facebook. With billions of users and Pages already on the social network, and countless more having been rendered inactive or invalid, you may not receive your first choice. Take your time and carefully select a username that is relatively short, concise and accurately identifies your business. It is important to note that Facebook restricts the number of times you can change your username.

In our next blog we will discuss how to market your business on Facebook.