In the previous installment in this series, Choosing a Facebook Page Type for Business, I pointed out how Facebook Fan pages (now called "Official" pages by Facebook) are the best choice among different Facebook page types for a small or home business or for a freelancer. Now we'll take a look at how you go about creating Facebook Fan pages.
Accessing Where You Create Facebook Fan Pages
In order to create Facebook Fan pages you need to access the area within Facebook to do that. There are a few different ways to access the Facebook page creation area:
- Visit an existing Facebook Fan page (like the About Home Business Facebook Fan page at http://facebook.com/About.HomeBusiness), then scroll down near the bottom of the left column and you'll find a link Create a page for my business. How far down you'll have to scroll to find the link will depend on the extent of customization already applied to the page by the Fan page's owner. You can click that link to get started. (See Image 1)
- You can also access the setup area for Facebook Fan pages by selecting Help Center under Account (see Image 2) and then click Pages for Business under Facebook Applications and Features or Ads and Business Solutions on that page (see Image 3). Then, click Creating and administering your page next, and then How can I create a page? You'll then see where you can start creating the page.
- Once you've accessed the area where you can start setting up your page, you'll notice that it's split. On the left side you'll see Official Page (See Click to see Image 4). This is the area that's used for creating Facebook Fan pages. The right side is used only for Community pages and creating Facebook Groups. See Choosing a Facebook Page Type for Business for more information on those types of pages.
Fortunately, after you've created one Facebook Fan page, additional Facebook Fan pages will be much easier to create as you'll have an Ads and Pages link under your profile picture in the left column of your own wall. (Click to see Image 5.)
The process sounds more complicated than it is, but Facebook makes it more complicated than it needs to be.
Next Steps in Creating Facebook Fan Pages
Once you've accessed the area where you create Facebook Fan pages, you will need to select the category that bests fit you. Once you make this selection, you cannot change it, so choose carefully:
- Local business
- Brand, product, or organization
- Artist, band, or public figure
Once you've made your selection, you'll be provided with a drop-down list to make your next selection. For example, when you select Local business, you'll need to choose the type of business. When you select Brand, product or organization, you'll need to make a selection from that list. If you're not really sure, clicking the button next to any of these three options will allow you to access the list and see which best fits your situation.
- Once you select Local business, brand, artist, etc., you'll be presented with a list of selections from which you can choose. For Local business, the selections are for types of businesses. Make the appropriate selection for your page. Not all types of businesses are represented, so just look at the options and choose one that best fits you.
- The next step is to name your page. Facebook Fan pages must have an official name. This can be the name of your business, but it can also include keywords for which you'd like to rank well for in Google search.
- Once you've named your Fan page, check the box that you are the official representative for the page.
- You may want to review Facebook's terms before proceeding. You do that by clicking the Review the Facebook terms link.
- Click Create Official Page.
Once you've completed the basic steps, you'll be able to provide additional information about the business, add a photo, and begin creating a personality for your page. You'll also want to include links to your website and/or blog, your LinkedIn profile and your Twitter account to further help spread the word about your business and get your customers and prospects to interact with you.
Sample Facebook Fan Pages
Here are a few examples of Facebook Fan pages so you can see what's possible in creating your own:
- About Home Business - http://facebook.com/About.HomeBusiness This is a basic fan page with hardly any customization. I just used a screen shot of my home page as my profile picture for this Facebook Fan page.
- Mari Smith - http://facebook.com/MariSmith - An example of how Facebook Fan pages can be fully customized. Notice that you land on her Welcome tab instead of her wall.
- Social Media Examiner - http://facebook.com/smexaminer - Another great example of how Facebook Fan pages can be customized to the hilt. Like Mari Smith's page, you land on the Welcome tab where you are encouraged to "Like" the page. Once you "Like" the page, you'll go straight to the Wall tab when you visit instead.
Both the Mari Smith and Social Media Examiner pages are chock full of information about getting the most from Facebook Fan pages, so once you visit I strongly encourage you to like those pages so you can get additional tips.
Custom URLs for Facebook Fan Pages
You've probably already noticed that the three sample Facebook Fan pages all seem to have custom URLs. They do. However, you cannot specify a custom URL for Facebook Fan pages until your pages have 25 fans (people who have clicked the "Like" button on the top of your fan page).
Don't worry though. Once you get those 25 followers (fans), you can change the URL to something that's easily identifiable and remembered. Your old default URL that Facebook created for your fan page will automatically be redirected to your custom URL, so all of your links will continue to work.