There are three Facebook account types:
- Profiles are for individual people. You’ll need a profile in order to establish the other account types.
- Pages are in effect a profile for a non-person, tied to an entity. Pages act somewhat like a blog, where the admins have control over content. Sometimes refered to as Fan Pages.
- Groups are topic areas for people to gather and discuss. Groups act like a forum where the members can interact.
A key advantage of Pages over Groups is that Pages are indexed by external search engines. You can read about other differences here. Every business should have a Page.
Create Your Page
To establish a Page, first you need to start from your personal account. Creating a Page makes you an administer of the Page, but only other admins can see who is an admin. You can invite any of your facebook friends to be an admin, or invite anyone via email. Anyone can be an admin on numerous Pages.
After you login to your personal account, click on the Pages link under your picture, or go to http://www.facebook.com/pages, and then click the + Create Page button.
Now you need to choose a category and Facebook gives you three options:
- Brand, Product or Organization
- Artist, Band, or Public Figure.
Most businesses that are regionally focused should choose Local and then a sub-category that is close to their industry. If your business has a national scope, choose Brand, Product or Organization.
Name Your Page
Put some thought and research into choosing a name for your Page. Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities says that they won’t allow you to “infringe other people’s intellectual property rights,” so trademark rights are in play.
You should consider using your business name, especially if it is an established brand. But also consider using keywords, or a combination of both. You have a limit of 75 characters including spaces, and you do want to use full words and spaces. You will not be able to change this later so be careful! You might want to consult a professional (like me!) to help you do some keyword research and pick an ideal name, it is that important.
Edit Your Page
After you click the Create Page button, you’ll be presented with your new Page. First, upload your logo by holding your mouse over the profile picture and clicking “Change Picture.”
You can edit your Page’s settings by clicking on the “Edit Page” link underneath the profile picture. A significant setting to consider is under Wall Settings, Fan Permissions. Here you can choose to allow Fans to post content to your wall and comment on your postings, which I highly recommend allowing. Admins can remove any content that they deem inappropriate.
Now what? Well, this has been the easy part. The hard part is attracting fans, posting great content on a regular basis, and leveraging your new social asset. These are topics for posts to come.