As one of the biggest online social networks, Facebook is practically a necessity for businesses of all sizes. But just because it's popular doesn't mean it's easy to navigate. The platform has seemingly endless options for everything from page customization to paid advertising, and it can get complicated for anyone who's unfamiliar with how it works. If you're ready to take on Facebook for your business, here's everything you need to know to get you started.
What is Facebook?
Facebook is a social networking service that was launched in February 2004 by founders Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes and Andrew McCollum when they were students (and roommates) at Harvard. It started as "thefacebook.com," a website that was available only to Harvard students and soon expanded to Ivy League universities before opening up membership to students at other colleges and, later, high schools. Now, the service is available to anyone age 13 and older, and has more than 1.55 billion monthly active users as of September 2015, according to the Facebook newsroom.
Facebook went public to investors in 2012, and the company now owns Instagram, another popular social media platform, as well as the widely used chat app WhatsApp, among other products.
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Before you can become a Facebook page maven, you need to have solid knowledge of at least some of the basics of using Facebook. To create a Facebook page, you need to have a personal Facebook account, so if you don't have one already, you'll need to create one. You don't have to use your Facebook account for personal reasons if you choose not to, but you do need to be familiar with how the platform works in order to navigate and manage your Facebook page.
If you're completely new to Facebook and want to learn more about how to use it on a personal level, check out Facebook's Help Center. This resource will give you details on filling out your profile information, setting up privacy settings, adding friends, and more. For basic Facebook use and business page purposes, however, here is what you need to know:
Creating your Facebook account
To sign up for Facebook, you'll need to enter some basic personal information, including your first and last name, your email or mobile phone number (you'll have to enter this twice for confirmation), a password that contains at least six letters or numbers and includes special characters like punctuation marks, your birthday and whether you identify as male or female. Once you've filled out the necessary information, click the green Sign Up button to continue creating your account. You'll then receive either an email or text message (depending on which one you used to sign up) with instructions and a code so you can confirm your account creation.
Once you've created your account, you'll be taken to a page to help you find friends by connecting your email accounts with Facebook. If you plan to use this Facebook account for personal reasons as well, this is a great way to start connecting with people you know on Facebook. You can skip this step, however, if you don't intend to connect with other users, and you can always come back to it later if you change your mind.
Your Facebook news feed
If you skip these steps, you'll be taken to your Facebook home page, also known as the news feed, which will look like this:
Along the top of the page, you'll see a dark-blue bar that features a Facebook button (clicking this will take you back to your home page), a search bar, a button with your name that takes you to your profile page, a Home button (this also takes you to the home page) and a Find Friends button to use if you haven't already added friends or used the Find Friends tool after sign-up.
Next to these text buttons, you'll see three notification buttons. The first, shaped like the silhouette of two people, is where you'll see your friend requests. The second, which looks like two chat bubbles, is where you'll find your messages. The third, shaped like the Earth, is where the rest of your notifications will go — this includes comments, tags, likes, etc.
To the right of the notification buttons, you'll see a lock button that pulls up a drop-down menu of privacy-settings shortcuts. Next to that, you'll see a downward-arrow button that pulls up the following options: Create Page, Manage Pages, Create Group, Your Groups, Create Ads, Advertising on Facebook, Activity Log (this is where you'll be able to see all of your activity on Facebook, such as the posts you like, the statuses you share and more), News Feed Preferences, and Settings. This menu also includes the link to log out of Facebook, as well as links to the Help Center and to report a problem with the website.
In the center of the page, there is a box that allows you to post status updates and photos (and even create photo albums) to your personal account. Below that, you can see and scroll through posts from your friends and pages you've liked.
On the left side of the page, you'll see a long navigation menu with options to edit your profile, change your news-feed preferences (to view either the most recent posts or the top posts shared by your friends and liked pages), view your messages, see events you're attending or have been invited to, find friends, and more.
Below that is the Apps section, which allows you to access games, photos and other apps you use with Facebook. Next is the Pages section, where you can see the pages you've liked from your personal account, find new pages to like and create a page.
Next, you'll find the Groups section. Groups are little communities on Facebook — one might join a group for their graduating college class to keep in touch with other alumni, for example. Here, you can view the groups you've joined, create a group or find new groups to join.
When you add friends, you'll also see a Friends section that allows you to organize your friends by categories — such as acquaintances, close friends, co-workers and family — if you choose to do so, and when you click on each section, it will show you posts by those groups of people. When you like and follow other pages, you'll see the Interests section, which shows you posts from pages you've liked as well as other Facebook users or topics you've followed.
At the bottom, you'll find the Events section, with an option to create a new event.
On the right side of the page, you'll see a box labeled Trending, which lists topics that are popular on Facebook at the moment and short blurbs about why they're trending. At the top of the Trending section, you'll see icons that allow you to switch between categories, including Top Trends, Politics, Science and Technology, Sports, and Entertainment. If an event is coming up or it's a friend's birthday, you'll see that in the same Trending box, just above the categories.
In the bottom-right corner of the page, you'll see a little box labeled Chat, where you can exchange instant messages with your friends. Click on the Chat box to see the list of your friends who are online via the Web and mobile, and click the person's name to chat.
Your Facebook profile
When you go to your Facebook profile, you'll see a banner across the top with a space for a cover photo, your profile picture and buttons to Update Info and View Activity Log, and an ellipses button that brings up a drop-down menu with the following options: View As…, Timeline Settings and Add a Badge to Your Site. The View As… option allows you to see how your profile appears to the public in case you want to adjust your privacy settings. You can also type in a specific user's name to see what they can see on your profile. Timeline Settings takes you to a page where you can adjust things like who can post on your wall, who can tag you in posts and more. Add a Badge to Your Site allows you to create a badge based on your profile information, photos, likes and more. You can embed this badge on a website, like your personal blog, if you want people to connect with you on Facebook.
Below these options, you'll see a navigation bar with the following options: Timeline, About, Friends, Photos, and More. Timeline, the default page, shows posts you've made and posts other people have made on your wall, along with a box containing your basic profile information on the left, and boxes displaying your photos, interests and more. The About option takes you to your profile information, where you can fill out information about where you work, where you live, where you went to school and more.
The Friends tab is fairly straightforward, as it takes you to a list of all of your Facebook friends, and the Photos tab allows you to toggle between photos and videos you've been tagged in, photos and videos you've posted, and your albums. There are also options to create new albums, add new photos or videos, and manage your photos. The More tab pulls up a drop-down menu, where you and other users can access your groups, pages you've liked, places you've been, notes you've posted and more, depending on what you've made visible on your profile.
Filling out your profile is very simple, as each section of your profile will prompt you to add information.
Posting to Facebook
You can post to Facebook via the news feed/Facebook home page or from your profile — the process is about the same. On your profile, the Share box opens to Status — the default option for posting a text post, but if you're uploading a photo or video, simply click Photo/Video to change your post options. You can also add a life event — like starting a business, getting married or graduating from college — by clicking Life Event. On the news feed, the box looks the same, but the options are Status, Add Photos/Video and Create Photo Album — you can only post life events via your profile page.
When posting a status, you have options beyond just writing text. Across the bottom of the text box, you'll notice several buttons. With the camera button, you can also add photos to your status (as opposed to uploading photos on their own or creating an album, as you would in the Photo/Video option.) The next button allows you to tag other people in your post — you can also do this by typing their name(s), as Facebook automatically picks up users from your friends list to tag when you start typing the person's name. (You'll see a drop-down menu and can click on the user you want to tag.) You can also type the @ symbol followed by your friend's name, if Facebook doesn't automatically ask you to tag the person.
The emoticon button prompts you to add how you're feeling or what you're doing to your post — this info shows up as a short blurb above the post you write. Next to that button is a GPS pin button that allows you to add your location, and next to that is a clock that allows you to schedule your posts for the future by selecting a date and time.
On the bottom-right-hand side of the post box, before the Post button, you'll see a button that pulls up a drop-down menu that allows you to select who can see your post — you can make it public, visible to friends only or visible to a custom group of people. You can also hide individual posts from specific people if you choose to do so.
To post a link, simply copy and paste the link into the text box. Facebook will automatically pull up a preview image, the title of the Web page and information about it. This will show up as a clickable image in your post that will take users to that website. If the website has more than one image, you can toggle through and choose the one you want to display by clicking the arrow buttons in the top-left corner of the image. If you don't want this preview to show at all, just click the X in the top-right corner of the preview. Your post will just contain the URL, which other users can still click on.
Switching to Photo/Video on your profile will prompt you to upload either photos or a video, or create a photo album by uploading multiple photos and giving it a title and description. Doing so on the news feed will open your files so you can upload the photos or video you want to post, as there is the separate Create Photo Album option. Clicking this option also opens up a box where you can see your files.
Adding a life event prompts you to choose a category, like Work & Education, Family & Relationships and more. Each category takes you to specific life events, like when you got married, when you started school and more. You can backdate these events to fill out information on your profile, so if you graduated college 10 years ago but still want it on your timeline, you can add that. Once you select the life event you want to add, Facebook will prompt you to fill out the relevant information.
Interacting with other Facebook users
Interacting with other users on Facebook is very simple. In addition to tagging other users and pages in your posts and photos, you can also favorite posts by clicking the Like button and comment on other people's posts by clicking Comment. When you comment on posts, you can also share links and tag other users as you type, as you would in a post. You can also click the Share button to share a post that another user or page posted, and in doing so, you can also add a caption if you want, or leave the post as is.
Creating your Facebook page
Once you know your way around Facebook, it's time to create a page. To do so, you can either go to the top navigation bar and click the arrow button to find the Create a Page option, or select Create Page from the menu on the left-hand side of your news feed. Both options lead you to the same place: a page where you can select what type of page you want to create. Your options include the following:
- Local business or place
- Company, organization or institution
- Brand or product
- Artist, band or public figure
- Cause or community
Simply select the category that best fits your business. (Note: For demonstration purposes, we've selected "local business or place.") This will prompt you to enter information like your type of business, the name of your business, your address and your phone number. Once you've filled out the required information, click Get Started to continue on to page creation.
Entering this information will take you to a page where you will be prompted to follow four steps:
- About: Here, you will type in categories that fit your business industry, separated by commas. This will help people find your page when they search for businesses in those categories. You'll also be asked to fill out a description and your website URL, as well as to confirm whether your business is a real establishment.
- Profile Picture: Here, you will be prompted to add a profile picture to your page, which you can do by uploading one from your computer or importing one from your website.
- Add to Favorites: This option allows you to add your page to the top of the menu on the left side of your news feed for easier access. However, it is notnecessary for the page-creation process.
- Preferred Page Audience: This lets you specify the kind of audience you want your page to have so that Facebook can make sure the right people find it. It will prompt you to enter the locations where you would like your audience to be (or exclude locations you don't want to reach), and to add an age range, gender preferences and interests.
You can skip these steps at any time, if you'd prefer to fill them out later.
When you first create your page, Facebook will give you a quick pop-up tutorial of how to navigate it. Make sure you pay attention and read each information box, so you can get a better idea of how to get around your page.
At the top of your page, you'll see a white navigation bar. On the left side of the bar, you'll see four options: Page, Messages, Notifications, and Publishing Tools. You'll also see an Insights option once Page Insights has been made available to you. On the right side, there are two options: Settings and Help.
Page is the default destination; it shows you your business's page. This is where you can create posts, interact with fans, update your profile information and more. Messages will take you to your page's inbox, where you can see messages you've sent and received with fans.
The Notifications option takes you to a page where you see if people have liked, commented on or shared your posts, or tagged you in a post, for example. On the left-hand side, you'll also see options to check Activity (this is where you can monitor reviews, check-ins, mentions and more) and Requests, where other Facebook users can ask you for more information about your page.
Publishing Tools is where you can see your previously published posts, scheduled posts and any post drafts you may have created. You can also see your expiring posts (these are posts that you have set to have specific expiration dates). All of these options will appear in a menu on the left-hand side of the page. Also note that these options apply only to your page, and are completely separate from your personal activity.
Clicking the Settings option will take you to a page where you can fill out key information about your page and change your page's settings. (These settings are also completely separate from your personal settings.)
On the left side, you'll see a menu with several options:
- General: This is where you can change many of the basic settings of your Facebook page. You can publish or unpublish your page with the Page Visibility setting, choose whether you'd like other Facebook users to be able to post to your page's wall with the Visitor Posts setting, and toggle on or off News Feed Audience and Visibility For Posts, which allows you to control which specific demographics see your posts and which don't.
You can also choose whether you want to turn off the ability for other Facebook users to message your page privately, and if you want other users to be able to tag your photos and videos. Other settings include the ability to restrict your page by country and age, block specific words from appearing on your page (like inappropriate remarks in the comments), turn on a profanity filter and turn comment ranking on (so that top liked comments show first, instead of new ones) or off. You can also turn on Similar Page Suggestions, which will recommend your page to users who view pages similar to yours.
Facebook also gives you the option to download your page's information, merge duplicate pages (for example, if your business already had another page or you have a similar page you'd like to combine with your new one) and to delete your page if you choose to do so.
- Messaging: This option allows you to tell users who message your page what your typical response time is (which you select yourself), so they know how long to expect to wait before they hear back. You can also turn on Instant Replies, which allows you to send an automatic response to anyone who messages you.
- Page Info: While this option still appears in the menu, it actually no longer exists — instead, Facebook will direct you to the About tab on your business's page to fill in the necessary information.
- Post Attribution: This is where you can decide if you would like posts made to your page to be credited to your page or to yourself. This is just a default setting and can be changed on a post-by-post basis. If you choose to post as your page, those posts will show up as posts on the page's timeline for everyone to see. If you choose to post as yourself, these posts will show up in the Posts to Page section as if you were posting on someone else's timeline. For business purposes, it's much more likely that you'll be posting as your page.
- Notifications: This section allows you to set up what kinds of notifications you'd like to receive about your page. By default, Facebook turns all notifications on, and sends you an email each time you get a notification. You can turn off notifications for specific events — like user check-ins, likes and more — if you prefer not to get a notification for everything. You can also turn off email notifications if you'd rather view them on your page and not have your notifications fill up your inbox.
- Page Roles: If you have multiple employees running your Facebook page, this section is where you can add them to your page and adjust how much control you want them to have over it. There are five different roles you can assign to each person: Admin, Editor, Moderator, Advertiser and Analyst.
Admin allows that person to manage and change any and all aspects of the page. The Editor role gives them the power to edit the page, send messages, make posts and view insights, but not assign other users page roles. Moderators can respond to and delete comments on your page, as well as send messages as your page, view insights and create ads, but they can't create posts. Advertisers can only create ads and view insights, and Analysts can view insights. The roles you assign to employees depend on what their jobs entail and what level of access they need in order to achieve their goals.
- People and Other Pages: Here, you can see the full list of every person who has liked your page, as well as other pages that have liked your page and users you have banned from your page. (Facebook gives you the ability to block users who may be posting inappropriate comments or harassing other fans of your page.)
- Preferred Page Audience: This option allows you to edit and update the Preferred Page Audience information you filled out when you created your page.
- Apps: Here, Facebook will suggest apps that may be useful for your page, such as Facebook Events and Facebook Notes. You can also manage individual settings for each app that you have added by clicking Edit Settings under the app you want to change. You can also click Go to App to view it on your page, or click Link to this Tab to copy the link specifically to that section of your page for sharing purposes.
There are many apps available from Facebook and other developers that can help you add flair to your page. For more information on how apps work and where to find them, go here.
- Instagram Ads: This is where you can connect your business's Instagram account if you have one so that you can run paid ads on Instagram if you choose to.
- Featured: Here, you can add other pages you've liked to your page's Featured Likes section. This is a great way to show off your business partners or suggest pages that are similar to yours. You can also add a featured page owner, so if you want your followers to know that you (or one of your employees) is the person running your page, you can put that information on display, too.
- Page Support: If you have reported technical issues to Facebook from your page, this is where you can check the status of those reports.
- Activity Log: As previously mentioned, your personal Facebook profile has an activity-log feature that lets you view all of the things you have posted, searched for and more. Your page also has an activity log that tracks all of the same info, and you can view it all here.
The Help button also pulls up a drop-down menu where you can access the Facebook Help Center, go to the Facebook Help Community to ask a question, and send feedback to Facebook.
Personalizing your page
To personalize your Facebook page, just go to your page and click the About tab. Here, you can fill out all of your business's information, so customers and followers know what your business is and where to find you.
If you created your page as a local business, you'll see two options under About: Overview and Page Info. In the Overview section, you'll see basic information about your business, like your hours and price range. You'll also see your address, phone number and website (if you didn't already fill this out when creating your page). The Overview section will also show your business's location on a map, as long as your address is filled out. To fill out or change any of this information, go to the Page Info tab.
Under the Page Info tab, you'll be able to fill out and/or edit the following information:
- Category: This is the category you chose when you created your page (in this case, "local business or place"), so this will already be filled out. However, you can edit it if you made a mistake or think another category better suits your business.
- Name: Fairly straightforward, this is your business's name. You can edit it if you made a mistake.
- Subcategories: As with your business category, this is the subcategory or subcategories that you filled out when you created your page.
- Facebook Web Address: Here, you can create a username or vanity URL for your Facebook page. When you do this, the URL to your page will be in the www.facebook.com/YourUsernameHere format, rather than a long collection of words, letters and numbers. That makes your page a lot easier to share, and even something that can easily fit on a business card. This is an important step in setting up your Facebook page, but make sure you're careful — once you've set your username, you can only change it one more time before it becomes permanent.
- Address: Here, you can add or change your business's address.
- Start Info: This section allows you to highlight when you started your business. Choose Born, Founded, Started, Opened, Created or Launched from the drop-down menu, and then add the date by clicking Add Year. Once you've chosen the year in which your business was started, you'll be able to add a month and a day as well.
- Hours: Here, you can set your company's hours by choosing from a list of four options: "No hours available," "Always open," "Permanently closed" and "Open for selected hours." Choosing "open for selected hours" allows you to add the specific hours you're open.
- Short Description: This is where you'll enter a short description of your business (fewer than 155 characters) that will appear below your profile picture on your page.
- Impressum: This is where you can enter a statement of ownership on your Web presence (up to 2,000 characters), which may be required of your business by law, depending on where your business is located. (Facebook notes that this is common in countries like Austria, Germany and Switzerland.)
- Long Description: Here, you can expand on your short description by adding more details about your business, how it started, what you do and any other details you'd like your audience to know.
- General Information: In this section, you can also enter any other basic details you think visitors to your page should know.
- Price Range: Enter the price range for your products or services here, by selecting either Unspecified or one of the following options from lowest to highest: $, $$, $$$ or $$$$.
- Parking: In this section, you can check off the types of parking available to your customers from any of these three options: Street, Parking Lot or Valet.
- Public Transit: If there are public transit options nearby, here is where you can let visitors know how to get to your business.
- Phone: Here, you can add or edit your phone number.
- Email: Here, you can add an email address where customers can reach you.
- Website: You can enter or edit your company's website in this section.
- Official Page: This option is only necessary to fill out if your page is not run as an official representation of your brand. This is more common when creating fan pages. In most cases, you can leave this blank.
- Facebook Page ID: Here, you'll see your Facebook Page ID number. This information can't be changed but may be necessary to fill in when you're using other apps on Facebook.
Along with updating your business's information, you'll need to upload a profile picture and a cover photo. This is a great way to show off your brand. If you have a logo of some sort, your profile picture is probably the best place for it. Your profile picture will display at 160 pixels wide by 160 pixels tall on a computer and 140 pixels by 140 pixels on a smartphone, but the image you upload needs to be at least 180 pixels by 180 pixels. If you upload an image that is not square, it will be cropped to fit.
Your cover photo must be at least 399 pixels wide by 150 pixels tall, but it will display as 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on a smartphone and at 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall on a computer. Make sure your cover image is high-quality and eye-catching, and test it out on various devices to make sure it looks good on a variety of devices. To make your page look sleek, use a cover photo that coordinates well with your profile picture.
To upload a profile picture, simply click Add Photo in the profile picture box, and then click Upload Photo. (You can also take a photo with your webcam, but if you're adding a logo or other graphic, this won't be necessary.) To add a cover photo, click the small camera button right above the profile picture box. You can either upload an image or choose from a photo you've already uploaded to your page.
Posting to your Facebook page
Posting to your Facebook page is almost exactly the same as posting on your personal profile. But instead of seeing the Status option, you'll see Post, and the Create Album and Life Event options are not there. Instead, you'll see an Event, Milestone + option, which allows you to quickly create an event to invite your followers to, or to add a company milestone (e.g., reaching the five-year anniversary of your grand opening). Each option will open up a pop-up box that allows you to fill out the necessary settings in order to create your event or post your milestone.
You'll also see a little icon with your profile picture in the top-right corner of the post box — clicking this allows you to change from posting as your page to posting from your personal account, as mentioned in the Post Attributions section.
Otherwise, posting works the same way — you can share links, photos and videos.
Using Facebook as your page
If you click on the arrow all the way on the right side of the blue navigation bar at the top of the page, you'll see an option that says "Use Facebook as [Your Page Title]." This option allows you to switch back and forth from using Facebook (outside of managing your page) as your personal account or as your page.
If you are using Facebook from your personal account, there is no change to what you can do in managing your page. However, when you click on the Facebook home page, you'll see your news feed full of posts from your friends and the pages you have personally liked. If you use Facebook as your page, this will change — you'll now see your page's name and profile image on the top navigation bar where your name and image usually are, and your news feed will be filled with posts from the other pages you've connected with from your business's page. You can also post to your Facebook page from the news feed in this mode.
Trending topics on Facebook
As previously mentioned, on your news feed, you'll be able to see the top trending topics on the right-hand side of your screen. This is useful for more than just getting your daily dose of the news — you can take advantage of trending topics in your marketing strategy, if they're relevant to your business. For instance, say you run a bookstore, and a certain book is suddenly trending on Facebook for some reason — mentioning it in a post will allow your page to show up when users click on that particular trending topic to find out more information about it.
Sharing a link to your content or products is the best way to go, as long as it's relevant to the topic. But even if you don't have a link to share, just posting a fun or interesting thought (or content from another website with your commentary) is enough to show that you're paying attention to what's going on in the world and the Facebook community, and to reaffirm that you're not just there to promote your own content.
With its analytics tool, called Page Insights, Facebook makes it easy to track how well your page is doing. Page Insights is accessible via the Insights button at the top of your Facebook page, but at least 30 people need to like your page before this feature becomes available to you.
In the Overview section, you'll see various metrics by which you can measure your page's overall performance.
- Likes: This is the total number of people who like your page. Page Insights will show you the overall total of likes, as well as the number of new likes you've received in the past seven days as compared to the previous seven days.
- Reach: You'll see Total Reach, which shows the total number of people who have seen any of the content associated with your page within the past seven days. This includes your posts, ads and more. You'll also see Post Reach, which shows you the number of people who have seen just your posts.
- Engagement: The People Engaged metric is the number of people who have liked, commented on, clicked on or shared your posts within the past seven days. You'll also see these totals broken down by likes, comments, shares and post clicks.
You'll also see data on your five most recent posts, and you can click through to See All Posts at the bottom of the page.
On the top-left side of the page, you'll see a menu of options, including Likes, Reach, Page Views, Posts, and Videos.
In the Likes section, you'll see data about how many people like your page and when you've received those likes. Reach shows you data about how many people are seeing, liking, commenting on and sharing your posts. Page Views shows you data on how many times your page was viewed, as well as what websites and networks people referred visitors to your page (so if you have a link to your Facebook page on your website, you can see just how many people are actually clicking on it, for example).
To see data for specific posts, go to the Posts option. Here, you'll be able to see the number of people each of your posts has reached, each post's engagement and more. And to see data on Videos you've uploaded to Facebook, simply select the Videos option. This will show you your total video views, your top videos and the number of times your videos were viewed for 30 seconds or more in a given period.
To learn more about using Page Insights, head to the Facebook Help Center.
Advertising on Facebook
While having and maintaining an engaging page is a great marketing tool in and of itself, Facebook has a wealth of options for users who want to pay to advertise on Facebook, too. Each option is designed for a specific outcome — for example, if you want to advertise your app or an upcoming event. According to Facebook for Business, there are 12 different options:
- Page Post Engagement Ads: These ads are intended to get more people to see and interact with (like, comment, share, etc.) your content.
- Page Like Ads: These ads help more people find your page so you can get more page likes.
- Clicks to Website Ads: These ads send visitors to your website, and you can choose a specific page of your site to advertise.
- Website Conversions: This option helps you track what people do on your website once they've clicked through to it from your Facebook ad.
- App Install and Engagement Ads: If you have an app you want to show off, this ad will help you get more people installing and engaging with your app.
- Event Response Ads: These ads help you create an event and get more people in attendance.
- Offer Claim Ads: If you want to offer a special deal or discount, you can use these ads to spread the word to new customers.
- Video Views: This option allows you to create and track video ads on Facebook.
- Local Awareness Ads: These ads allow small businesses looking to reach new customers in their area to target people by location and boost business.
- Carousel Ads: Carousel Ads show multiple photos or products in one ad that users scroll through and interact with.
- Dynamic Product Ads: These ads help you promote specific products to people who have browsed your website or mobile app.
- Slideshow Ads: Slideshow Ads run similarly to Facebook's video ads, but instead they're slideshows made up of photos and are designed to be more lightweight (and load more easily) on mobile devices for slower Internet connections.
Targeting the right audience
Facebook's advertising options allow you to make sure the users who see your ads are also the people most likely to engage with them, so that you get the best return on investment. These are the top targeting options available to advertisers on Facebook:
- Location: This allows you to show your ads to people based on their city, country or community, and is an especially great tool for local businesses. Want to pique the interest of potential new customers? Target Facebook users near your business's location.
- Demographics: Want to market your product or service to single women or college graduates? Facebook gives you options to target users based on gender, age group, education level, relationship status and more.
- Interests: Target users with interests or hobbies that align with your brand. For example, if your business sells clothing, you can use this option to reach users who have liked similar brands' pages on Facebook.
- Behaviors: With this option, you can target users based on the devices they use, the things they purchase and other activities they do while connected to Facebook. This is a great tool for mobile app developers — if your app is designed for iOS devices, for example, you can narrow your audience so that only those who use iPhones see your ads.
- Connections: You can also use Facebook ads to reach people who have connected to your business in some way on the social network, as well as their friends. Whether these users have RSVP'd to one of your events or have friends who have liked your page, this is a great way to engage people who are already somewhat familiar with your business.
Read more about creating Facebook ads here.
Using Facebook on the go
To use Facebook on a smartphone or tablet, you have two options: You can simply type in the URL in your browser and log in as you would on a computer, or you can use the Facebook mobile app. The mobile Web version of Facebook operates much like the app does, although the app is a little more streamlined and easier to navigate.
To manage your business's page on Facebook mobile, however, you'll have to download a separate Facebook app called Pages Manager from your mobile device's app store. This app allows you to make posts, check activity on your page and view your page's analytics.
Users who want to chat on Facebook mobile also need to download a separate app, Messenger, in order to do so.
Facebook tips & tricks
- Embed posts you're proud of on your website. Show off your most popular Facebook posts on your company's website or blog. Just go to the post you want to share, click the arrow button in the top-right corner of the post, and select Embed Post — this will pull up a box with an HTML code to copy and paste. Highlighting your Facebook posts will show visitors that you're on Facebook and active on social media, and you'll likely gain followers from doing so.
- Grow your following with giveaways. If you can, use a giveaway service like Rafflecopter to help gain Facebook followers with a fun incentive. Set one of the entry options in your giveaway to "Like us on Facebook," and watch your audience grow. This is an easy way to gain followers and to get people to talk about your brand — they'll share your giveaway on their social channels, leading their friends and followers back to your page.
- Share content from other pages. If you want to impress your current and potential fans, be sure to share content from other relevant Facebook pages. Simply pushing your own products and content gives people who visit your page the impression that you're being spammy — and nobody wants that. Post links to interesting articles, share photos and give credit to their sources by tagging their Facebook pages in your posts. This will show followers that you care about what's going on in your industry and that you're interactive.
- Highlight company milestones. Take advantage of Facebook's timeline structure by sharing company milestones on your page. Is it the 10-year anniversary of when your company was founded? Post about it — include a fun throwback photo of the business back in the day, and let your followers know how far you've come. If you make any major changes or reach important business goals, highlight that on your page. It will make your fans feel included.
- Advertise your events. With Facebook's Events app, it's easy to promote an upcoming event or promotion on the Web. Simply click Create Event in the Events app or on the home page (or create one via the post box), follow the prompts and invite your fans. Make sure you encourage everyone you invite to invite their friends, too. You can even use the Boosted Posts tool in Ads Manager to reach more people who may be interested in attending.
- Experiment with link titles and descriptions. When you paste a link into the post box and the link-preview box pops up underneath the text, you don't have to leave it as is. Just as Facebook allows you to choose from the available pictures on the page to change which image shows up with your post, you can also click on the link's title and description to make changes. This is especially great for sharing articles, because although your titles and meta descriptions are likely written to be SEO (search engine optimization) friendly, you can change this info to get people more interested in clicking on your links. Try experimenting with different titles and descriptions, and use Page Insights to monitor which posts work best.
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