A Facebook business page is different from your personal profile. Your personal Facebook profile is where you connect with your friends and post your holiday pictures, what you had for breakfast, your favorite cat videos and all the other stuff that you fancy – in your personal profile anything goes as long as you’re happy with it. The business page on the other hand will only showcase your professional side and has to remain focused on it’s main purpose, which is to drive qualified traffic to your blog. The main difference between a profile and a page is that from your personal profile you can message anybody, even people not in your friends list. In a page you cannot, people need to message you first, only then can you respond.
Facebook makes this important distinction so Facebook users cannot spam others with any offers they are peddling. This is also the reason why Facebook does not allow you to use your personal page for commercial activities, use a Facebook business page instead.
In order to start a Facebook business page you need to have a personal profile on Facebook, I will assume you already have one. Log into your profile and follow these steps to set-up a business page:
On the very top right of the Facebook screen you will see a little downward arrow. Click that arrow and a drop down menu will appear. Somewhere on that menu it says ‘Create Page’. Click that link.
Now you need to choose a page category. I suggest to choose ‘Local Business or Place’ rather than any of the others. The reason is that with this selection visitors to your page can leave reviews of your services, these can be a very powerful endorsement once you get some good reviews. With this selection you also get the widest variety of methods of how people can contact you, including phone number, email, website (blog), address and map. The term ‘Local Business or Place’ is not limited to only a physical address but can represent the area you serve predominantly.
Once you click on the ‘Local Business or Place’ icon Facebook will guide you thru a wizard where you fill in your basic information including a suitable category for your page (i.e. Real Estate or Property Agent) and a brief description of your services and the location you are active in. Add your blogs web address below the description, i.e. ‘JohnSmithProperty.com’. Below that you can choose your own personalized Facebook domain. I strongly suggest to again enter your full blog website address here, so it will look something like …facebook.com/johnsmithproperty.com’. The advantage of using your blogs address here is that it will be much easier for people to remember it as it’s very similar to your blog. It’s also easier for you to communicate: “Hey, my website is JohnSmithProperty.com, and you can find me on Facebook under facebook.com/johnsmithproperty.com as well”.
Click ‘Save Info’ and you get to the profile picture section. Here you can upload a nice profile picture, it should be square in size and be at least 180 x 180 pixels. Use your own picture, not your company logo or a picture of your cat. Use a picture that demonstrates your professionalism. The picture should show that you are credible and can be trusted. It doesn’t have to be one in jacket and tie, but it certainly should not be one of a recent holiday shot in swimming attire, or a picture with your friends in a local pub, or you sitting in a flashy car and so on. People remember faces, so stick with a recent headshot. If you don’t have a suitable profile picture spend a bit of money to get one professionally shot.
In the next step add the page to your favorites so you can easily access it from the left section of your own personal page.
In the last section put in your preferred audience. Add the area you serve a location, this will help you in getting preferred ranking in case someone does a search on Facebook. Gender and age demographics you can leave as is, and in the interest section choose as many as make sense by starting to type in major keywords like ‘Property’ and ‘Real Estate’ and choose the most appropriate ones in the results.
Once you’re done with this you will automatically be brought to your new Facebook business page. Besides the info you just provided it will be empty. It is very important that you DO NOT LIKE your own page yet. The reason is that if you do all your friends will see what you liked and come to check it out, only to find an empty page – they will be disappointed. For the same reason also do not invite any of your friends to like your new page yet.
Your profile picture will already show, and you can now add your cover photo as well. This should be pre-prepared and have a size of 851 x 315 pixels:
The cover photo should also have a professional look to it and represent your business. Take a moment and look at other realtors facebook pages for some ideas and inspiration, or google for ‘real estate facebook cover photos’ and take a look at the resulting images. Once you have a suitable one hover your mouse over the top left corner and click on ‘Change Cover Photo’ to upload your own.
Next you need to update your detailed information: look for the ‘About’ tab just below the cover photo and click on it. Fill in as much details as you can provided it makes sense: you won’t have any parking info, but for example the opening hours could be the time you work and can be contacted. Try to be as comprehensive as you can.
The last part to set up is your ‘Call to Action’ button. This is the button on the lower right of your cover photo, it will say ‘Like’ by default. Tap the button and a small menu will drop down and give you choices for your button text and target once someone clicks on it. You want people to come to your blog, so you might want to change this button to include your website URL.
That’s it with the setup of your new Facebook business page, well done. Now it’s time to add some content.
Go to your blog and choose any post or page you would like to start your promotion with, preferably one that is not so important. The reason to start with a less important post is that it will end up at the bottom of your Facebook timeline, so it will get less views. Remember, the aim is to only post an interesting snippet as well as the post picture and, most importantly, a link to the actual blog post. Once you have chosen your post copy the URL from your browsers address bar. Go to your Facebook page and paste the link into the status update box on the top right of your timeline. Give it a moment and Facebook will load the pages picture and snippet automatically. Then write something catchy in front of the link you just pasted, and make clear to your readers that they should click on the link to read more. Here is an example from our own AsiaTraining Facebook page:
Note that I limit the text to just 3-4 lines, including the link. It is important that the link is clearly visible and not abbreviated, so if you have a long link then give it it’s own line of text. The link should not break! Publish your post and try the link. It should open up your referenced blogs in a new window. That’s it. Now you can add more of your blog posts the same way, and add new posts over time so your profile fills up with solid content.
In addition don’t forget to also share some of the curated content I mentioned in the previous chapter. Don’t be stingy in sharing other people’s content for the benefit of your readers, just make sure that it is in line with your business goals. There is nothing wrong with posting more curated content in case you have no current updates of your own. Some experts even state that a Facebook page should post up to 80% curated content and only 20% of your own content. This is not a hard rule, if you don’t come across any good article that is worth sharing then don’t post any for the day. Remember that everything you post (own or curated content) reflects back on you and your professional image, so quality counts more than quantity.