After Facebook created a way for people to connect as individuals, they created an opportunity for other entities to have a presence as well. These entities could be businesses, charities, rock bands, public figures, and more. This new, specialized feature would give other entities a way to provide information to, as well as engage with, their fans or followers. This feature is called “Pages”.
Page Types and Categories
There are several main types of Pages that include: a local business, a place (focused on a physical address), a band, a company, an organization, an institution, a cause, and a brand, among others. After choosing from one of the main categories, Facebook then offers a choice of subcategories. For example, if you choose “place” as the Page type, you could choose “restaurant” as one of the subcategory options.
How Page Audiences are Built
Using a Page as an instrument for online exposure involves trying to build a following (or “fans”) of the Page. Individuals become fans of a Page by visiting the Page and clicking the Like button at the top. After clicking the Like button, individuals might sometimes see posts from the Page in their News Feed. (Whether or not the posts show up on one’s News Feed relates to Facebook’s algorithm for showing content in the News Feed. Facebook’s system displays a selection of posts based on what it thinks you will find the most interesting.) Individuals can choose their level of interest for seeing a Page’s posts, for example; they can leave the default setting, which will lead to some exposure, mark it as a “favorite”, or simply choose “unfollow,” which means they would be a fan of the Page but choose not to see their posts in their News Feed.
(NEW: Facebook is starting to move away from the “Like” button on some Pages in favor of a “Follow” button, but the functions will continue to be the same or similar.)
Ways to Grow the Audience Size of a Facebook Page
There’s no limit to how big a following there can be to a Facebook Page. Here are some ways to promote the Page in an effort to get more interested and followers:
- While administering the Page, there is a module that allows you to invite your Facebook friends to Like the Page. This is definitely a great way to get your Page audience started.
- You can run ads with the specified goal of building the audience of your Page.
- Your Page URL can be placed on your business card.
- You can link to your Facebook Page from your website.
- Your email signature can include a link to your Facebook Page.
- You can ask your Facebook friends to go to your Page and click “Share,” which will share the Page with their friends.
- You can join Facebook groups as your Page (instead of as your self/profile). People will see your Page name and link when you interact in the group.
Messenger is Built Into Your Page
An often-underestimated feature of Facebook Pages is that they have Messenger built-in. Click on “Inbox,” and you’ll be in the Messenger interface for your business. When other people visit your Facebook Page, they can click a button to send you a message. That will then initiate a “conversation” in your Inbox. Although this may seem like a simple feature, it can be used in extremely sophisticated ways. For example, there are a number of interesting ways that people can be brought into conversations, including running ads that funnel directly to the Inbox. And once a conversation is initiated, the business can have pre-programmed/automated questions and replies that gather information about a visitor’s needs. Conversations can be labeled, notated for remembering details, marked for later follow-up, or assigned to different people on your team to deal with. This just scratches the surface of how Messenger can be used as a way to organize leads or customer service communication.
“Tabs” on Your Page
In the same way that a website can have a menu of links at the top, your Facebook Page does as well. In Facebook’s terminology, though, these are referred to as “Tabs.” You can choose which tabs are used and visible on your Page by going to the Page settings, and then “Templates and Tabs.” There is a pre-set list of options to choose from, such as groups, offers, photos, videos, reviews, shop, and more. You can also create your own and give it a name of your choosing.
Your Facebook Page will have a “username” that appears below the Page’s name at the top. The username serves the purpose of being the link or address to your Facebook page. For example, the username of Coca-Cola’s Facebook page is @CocaColaUnitedStates. The URL of Coca-Cola’s Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/CocaColaUnitedStates.
The page username becomes important when you want to mention a Facebook page in your post. (Mentioning means to add the name of a person, Page, or other entity in a way that generates a clickable link, as well as a notification for the other entity that they’ve been mentioned.) For example, if you’re delighted with your new hairstyle, you can post something like, “I love my hairstylist! Leslie at @mainstreetsalon did a wonderful job!” (“@mainstreetsalon” would transform into a clickable link of the Page name.)
Marketing research over many decades shows that people respond at higher rates when a “call-to-action” is added to ads and other marketing vehicles. That’s why Facebook incorporated an “Action Button” feature for Pages. At the top of your Facebook page, you can set up a button to initiate an action of your choosing. Options include: Send Email, Call Now, Learn More, Start Order, Book Now, Sign Up, Shop Now, and more.
Although Facebook once had a reviews system that included star ratings, it decided to go in a different direction. The new system of reviews is simply called “Recommendations.” The foundation of this system is that respondents are asked if they would recommend the business, with buttons for Yes and No. Whichever button the respondent clicks, it leads to a follow-up question that allows them to explain their experience with the business. These answers then become permanently visible on the business’s Facebook Page – Reviews tab.
Ads Through Your Page
If you want to start running ads (as in paid advertisements) on Facebook, you have two different tool platforms to choose from. One is called Ad Center, which is built directly into your Facebook Page. The other is called Ads Manager, which is a standalone interface that isn’t attached to, or limited to, any specific Facebook Page. (However, you must choose a Facebook Page for your ad to be associated with in Ads Manager.)
Ad Center lets you do several different types of advertisement. Facebook calls these “Page Promotions” since they are initiated and managed under the hegemony of your Facebook Page. You can run ads for different objective goals, such as website traffic, post boosting, or getting more Facebook Page Likes. The advantage to using Ad Center is that it’s easier and less complicated than Ads Manager. The disadvantage is that it doesn’t have nearly as many options as Ads Manager. So, which is right for you? There’s no harm in trying out both. Just be careful with your budget settings. You don’t want money to fly away accidentally.
Facebook Insights is a tool within your Facebook Page to give you data related to your Facebook Page activity. This data includes the numbers of people reached, posts clicked, comments, shares, video views, and more. Page Insights is an excellent tool for tracking your progress if you are trying to expand the impact of your Facebook Page and posts.
Publishing Tools is a section of your Facebook Page that offers a useful collection of tools and functions. There, you can see a list of posts you’ve published in the past, along with data to show how successful they were for visibility and engagement. You can also create new posts and schedule them to be posted at specific times in the future. (For example, if you’re going on vacation, you can schedule some posts before you go.) There is a library of videos you’ve used in the past. There’s an archive of Stories you’ve published in the past. Also, this is where you can create Lead Forms, which are forms that can be embedded into ads for collecting information from viewers who are interested in the promotion.
(Update: Facebook is now in the process of moving Publishing Tools functions to the new Creator Studio interface.)
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