Okay, this is a departure from my usual posts. But my email box has been filled to the brim this summer with questions from creative entrepreneurs – which I love! – and I’ve noticed that so many people are confused and conflicted about starting their own Facebook pages. How to do it, when to do it, why do it? So, I decided to share what I know here. I’m no expert, but I’ve developed pages and groups for my own initiatives {like this one}and for other creative entrepreneurs and corporations behind the scenes.

But wait! Before we dive into the nitty gritty of creating and maintaining a Facebook page for your brand, blog or other creative endeavors, there’s something important I want to address. See that quote up there from Howard Thurman? I think it’s spot on. I believe we each come here with a mission – to find and turn on the lights inside us. Our passions, our talents, our purpose. You know, the things that make us come alive. And when we tap into those gifts, it’s our responsibility to share the fruits of our labor with the world – to inspire, to inform, to educate, to enlighten, to connect. Don’t think of a Facebook page as a slimy marketing tactic; think of it as a feel-good extension of you and your brand/blog/creative endeavors. An opportunity for you to shine your light.

Alrighty! Now that we have that settled, let’s move on to your most common questions…

Everyone seems to be starting a Facebook page for their business. What’s the point?

Creating a Facebook page is a free and easy way to showcase the personality of your brand/business/blog. Few will join a page that seems spammy and sales-heavy. But if you engage people – share videos, offer advice, post quotes, and share work that you’re excited about – they will develop a kinship with you and your business.

An enormous audience – full of potential customers and readers – is right at your fingertips. According to Inside Facebook, the average Facebook user spends 25-30 minutes a day on the site, connecting with friends and looking for things of interest. They also “like” an average of four business pages per month – so why not yours!? 🙂

I’m already on Facebook and have ___ friends. How’s the business page different?

The business/fan page is separate from your personal profile page, where you connect with friends and family. On your personal page, people ask to be your “friend” and you get to decide whether or not to confirm their “friendship.” But on your business/fan page, people don’t request to join. Anyone can “like” it and see your updates. You will likely have some crossover – some of your Facebook friends will also become your “fans” and follow your new page to stay up-to-date on your creative endeavors. Hopefully, since they already know you, they’ll help you spread the word!

How do I create a Facebook page? 

To create your page, click here and then choose the category that best describes you – artist? musician? local business? Don’t fret too much about which category you choose.  You can change this later if need be.

Next, a box will pop up that asks you for the name of your business. Give this name some thought and make sure it will work for years to come because you can’t change it down the road. To you make yourself easy to find, I highly suggest either using the same name you use in your business efforts or your own name {yes – you can have a personal page using your name AND a business page using your own name…as long as it’s not a common name and already taken}.

If you do make a mistake early on and realize you need a different name or spelling, you can edit your name as long as you have less than 100 fans. Just go to your page and click on “edit your page.” Go to the “Basic Information” section {in your left hand sidebar} to edit your page name.

How do I create my own URL for my Facebook page? {a.k.a. What happens when I get 25 followers?}

When you first create your Facebook page, the URL {the web address of your page} will be Facebook.com/… with a bunch of numbers and letters after it. Looks like a jumbled mess and it’s not easy to remember! Once you have 25 followers/likes, you can change your URL to a more memorable name. Ideally, it will reflect the name of your page. This allows you to share your page easily in other places – verbally, on business cards, printed information, etc. It also protects your name; once it’s used on Facebook as a business page name, it’s no longer available for anyone else to use.

The drawback to this is that you may find your desired name is already taken. You might need to come up with some creative workarounds, but don’t let this stop you in your tracks. To change your page’s URL {once you have 25 or more followers}, click here. Input the URL you’re hoping for and then click on “check availability.”

Okay, I have a page. Now what do I do? 

Start by making your Facebook page come to life. Turn it into a reflection of you and/or you brand. Images help create a “feel” for your page. Go to your page and click on “edit page.” You’ll see a bunch of categories listed along the left side of your screen. Start with the profile picture. You can upload a regular-sized photo {of yourself, your logo, etc.}. Or, if you’re savvy with photo-editing software like Photoshop {or the free online Picnik.com, you can create a larger profile picture that stands out and allows you to share more info about your business. The largest this design element can be is 540 x 180 pixels.

After uploading your profile photo and seeing how it looks, you’ll want to edit your thumbnail. The thumbnail is the picture that everyone else on Facebook sees whenever you post on other pages or even on your own.

For instance, here you see the full profile pic we uploaded for the Get Real Girls’ new Facebook page. That’s what you see when you arrive at our page. But we edited our thumbnail image {right} to showcase our logo – the words “go get real” – to show up whenever we post on the page or on other people’s pages.

To do this, go back into the “profile picture” category and then scroll down to click on “edit your thumbnail.” You can then move the square lens around to highlight the part of your photo you want to show in your thumbnail.

You can also dictate which pictures show up in the five boxes at the top of your page. It is populated by photos you’ve either uploaded in the “photo” section {left hand side of your page} or shared in posts on your page. If one shows up in the top of your screen that you don’t want to be showcased, hover your mouse over the upper right corner of the picture and an “x” will appear. Click on the x. It will then ask if you want to hide that particular photo. Click yes and poof! It’ll disappear.

If this post is helpful, let me know! I will share more insights on setting up your page and attracting your ideal followers in a future post. Big love to everyone today!