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Getting started with Facebook pages for business

Posted on by Clive Walker in Web Development

I wrote this post a while back. The content can still be relevant but the information I've linked to may not be available.

Like many other folks, I have a Facebook account which I use for personal friends (and only friends). However, I have never used Facebook for business reasons until fairly recently. A few weeks ago, I was asked if I could create a Facebook page for a business and, whilst I’m sure I could do this, I had to be honest with the potential client and say that I’d never actually done this before. To get some experience, with some spare time last weekend, I thought I’d create my own business (page) on Facebook. Here’s the story so far and a few beginner tips.

Why I am doing this

  • Learn about Facebook pages for business
  • Learn about website and business promotion through social media channels (Facebook and Twitter)
  • Make some money (?)

What I have done so far

Its Been Emotional T-shirt The first problem I faced was what business to promote! Perhaps CVW Web Design or something else. In the end, I decided to go with something else; a small T-shirt partner business called Get Emotional that I have running in the background. The reason for this was to use something similar to the businesses that might ask me to create a Facebook page. I don’t expect to get approached by other T-shirt businesses but this is probably more representative of potential clients than a web design business.

Next, I set up a single page for Get Emotional because previously I just redirected the domain name to the T-shirt shop. The single page is deliberately very simple because the main focus is the shop which is on the partner website. I hope to develop the single page later.

Info: The business is called Get Emotional because (a) I bought the domain name ages ago and wanted to use it, and (b) I decided to feature T-shirts that have “I Love …” or similar emotion themes.

The Facebook page

I created the Get Emotional page on Facebook by following the Facebook instructions which worked reasonably smoothly except for an apparent inability to edit the page straight after it was created. I don’t know if Facebook was caching my pages or something because the first few times I tried to edit the new page, it just would not allow me to do it. I actually submitted a bug report. Anyway, when I logged in the next day, everything was working. Whether the system corrected itself or whether Facebook looked at my bug report I don’t know.

The first tip I have for you is that you do need to be prepared to put some time into this. You will not gain fans on Facebook overnight. Right now, I don’t have many fans (sob) but I have not really started promoting the page yet.

For the Facebook page, I strongly suggest that you install the FBML Static application. You can do this by clicking on Edit Page, More Applications, and browsing for FBML Static. Add it to your page and you will be able to use it to create a tab containing HTML for the page. You might use this for creating a product listing page for example and it provides a different tab to the default Facebook tabs. I have used this to create my T-shirts tab.

Now that you have the page set-up, you will of course need to populate it with updates, start getting some fans, and develop the business. That’s a story for another day.

Related: Here’s a nice step-by-step guide to creating a Facebook page for your blog. It’s the same process I went through.

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  • 16 Jul 2010 14:19:22

    Getting Started Tab. There is a well-known bug in the FB Business page arena now. Admins are desperate to get a fix on the Getting Started tab, which is pervasive over many type of Business pages, and cannot be opted-out or canceled. It only goes away when you make connections for your cell phone and on Twitter. This is obviously not helpful to many businesses, but FB is ignoring every request for help in their own forums (only Admins see the tab but it is always on top when they open their page).
    A user group quickly formed because FB is so silent, and has over 160 Admin members, targeting this flaw in FB development. We are insisting on an opt-out feature, across the board. Here is the link to that group.

  • 18 Jul 2010 02:29:01

    Getting Started Tab Update: As of this morning, Facebook has included a [?] on the offending tab, which opens an explanation of how the form works. They still do not provide any feature that lets a user tell them ‘no’. We don’t really think they ever will. On a better note, they have been making adjustments to the tabs, and only users with about 20 or fewer fans are still plagued with the tab. And probably the best ‘win’ that Admins can claim, the blasted thing no longer opens first when the page opens. Business pages now open on the Wall, or as Admins have directed them.
    Small steps of progress, and none of them simple or logical. And the silence has been damning. They angered quite a few people, and those people usually buy Facebook ads. I wonder how much they will be spending for a while.

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