How to Customize a Business Page on Facebook
Getting Started: How to Set Up a Facebook Page
Create a FaceBook Account
If you do not already have a FaceBook account, visit the main Facebook home page and select "Sign Up."
You can create a personal account or a business account but not both. If you will only be using Facebook for your business, you can set up your account as a business account. However, business accounts have less functionality and options than personal accounts.
If you will ever use Facebook for personal reasons (in addition to business promotion) or want full access to Facebook tools and information, set up your account as a personal account. You can choose settings so that your business page is seen and treated separately from your personal page -- known as your "profile" page in Facebook terms.
Facebook accounts are free, but remember, you can only have one account. If you already have a personal Facebook page account, you will have to create your business page off that account. If you create more than one account and Facebook catches you, they will disable or delete one or both accounts.
Create Your Basic Business Page on Facebook
There are two ways to create a page on Facebook. Both will require you to log into your Facebook account.
Log in: While you are on your main profile, (your personal profile page) scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen and click on the "Advertising" link in the footer. You will be taken to a new page where you can then either click on the "Facebook Page" link in the text in the center column or the footer link "Create a Page."
The second way you can create a page is to:
- Go to the Facebook Page creation home page
- Select the type of page you want to create (i.e., local business, company, cause, etc.)
- After you choose an option, you will be given a drop-down list of more options to choose to help Facebook know more about your business or another type of page.
Once you select the options for the type of page you want to create it will automatically be created for you, and you will be redirected to the newly created page.
How to Log Into Your Facebook Business Page After It Has Been Created
After you have created a business page, to access it in the future, just log into your main Facebook account and in the drop down menu on the top right side of your account select "My Account" and then select "Use Facebook as Page."
If you have more than one page you will be shown the options to select from -- just click on the particular page you want to access.
Although you can have only one Facebook account and personal page, you can have multiple business or other pages.
Basic Settings for Facebook Business Page
Facebook custom page development can be a little bit confusing. When you are on your new page, a series of options appear at the top, side, and in the content of the page. The main body of your new page contains lots of options, most of which should be done after you have set up your site. These options include:
Add An Image
This image will show next to your posts when you update your business page. Choose a logo, or friendly face if you do not have a logo that will work well on the site. Never leave this blank -- it is better to use a temporary image than not to have one at all.
Invite Your Friends
This option allows you to invite friends on Facebook to view your page. Do this only after you are done customizing your page -- you want them to see it at its best.
When you invite friends, the goal is to get them to "Like" your page to give it more branding power. When you get 25 people to "Like" your business page, Facebook allows you to have a custom URL address for the business page. Until you have 25 fans, you have to use the default URL that Facebook creates for your page.
People who "Like" your page are called "Fans." Pages can have an unlimited number of fans -- personal profile pages can only have 5,000 "Friends."
Tell Your Fans
If you already have Facebook fans or subscribers, you can invite them also to become fans on your new page. Although you can invite fans anytime, it is recommended that you only invite fans once your page has been completely set up. If you invite them to a page in progress, they might not become your fan!
Post Status Updates
When you are ready to post announcements (updates) use this option. Again, it is recommended you start adding status updates just prior to when you are ready to announce your new page. It is important, however, that you have at least a few updates on your page before you announce it -- this gives visitors something to read and respond to.
Promote This Page On Your Website
This step is only recommended after your page has been set up. This option will give you different codes you can put on your website to direct people to your website so they can "Like" it. You do not have to use this tool -- you can also create your HTML codes, hyperlinks on a website, and, if you use WordPress, there are many free plugins available to help you connect your website with Facebook.
Set Up Your Mobile Phone
This option allows you to set up your mobile phone so that you can upload images and updates from your phone.
Anytime you want to see these options appear again, click on the "Get Started" link in the sidebar on your page (you must be logged into your account.)
The Edit Page Button on Facebook Pages
When you create a page on Facebook, a button "Edit Page" appears at the top right corner of the page. Click on this to get into the real heart of customizing your page.
When you select "Edit" page notice that the menu options in your page's sidebar change.
This options lets you set posting preferences and email settings. Unless you want all your posts to automatically post on your business page when you are logged in, uncheck "Posting Preferences" box.
Permissions allow you to decide who can post comments, images, and links to your page, and who can see your page. You can also set restrictions to limit access by minors.
Here you enter basic information about your business page. Once you have 25 fans, you can use this option to select a business page name. Include information about your website, a brief description, and link to your website.
Tip: The information you add in the "About" field will display on your business page to keep it short.
It is another place where you can opt to upload your logo or a picture that will show (by default) next to all your updates as well as in the main image box on your business page. It will not change the picture displayed on your profile page (if you are using a personal account.)
Facebook should not be used strictly as a means to sport your announcements. The most successful Facebook users create pages that are interactive and build a sense of community.
To help encourage others to visit your page, share the "wealth" by adding (promoting) featured Page Owners and featured "Likes." These will show on your business page.
From this screen option, Facebook offers the following tools to help you promote your business page:
- Advertise on Facebook
- Tell your Fans
- Get a Badge
- Add a Like Box to your Website
The above options are the same, or similar to those found in the "Get Started" options panel.
This is where you give administrative access to other people. You can customize their level of access. To give someone admin access, they must first "Like" your page.
It is where you will add tools, features, and functionality to customize the look and functionality of your Facebook page. Because this is the most complicated part of customizing Facebook pages, apps are discussed in more detail in Step #4.
Select this option to set up a variety of mobile device access features.
Shows statistics and information about how many people visit your page and how they are using your pages.
Information and FAQs answered by Facebook about setting up and maintaining your page.
Using Apps to Customize Your Facebook Page
To create a custom look for your Facebook page you need to use "apps." The term "apps" is a shortened version of the word "applications." An app is a program that is written to do a specific task(s) that can be integrated into an existing application. Apps do not work by themselves; they must be added to a device or other software program or application to work.
There are many apps you can use on Facebook, and some are more complicated to use than others. When customizing your Facebook page, it helps to have a knowledge of HTML programming and basic web design.
To find available apps go to your Facebook page, select "Edit Page" at the top right, and then click on "Apps" on the left-hand sidebar. You will see a list of a few standard apps most commonly used on Facebook. You do not have to use any of these apps and for each purpose they server, there are other options available. To view or use any of these apps, simply select the option "Go to App."
To find more app choices, click on the link below the standard apps, "Browse More Applications.
When searching for apps to customize the appearance of your Facebook page, skip the menu choices and go right to the "search" box. Good search terms to find design apps include: "custom," "customize page," and "FBML."
What is FBML?
The term "FBML" stands for "Facebook Markup Language." FBML is the code language used in apps that all HTML code. FBML works with most HTML codes, but not all. When you search apps for FBML, you will find apps that can be used to customize the look of your business page.
Static FBML is probably the most widely used app for customization. It requires a knowledge of HTML but otherwise is not difficult to use.
Create a look for your page in HTML, copy the code into the app and give it a title. The title will automatically be added to your pages' left sidebar with a link to the sub-page. For example, you might use Static FBML to create an "About Us" page.
Because there are many apps and techniques involved in customizing your Facebook page, it cannot be covered in this short overview of creating a Facebook page. Apps are discussed in more detail separately.