Facebook for Local Businesses – How to Create a Facebook Business Page

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Have you, as a local business owner, decided which social media platforms are right for you? Is Facebook part of your social media strategy?

We know it’s time-consuming, challenging, and sometimes frustrating to develop and have an effective social media presence. However, if you manage to build and maintain engaged and loyal local followership, you can take your business to a whole new level. Facebook can help you boost your brand awareness and visibility, increase website traffic, attract local customers and turn them into clients.

In a series of blog posts we’ll share with you tips and insights on how to use Facebook to help your small business grow, including how to set up a Facebook business page, how to manage and optimize your page for search, and how to promote your local business on Facebook.

So, let’s get started and walk you through the process of how to set up a Facebook business page the right way:

Step 1: Log into Facebook

Firstly, you’ll need to log into your personal Facebook profile to create a Facebook page (Facebook requires the page owner to link the business page to his/her personal account so he or she can manage the page).

After logging into your account just click the arrow in the top right corner and select “Create Page”:

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Step 2: Choose a Page Type

 You can opt from different page types and select the one that best fits your business profile.

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The table below shows the features for each page type available:

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If your business has a physical address where customers can go to, then you should choose the “Local Business or Place” page type. This type of page has features like “Check-ins” and “Ratings & reviews” that can help SMBs stand out in their community. By allowing users to check into your location or leave a comment you can raise awareness of your business customers’ friends. Moreover, this category is also very important for the Facebook Graph Search. If a Facebook user is searching for a hair salon his friends have visited in New Jersey, their check-ins and comments will appear first in Facebook search results.

Step 3: Enter your business information

Next, enter your correct business Name, street Address and Phone number (NAP). Ensure that your NAP information is correct and consistent with the contact information posted on your website and in your business listings on local business directories. Having an up-to-date business information online means that customers can discover your business easily and quickly.

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We suggest spending some time thinking about your page’s name. If your business name is well-known and your customers know what your business is all about, then go with that. On the other hand, small businessеs that are just starting out and strive to gain popularity with local clients need to come up with an informative name so potentials customers will know immediately what their business is all about.

We advise you to include a keyword related to your business in your Page name, e.g. your products, services, or location. However, never needlessly include tons of keywords, as it would look spammy to online users (for example “Jennifer’s Salon & Spa – Massage, Waxing, Haircuts, Skin care, Pedicure, and Tanning”). Your page name shouldn’t be too generic either, for instance “Beauty Salon & Spa”.

Step 4: Add Your Business Details

You will need to add an additional information like categories and subcategories related to your business, a description, a link to your website and a custom Facebook web address for your page.

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Categorizing your Page is the first crucial step in Facebook Graph Search optimization. When creating a local business page or editing its settings you’ll see a “Categories” drop-down menu and a “Subcategories” fill-in field. You may find it a challenge to select the three most appropriate subcategories (pages may only have three subcategories in accordance with Facebook policies). The lack of an accurate official list and guidance on what subcategories to choose, leaves you with no other option but to type in keywords in the subcategories field and see if these subcategories already exist. So, we decided to gather a full list of the latest available subcategories that will help you orientate yourself when typing into the field. Although only the first one you enter will be visible to the visitors of your local business page, selecting more than one will optimize your business page for Facebook search and help you increase your page’s exposure and audience reach on Facebook.

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Facebook Business Page’s Timeline
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If you are not absolutely sure which subcategory is the right one for your business, it’s a good idea to check your key competitors’ pages and to see which subcategory they are listed under and maybe to copy it if it’s relevant for your business.

Use the Short Description field to highlight your business, products, services, and add a link to your website (if you have one). Be concise because it is limited to 155 characters.

The custom Facebook web address or your unique Facebook page URL (www.facebook.com/yourpagename) is another thing you should pay close attention to. We recommend including both your business name and location in the URL, especially in case there are other businesses with the same name. URLs with relevant words are more attractive and informative for customers in comparison to web addresses with weird characters. However, rather than stuffing it with too many keywords, include your most important keyword or two.  Below you can find examples of  local businesses with Facebook web addresses containing a name and a location:

www.facebook.com/Priceless-Rent-A-Car-New-Hartford-722364037857199/

www.facebook.com/acerentacarbuffalo/

www.facebook.com/ciaobellahairstudiobuffalony/

www.facebook.com/chicagohairextensions/

Step 5 Upload a Profile Picture

When choosing a profile picture for your Page, the best practice is to upload your company logo. However, for professional service providers such as dentists, doctors, consultants, or lawyers, a picture of the business owner or a staff member personalizes your profile. Just make sure to use a high-quality picture because this is the face of your business on the social network. The picture dimension requirements are 160×160 pixels on computers, 128x128pixels on smartphones and 36×36 pixels on most feature phones. Facebook also crops the photo to a square format.

Step 6 Add the new page to your Favorites

Add the new page to your favorites so you can easily access it from the left side menu on your Facebook home page.

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Step 7 Specify your preferred Page Audience

Facebook tries to deliver the most relevant content to its users and constantly updates its news feed algorithm in order to best match users‘ interests. By setting up your Preferred Page Audience you can tell Facebook who and where your target audience is and improve the chances of reaching it. With information including location, age range, languages, gender, and topics of interest, you can better target your content and improve the reach of your local business messages. Don’t worry, this setting doesn’t obstruct other audiences from finding your Page, so it won’t hurt your overall reach. You can also find the feature in the left navigation sidebar of your Page “Settings”.

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After completing the initial setup, you must go through the following steps to totally pimped up your Facebook page:

Step 8 Add a Cover Photo to your Page

The cover photo contributes to the overall company image on Facebook. The Page’s cover photo displays at 828×315 pixels on computers and 640×360 pixels on mobile devices. It is a good practice to use it to showcase your brand, store, products, or services. Also, demonstrate that you are active and upgrade it periodically to promote new or seasonal products, contests, or promotional campaigns. It is a good idea to design cover photos for holidays and special occasions.

Step 9 Add a Button to your Page

The call-to-action button on your Page directs people to your website or prompts them to take an action like calling you, sending you an email or booking an appointment. The button can be linked to a web page outside Facebook where the action can be completed.

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Step 10 Complete the “About” section

Add more information about your business:

  • Long description – It doesn’t need to be the same as your short description. You can add a detail information about the company (company’s history, products and services’ benefits, links to other company’s social media profiles).
  • Working hours – This is one of the most important pieces of information that customers look for when searching for a local business. Keep your hours of operation updated so that people know when to contact you or visit your location.
  • Parking details
  • Price range

Step 11 Add a “Service” tab to your Page

If you are a service provider, this Facebook tab allows you to list your services. This feature is available to “Local Business or Place” pages, “Company, Organizations or Institution” (for “Consulting / Business Services” pages only) and “Business Person” (for “Artist, Band or Public Figure” pages only). You can make it visible by selecting it from the Page Settings menu (see the example below).

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The description section is limited to 200 characters so keep it simple and straightforward.

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The disadvantage of this feature is that you can’t add links to external service pages and customers can’t purchase services from the tab. Instead, you can include your phone number in the Price or Description field in order to generate leads.

If you are not sure what tabs and buttons to active on your Page, you can try the pre-defined Page layout templates. You can choose from the following categories:

  • Standard
  • Business
  • Professional Services
  • Shopping
  • Venues
  • Politicians
  • Restaurants and cafes

To access them go to “Settings” from your main Page and then select “Edit Page” to view your template options:

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Step 12 Facebook pages for multiple location businesses

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If your business has more than one location, you can create multiple locations for your Facebook page by using Facebook Locations. This lets you list all of your locations under one main company page and at the same time allows clients to check in and review each of your store pages. You need to request access to the feature in order to set up a multi-location page. Once your request is approved, you can setup new location pages or connect existing pages to your parent page. Your main page will be pimped up with a built-in map and a store finder. Remember that all of your location pages must have the same name. Facebook will automatically add a location descriptor (“City” or “Address, City”) to your local page.

Step 13 Avoid duplicate Facebook Pages

Duplicate business pages on Facebook are a treat because they could confuse users, resulting in a split of business reviews, check-ins and likes between the given pages. It is important to remember that regardless of whether your page is newly established or old it is best to occasionally audit for business pages that have a similar name, the same location address, or represent the same thing as yours. Duplicate pages can be created by you, someone else or by Facebook in cases when people have shown interest in a place or business, for example this unofficial page.

You have the following options to resolve the issue:

  • Report the page:

Go to the duplicated page and select “Report Page” from the “More” drop-down menu

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Then report the page as a duplicate or as your intellectual property

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  • Claim an unmanaged page
  • Request to merge both pages if you are admin of the both Pages. Remember that if your request is eligible, the likes and check-ins of the two pages will be combined, but Facebook will delete the posts, images, reviews, ratings, and the username of the duplicate page.

We hope you found this article useful! If you have any questions or issues about setting up your Facebook page, please let us know in the comments below. We are always happy to help.

Stay tuned for the other posts in the series which will help you build a loyal fan base on Facebook, create engaging content, optimize your Facebook page for search, and lead you through the minefield of Facebook ads!

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