Joining the millions of brands on Facebook should be a priority for every small business. Facebook is an active hub to find and engage with potential customers. You can connect one on one, learn about user habits, and tailor ads to your audience.

But before you can benefit from these features, you need to build awareness with a great Facebook business page. Social media is a gateway to a lasting customer relationship. The informal nature of Facebook allows you to show the human side of your business. Once you get people to follow you online, you gain a steady source of leads and traffic.

Read on for a step-by-step guide to getting your Facebook business page up and running.

1. Create a business page

To get started, you need a personal account on Facebook. While you can create more than one business page, they should all link to one personal account. When logged in, click the dropdown arrow in the top right corner. Choose the “Create Page” button to visit the business section.

2. Choose your type of business

On the next page, you should see six business categories:

  • Local business or place
  • Company, organization, or institution
  • Artist, band, or public figure
  • Brand or product
  • Cause or community
  • Entertainment

Click the option that best describes your style of business. For example, go with “local business or place” if you have a restaurant. The “entertainment” category works better for a child party performer. And the “artist, band, or public figure” option is a good fit for a motivational speaker.

3. Add subcategory or address details

Depending on your selection, a category list with more detailed selections may appear. Let’s say you pick “company, organization, or institution.” Now, you can select a precise subcategory to help people find you online. Some examples include consulting agency, industrial, education, and media company. Enter your business name, read the Facebook terms and click “Get Started.”

Alternately, if you choose “local business or place,” fill out the contact details. Along with your business name and address, you can manually type in an exact category name. Think about what your core audience would search for, and use a strong keyword. Then choose the “Get Started” option.

4. Create a username and URL

The “Page” tab provides a list of essential tasks to complete, such as adding photos. But first things first — come up with a username to make your business easy to find. This username also serves as the custom URL for your Facebook business page. Ideally, it should closely resemble your business name. Just like creating a domain name, getting an exact match is harder if your business name is too common.  

5. Add short and detailed business info

Click the “Add a short description” option under the “Page” tab. Write a brief one- to two-sentence blurb describing your value proposition. Aim to include keywords, your business category, and the core service you offer clients.

To add more in-depth info about your business, click the ellipsis button on the engagement toolbar. It’s located next to the “Like,” “Follow,” and “Share” buttons. The ellipsis button opens a dropdown menu, where you can choose “Edit page info.”

The resulting box displays detailed categories for contact info, website URLs, business story, hours, and more. Most of the info forms your “About” page, giving visitors a glimpse of your brand story.

6. Showcase brand visuals

Branding choices can make or break a business page from the start. That’s why it’s smart to use strong visuals to show personality and spark an emotional connection. Draw your audience in with interesting cover and profile photos.

Click the camera icon inside the blank photo square on the left side of the page. This is your profile picture, and it’s a great location to display a company logo. Facebook often changes photo standards, so always check for the most up-to-date sizing. As of October 2017, the recommended Facebook profile photo size is at least 170 x 170 pixels.

The cover photo is a unique opportunity to put your brand in the spotlight. It can be an image or a video, so think deeply about what represents your business. If you love your company culture, why not snap a photo of your team holding up your business name? Look for the blank banner space near the top of the page. Click the “Add a cover” button. The recommended size for a Facebook cover photo is at least 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels high.

7. Add a call-to-action button

Designing your Facebook page around a call to action (CTA) is a smart way to boost conversions. If everything on your page is subtly moving visitors toward one outcome, you have a better chance of closing the deal.

Click the “Add a button” option below the cover photo to see a list of CTAs. Choose from options such as:

  • Book services
  • Place a food order
  • Make a purchase or donation
  • Sign up or contact business
  • Get a quote
  • Send a message
  • Learn more or visit a website
  • Watch a video
  • Play a game
  • Download an app

The CTA’s are perfect for promoting local businesses. The social aspect of the site motivates users to take action when they see what their peers are doing. Imagine prospective customers who see friends make a purchase, order food, or get your app. They’re more likely to follow your business page or take action on the spot.

8. Create photo and video stories

Fill up your profile with photo albums that tell a story about the experiences you deliver. Photos of your products, location, and experiences can set positive expectations for new customers. And tagging key people or elements in your photos drives engagement among people who already love your business.

Click “Photos” on the left sidebar, and then choose the “Create album” option. Focus on the most attractive characteristics of your business. Do you have a great facility? Is your decor fun, trendy, historic, or themed? Do you have unique products or menu items you want to highlight? Do you spend a lot of time interacting with customers? Do you need to promote seasonal events or branding?

You can use the same strategies and post videos related to your business. The option is located on the same left sidebar.

9. Notify customers, friends, and family

Get your business profile off to a good start by asking supporters to like your page. If they’re willing, ask customers to post and tag past photo’s they’ve taken at your business. Having other people link to your page puts your business in front of more people, which is the ultimate goal.

And make sure to add “Like” and “Follow” buttons to your website and online profiles. After all, you want everyone to be able to show your business some love.

10. Choose setting preferences

Setting preferences right away can help you control who sees or posts on your page. Click the “Settings” button in the upper right to open a detailed panel of options. From this dashboard, you can set visibility restrictions, such as age and country. You can also decide how much freedom others have to message you or tag your page in their media.

Go through all the tabs to activate or deactivate features as needed. Some major options include:

  • Moderation and profanity filters
  • Instant replies for orders and bookings
  • Business page layout
  • Comment capabilities and ranking
  • Notification activity
  • Partner apps and Instagram linking
  • Payment acceptance
  • Calendars and appointment booking
  • Translation capabilities

One important feature to think about is the “Page Role” option. If you have multiple employees accessing the account, you can assign roles to limit what they can do. The feature is useful for preventing accidental posts or changes to the wrong pages.

Start promoting your business

There’s a lot to learn before you become a Facebook marketing guru. The site has countless options for monitoring follower activity and targeting ads to fit their interests. However, setting up a Facebook business page is a good beginning step toward reaching new audiences. Passing this first hurdle opens a world of new possibilities tailored to small business brands.

A strong social media presence is part of a well-planned online marketing plan. Be sure to send Facebook traffic to a professional website.