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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Boutique Basics: Opening a Facebook Fan Page

We come across quite a few new and established boutiques on our Facebook group that do not have Facebook fan pages. We thought that this would be a great topic for the next entry in our “Boutique Basics” series.



CREATING YOUR PAGE
Facebook is a free tool that enhances your customer interaction helping you promote your business with every like, comment, and share.

Opening a Facebook page is an incredibly easy process, but we will walk you through it all to make sure you don’t miss the important details.  First thing you will do is click this link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/

You will now be faced with six categories and you must choose one to define your business type. For our purposes, I will discuss the top three choices:



Local Business or Place

If you have a 'bricks and mortar' store that people can physically visit, then this is the page type you want to choose. This also allows people to check-in when they are near your location. 
TIP: If you only have a website or sell on Etsy, then this is not a good choice for you.

Once you click on the 'Local Business or Place' square, you'll be able to choose a category.
TIP: If you can't find something relevant from the categories, choose 'Local Business' instead.

Once you have selected the category that best suits you, fill out the additional information below it that includes:
  •      Type your company name in 'Business or Place' box
  •      Fill in 'Street Address' box
  •      Enter your City/State info in the 'City/State' box
  •      Type your zip code in the 'Zip Code' box
  •      Fill in the 'Phone Number' box
  •      Click 'Get Started'
TIP: All of the above information is editable after this point so if you don't know something or you make an error, don't worry about it. You can fix it on your page later.

Company, Organization, or Institute

If you are an commerce business and only you carry your products, i.e. no wholesale customers now or plans for any in the future, then this is the page type you need to click. If you have a company with multiple locations or franchises, then this is the page type for you as well.

Once you click on the 'Company, Organization or Institution' square, you'll be able to choose a category.  
TIP: For our customers, mostly boutique owners, we suggest 'Retail and Consumer Merchandise' or 'Small Business'.


Once you have selected the category that best suits you, fill out the additional information below it that includes:
  •      Type your company name in 'Company Name' box
  •      Click 'Get Started'
Brand or Product

If your products are sold through more than one reseller, or will be in the future, then this is the category for you.

Once you click on the 'Brand or Product' square, you'll be able to choose a category.  
TIP: For our customers, mostly boutique owners, we suggest 'Clothing'.

Once you have selected the category that best suits you, fill out the additional information below it that includes:

  •      Type your brand or product name in 'Brand or Product Name' box
  •      Click 'Get Started'
SETTING UP YOUR PAGE
Now that you have settled on which page type you are, it's now time to get down to nitty gritty of your business. The next few steps are going to require you to create thoughtful and well-written descriptions of your business. For many potential customers, your Facebook page will  serve as their first impression of you and you want it to be a positive and memorable one. 

1 About

The first section you are brought to once you click the 'Get Started' button is the 'About' section. In this section you are to add a description, fill-in your website, and choose the custom Facebook url for your fan page.

When you are writing your description, it needs to be something that sounds professional and describes your business for people who visit your page for the first time. Many people view the 'About' section on Facebook fan page to find our more information about your business. You want to write something that differentiates from your competition and appeals to your potential customers.

Don't neglect to fill in the 'Website' box. If you don't have a website, include the link for where people can shop for your items, such as your Etsy shop link. If you don't have a shop anywhere, include a link to another social media site you have set-up so people can connect with you in other places.
TIP: Filling out both the description and website boxes will improve your rankings.

When you fill out your  Facebook url, keep it simple. For Create Kids Couture, we used our business name with no spaces, www.Facebook.com/CreateKidsCouture, because it's easy to promote and it's easy to remember!

Finally, confirm that you are a real business.

2 Profile Picture

You are now prompted to add a profile picture. You can upload it from your computer or from a website. Since this is the image people will see whenever you comment or post, we suggest using your logo. The dimensions for this picture are 180x180, but it will shrink on your page to be 125x125.

3 Add to Favorites

Facebook now suggests adding your new page to your favorites so it is easy to get to when viewing your newsfeed. If you do not add your page to your favorites, you will have to type it in the search box at the top of Facebook every time you want to visit your page. First click on 'Add to Favorites' then click on 'Next' or just click 'Skip' to avoid it altogether. 

4 Reach More People

Facebook now enables you to start creating ads. While Facebook ads can be beneficial, I would recommend completing the entire process of setting up your page. Once your page is completed, you can share it with your friends and family and watch it grow organically through word-of-mouth. When it stops growing, you may want to consider creating an ad. For now, I would recommend clicking 'Skip'.

FINISHING YOUR PAGE
Cover Photo

Congratulations! You are now an official Facebook page admin. There is still a little bit of work to be done so don't start celebrating just yet. Your page should now look similar to ours above. You will have a profile picture and behind that a big gray background. That gray spot is where you will get creative and add a cover photo. Just like your description in the 'About' section, you want to make sure you create something that appeals to your customers. You want to be eye-catching without being distracting; it will enhance your fan page. Below are a couple sample fan pages so you can the different routes you have available to you. 

This first one is from Princess B (and Livy too) Designs She just used one beautiful picture and it's a great option for people with a busy logo or if you just don't have many great images yet. Notice that this picture makes her page name and logo very visible and doesn't compete with it at all. Great choice!

The next sample is from Bolt to Life. She has the great logo as her profile picture and had a wonderful collage made featuring her favorite outfits along the top and out of the way of her profile picture. She also added the name of her shop below that. Although it's a little hard to see on the cover, if it gets shared, people will know where it came from! Great idea!

Next, we have PAJE Collection. She chose to do it opposite of what we recommended and it looks great! She has a logo that is horizontal and very colorful so it definitely catches your attention and there is NO missing the name of the page you are on. She also has her website right under her name so you are tempted to go check out her website next and there is no searching her fan page for this information. Her profile picture is a group shot featuring some adorably cute and colorful items she can make. 

Next, we have Funky Laundry. Again, she did the opposite of our suggestion and it totally works for her! She had a cute collage made that avoids overlapping the profile picture. She has two very cute and sassy outfits featured and an empty space behind her page title so you can clearly see it. She also has an beautiful, well-lit picture of her daughter modeling a dress as her profile picture. 

Finally, we have Beacause of Brenna. She went totally against the grain and gave us a beautiful explosion of pictures! All of her pictures showcase a beautiful outfit and avoid distracting from her page name. In fact, her profile picture kind of looks like part of the collage. It all works together very well. You can't really see it (and that's the point, lol), but behind her profile picture, on her cover photo, she also has her logo so if it is shared, people will know where it came from. 

Here is a guide to help you with creating your cover photo. 
Photo Credits: Facebook Fever

Adding Photos

The next thing you are going to want to do is fill your fan page with some pictures. You don't want to send people to an empty page, so fill it up with samples you've made, fabrics you have in stock, patterns you want to make (just make sure you follow our photo policy), or whatever fits the bill for the experience you want to create for people when they visit your page. 

To add photos, you will click on the 'Photos' tab underneath your cover photo, from there you will see a page that looks similar to our image above. Just click the 'Add Photos' button and start creating content for your future customers. 

Unpublish Page

If you need more time to prepare your page for customers or if the whole process seems overwhelming, you have the ability to unpublish your page. In fact, we highly recommend really taking your time and making sure everything is perfect; you only get to make a first impression once and you want it to be a great one! 

Unpublishing your page is a simple process, click on 'Settings' at the top of your page. Then, click on 'General' on the left of the page. The very first option is 'Page Visibility'.  Tick the 'Unpublish Page' box and hit 'Save Changes'. You are still able to edit and improve your page and no one will see what you are doing. 

'Like' and Share Your Page

Once your page is just the way you wanted it and your page is published (if you unpublished it), the last step in this final process is to 'Like' your page. You will be your first 'fan' so take a moment to celebrate all that you just accomplished and imagine all the ways this fan page is going to help your business. 
TIP: Don't 'like' your page until you are ready to share it because your 'like' will show up on other people's news feeds and you do not want to waste the momentum that first 'like' can bring.

Now it's a great time to write your first post. Try to make it something that will get lots of responses so that you will get some action to your page when people first come view it. 

For fun, I went and found CKC's very first post. We had 32 comments, not bad!

Now that you have 'liked' your page and wrote your first post, it's officially time to build your audience. You can start with this by 'Inviting Friends' to your page as shown below. Clicking on 'Invite Friends' pulls up an entire list of your Facebook friends that you can suggest to 'like' your shop. I know this can be intimidating, especially when you are inviting that person from high school that you haven't talked to in 10 years, but hey, you never know what connections can come from suggesting your page to them! Sharing your page with everyone you know and asking them to please share with their friends is what Facebook is all about! Remember that the worst thing they can do is ignore you, but let's be honest, most people are nosey so I don't see that happening! lol. 

The next option is 'Import Contacts' which allows you to import contact from your email account.  This is great if you have been selling for awhile through other outlets and want to invite your customers to your new fan page. 

The last two options are for setting up ads through Facebook. Again, we suggest waiting until your 'Grand Opening' momentum has slowed and the likes aren't coming in organically. 

That pretty much covers how to set up a Facebook Fan Page. We hope you found this week's Boutiques Basics blog helpful. If you have any questions, please join us in our Facebook Group and we will gladly help you. 

Happy Sewing!
Shannon

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much!! I have been absolutely petrified of trying to set up a Facebook page for my fledgling embroidery business. Thanks to your good selves, I've bitten the bullet and managed to keep down the butterflies and finally... done it today. It remains unpublished at present until logo is ready but feel a real sense of achievement as I did not even have a personal page. Thank you so much for sharing such useful and informative information (through Pintrest).
    Kind regards L.

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