Facebook 101 for Business: Your Complete Guide

social media how toNot using Facebook for business yet? Wondering where to start?  Already on Facebook, but not sure if you’ve done everything right? Well look no further.  Bookmark this article.  It will be your comprehensive guide to using Facebook.

By the way, you’re not alone. There are still many business owners and marketers who don’t quite know where to start—they struggle to gain momentum and achieve measurable results from their efforts.

This post is designed to help you understand what Facebook can do for your business and lead you through a step-by-step process for getting started on building a compelling presence and optimizing your Facebook marketing.

STEP 1: Review Your Profile

Most likely, you already have a personal profile. Facebook’s Terms of Use stipulate you’re allowed one account in your own real name. (If you don’t yet have a Facebook account, just go to http://facebook.com and register.)

Next, choose your approach for using your personal profile. It’s entirely a personal choice. You may wish to keep your profile for connecting only with friends you already know and family members. Or, you may wish to blend both your personal and professional worlds.

My recommendation is to use your profile for a mix of both personal connecting and professional networking. Regardless of how you choose to use your profile, you’ll want to make use of Friend Lists and adjust your privacy settings so that you control who sees what content. (See Mike Stelzner’s post 3 Reasons Facebook Trumps Twitter for Business, where he talks about how these two features rocked his world!)

I’ll cover Friend Lists and privacy settings in a moment. First, here are several key areas to review on your profile.

Go to the Edit Profile section of your profile to edit each of these areas:

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You can get to the Edit Profile area by first clicking the Info tab, then the edit pencil in the top-right corner. Also, it may help to know that anytime you edit much of this information—such as changing your profile picture, your relationship status, your bio, etc.—a notice goes out to your friends in their News Feeds (unless you previously adjusted your privacy settings very tightly!).

Remember to click the blue Save Changes button on each section if you make changes!

Hide Your Year of Birth

Under the Basic Information section, I strongly suggest not showing your year of birth as a layer of security.

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Update Your Bio

Check to make sure your bio and contact information is the way you want it, ideally in a first-person, conversational tone. I also recommend filling out the “mini bio” section just under your profile picture (click the edit pencil); you get 245 characters and can include links.

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Check Your Photo

I recommend having a professional headshot taken. In fact, get several from the same shoot and use them throughout your various social sites for consistency.

In today’s social context, stay away from overly formal photos. Instead go for a relaxed, informal—yet professional—look. Crop your picture to your head and shoulders only; when your thumbnail appears around Facebook, you want it to be recognizable. Also, stay away from using group photos of you and other people. If a potential key contact doesn’t know you yet, he/she won’t know which one is you.

If your profile picture is more than three years old, it’s time for an update. Your goal is to have people come up to you when they meet you in person and say you look exactly like your picture. This actually helps to build trust.

Select Your Relationship Status

Over the years, Facebook has added a few more possible relationship status choices. If, like me, you wish to remain private about this area of your life, select the blank choice and your status won’t be shown at all. There is an area in the privacy settings where you can choose who sees your relationships settings; I have mine set to Friends as I’m happy for my friends to see my relatives, which is the only other information in this section.

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Understand How Likes and Interests Work

As you fill out the various books, movies, music, etc., that you like, Facebook will automatically connect you to the related Facebook Page/Community Page for those interests. When you begin to type the word, select from the drop-down:

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To understand more about how Community Pages work, see this post.

Grow Your Network

Facebook allows you a maximum of 5,000 friends and I suggest—over time—you look to optimize this maximum. Having key contacts as friends allows you to maintain a more personal connection with them.

For professional networking purposes, proactively seek new friends who may be influential people in your industry and related industries, prospects, media contacts, people you admire, potential collaborators, and so forth. Just be mindful to not overdo the outgoing friend requests in any one session. Facebook views this as potentially spam behavior and you run the risk of your account being deactivated. Twenty requests at a time is a safe number.

To find new people to add, use the Friend Finder, Invite friends by email, and join relevant Groups and Facebook pages. When sending friend requests, always add a personal message.

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STEP 2: Make Friend Lists

Friend Lists on Facebook allow you to do three things:

  • Control which of your friends see what content you publish (see Step 3 on privacy).
  • Filter your News Feed stories.
  • Control who can see that you’re available on Facebook Chat.

First, you’ll need to make at least one Friend List. Go to Account > Edit Friends:

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Then click Create New List:

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A pop-up box appears with all of your friends, so give your list a name and select the friends you wish to add. You can have up to 100 lists, with up to 1,000 friends in each list. Friends can be in multiple lists. Nobody knows which list of yours they might be on; this is for your own private use.

NOTE: You can also add Facebook Pages to Friend Lists, which I highly recommend for ease of reading your News Feed!

Suggested Friend Lists might be: Family, Buddies, Colleagues, Clients, Students, Key Contacts, Favorite Facebook Pages, and so on. One of my favorite lists I call Social Media Experts and I source much of my news from this stream.

Filter Your News Feed Stories

On your home page (News Feed page), click the link for Friends and you’ll see your Friend Lists there. You may need to click the “More” button if you have several lists. You can now view your friends and Facebook page activity via these lists.

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If you’d like to have your default view be a certain list, here’s a fun trick: Each of your Friend Lists has its own unique URL. Open the one you want to go to first in a new tab (right click), then bookmark that particular URL. Now that will be the default page view that opens.

Control Your Facebook Chat Availability

I’m not a fan of the Facebook Chat feature at all; I keep it turned off almost all the time because it’s just too distracting. But, you may wish to show yourself as being online to a select group of individuals via a Special Friends List!

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Click on the very bottom right of your window where it says “Chat.” If you’ve already created your Friend Lists, you’ll see a list pop up. Beside each list, you’ll see a little “slider” that you can turn from green to grey. Green tells your friends in that list you’re online and grey shows you as offline to friends in that list.

To go offline completely, select Options > Go Offline.

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STEP 3: Adjust Your Privacy Settings

One of the many questions I’m asked frequently is, “How do I know what is public and what is just between me and the person I’m talking to on Facebook?”  The short answer is simple: the *only* communication that is private between you and another person is email. Otherwise, all your own wall posts, posts on friends’ walls, comments, likes, photos, videos, links, activity on Groups and Pages and likes on external sites are visible to friends, friends of friends or everyone, depending on your privacy settings.

Facebook has received much criticism for their seeming lack of care about privacy. Yet, mostly, this pushback has been things like the Beacon fiasco and, more recently, the Instant Personalization feature. The fact is, Facebook offers extremely granular privacy settings so for every piece of content you publish, you can control who sees it and who doesn’t. That’s where the complexity—and confusion—arise, as the New York Times wrote about!

The best way to set your privacy settings is to go for the Custom option:

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Click Customize Settings (#2 above) and for each section on the next page, choose whether you want Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends Only or a Custom setting:

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I recommend using a custom setting for “Posts by Me.” That way, your default for any content you publish can be viewable by Friends of Friends except certain lists. You can override the default at any time on the Publisher.

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STEP 4: Set Up a Facebook Page

Once you’re happy with the way you’ve chosen to use and configure your profile, it’s time to set up your Business Page, often referred to as a “Fan Page.” Previously, we would join these pages by clicking the “Become a Fan” button; however, Facebook changed this a few months ago to their ubiquitous “Like” button.

With Facebook’s 500 million active users—half of whom log on daily for an average session time of 55 minutes—having an active Facebook page helps gain tremendous visibility for your business and meets your prospects/community where they are. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to “max out” your personal profile first. The time to start a Facebook page is right away!

What You Need to Know About Facebook Pages

  • You need to have an account on Facebook in order to create a Facebook page.
  • Your Facebook page will be tied to your personal profile as the admin of your Facebook page; however, only you and Facebook know the connection exists.
  • You can have an unlimited number of Facebook pages.
  • You can have an unlimited number of fans (Facebook users who “Like” your page).
  • Facebook Pages are public—anyone can find and view your page whether they are logged into Facebook or not.
  • All content posted on your Facebook page gets indexed on Google.
  • You can target your posts by location and language.
  • You can add applications to your page, including your own custom content—video, rich text, graphics, opt-in box and more.
  • You can add additional admins (highly recommended).
  • All admins have equal rights to administer your page, including adding and removing other admins (choose with care!).
  • You can’t post content on your Facebook page from your personal profile (unless you use an @ tag from your profile and have your settings for that post set to Everyone).
  • Select your page title and category carefully as they cannot be changed once set.
  • Start here to create your Facebook page.

Study Other Facebook Pages

To get a sense of what’s possible for your own Facebook page, look at a variety of examples in your own industry and related industries. Here is Facebook’s own Directory of Pages; see also this fun site called Facebakers.

And, here is a great slidedeck with ten examples of business-to-business Facebook pages:

Recommended Six-step Approach to Building Your Facebook Page

#1:  Objective

First, be clear on what your primary purpose is for your Facebook page. Examples include raising brand awareness, enhancing customer service, building your email list, driving traffic back to your blog, building community, etc. You may have multiple objectives, and that’s fine; be sure to prioritize your objectives. Mike Stelzner and the team at Social Media Examiner have a great editorial guide for their Facebook page; you can view an excerpt in this post.

#2:  Design Strategy

Once you’re clear on the objective(s) of your Facebook page, the design needs to reflect that. Say your primary objective is to build your email list. You’ll need to feature at least one opt-in box. For instructions on how to add custom content to your page, see this post. Go to Social Media Examiner’s Facebook Page to see a sample opt-in box.

#3: Content Strategy

Ideally, just as with your blog, you’ll have an editorial guide (or content matrix) which includes a plan for publishing a mix of updates, photos, videos, and links. For a sample content matrix, see this Google doc. Use a platform like HootSuite or ObjectiveMarketer to pre-schedule your content. Depending on the nature of your business and your overall objective, for the most part, it’s best to publish a mix of your own content and what I call “OPC” (other people’s content). Sources of quality OPC include Guy Kawasaki‘s AllTop, Technorati, Listorious (a directory of Twitter Lists), along with your favorite blogs (subscribe in Google Reader or via email). Plus, remember your own Facebook Friend Lists!

#4:  Promotion Strategy

Now you’ve built it and need to ensure “they come!” There are many ways to promote your Facebook page inside Facebook, outside Facebook and offline. See this post for ideas: 21 Creative Ways To Increase Your Facebook Fanbase.

#5:  Engagement Strategy

Now you’re starting to gain traction! But you’ll need to allocate resources to ensure your Facebook page is being monitored and moderated—if not always by you, then by your team. If one of your objectives is to enhance customer service, you’ll want to be prompt in responding to fans’ comments and use a personal, approachable tone. BestBuy does a great job of this. See these two posts for ideas on enhancing engagement: How to Better Engage Facebook Fan Page ‘Fans’ and 13 Ways to Move Your Facebook Fans to Action.

#6:  Conversion Strategy

I usually find the tipping point in social media is between 500-1,000 fans/followers/friends/email subscribers. You’ll start to see measurable results with this size group. You’ll be building trust and loyalty among your fanbase with consistently good content and reliable responses. Now you must have a strategy in place to convert your fanbase to paying clients or customers. Perhaps you’ll offer a special event (live or virtual), coupons, discounts and other incentives to give your fans a strong call to action. The bottom line is to let your fans know exactly what you want them to do. And pace your offers. If you’re hosting live/virtual events, be sure to also use the Facebook Events feature. See this post for ideas: 10 Tips for Creating Buzz With Facebook Events.

By the way, just as soon as you have your first 25 fans, be sure to register your own unique username (sometimes called a “vanity URL”) for your Facebook page at http://facebook.com/username.

That’s it! That’s all you need for now—(1) a profile with a strategy and settings you’re happy with, plus (2) the makings of a robust, active Facebook page.

I trust this has been of use if you’ve been a bit stuck on how to really gain traction with your Facebook optimization. Did I miss something? What else would you like to see covered here? Got ideas of your own for what’s working well on Facebook? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the Author, Mari Smith

Mari Smith is a widely-recognized social media speaker and trainer, author of The New Relationship Author, and coauthor of “Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day.” Follow Mari on Twitter: @marismith. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.ricardobueno.com/ Ricardo Bueno

    Mari: love the detail that you’ve put into this post. It’s a GREAT primer for everyone who’s new to Facebook! And heck, I’m a fan of your book as well, also great detail and some an excellent blueprint for people to follow. :-)

    On another note, look forward to speaking with you at the Hispanic Business Showcase next month!

  • smerket

    Mari, awesome guide! Bummed you didn’t include getting tab applications at Appbistro…

  • http://www.socialbrandingblog.com/ Steve Campbell

    Amazing Facebook guide! I will definitely be taking this into account while creating my business on Facebook.

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Thank you so much, Ricardo!! Very kind feedback. And yippee, see you soon at HBS! :)

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Ahaa!!! Stay tuned for my next post all about apps. Can you email me an overview of what your service does, please? mari at marismith.com.

  • http://www.velocitydigital.co.uk/blog-social Mike McGrail

    A very nice and detailed post! Great info for those starting out!

  • Lynn Hasselberger

    Excellent guide! Thanks!!

  • Clement Yeung

    Thank you very much Mari – this is excellent content! Will be sharing immediately…

  • http://websitecontentwizards.com Kate Coleman

    This is a great guide Mari, the whole social media scene can be overwhelming to those new to it all – we’ll definitely be recommending it to our readers

  • Karensmacbook

    awesome post – I will be sharing this with some of my clients, as most like to say can you build me a FB page and then they have no idea what to do with it or how to handle the privacy settings in facebook.

  • http://www.denisewakeman.com DeniseWakeman

    Wow, Mari, that is one comprehensive guide to Facebook. This is an excellent primer for businesses new to FB and I’ll be sharing this with clients and my blog readers. I look forward to your article on FB apps since that is a complex maze unto itself.

  • http://bigfootmktg.com Jerrywfranklin

    Hi, Mari!
    Thanks for pointing-out the offline, Chat feature. LOL……I just went “offline”. ha ;-)

    Jerry
    bigfootmktg.com

  • http://www.i-pal.ca iPal Social Media

    Thank you for this great tool – just when I was getting frustrated with my Facebook Fan Page, along comes this great guide. Awesome!

  • Laurak

    Great detail. Thank you for taking the time to put this together!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1252078015 facebook-1252078015

    Great info to get off the ground an running!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1252078015 facebook-1252078015

    sdf

  • http://twitter.com/mmaconsulting Mary Abrams

    I knew this had to be your article as it is extremely well written and detailed with easy graphics to follow. Amazing as always! Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/AECguy Steve Atencio

    Thanks for this post. I am starting to put together a Facebook Biz page seperate from my personal page, and this is just what I needed to help me out.

  • http://www.blog.eurorscg4d.bg Euro RSCG 4D Bulgaria

    Really great content! Thank you for sharing.

  • Whistler Heather

    Mari, thank you – this was a simple to read and apply blog… I love to find the simplicity in social media to help encourage others to get on board.. It really scares a lot of people… I hope you are enjoying Barcelona

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Awesome – so glad to hear that, Steve!! That’s what we’re here for!!

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Ah – you’re very sweet to say!!! Thank you kindly!

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    woot – thanks heaps!!!

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Wheee!!! Good to hear!!!

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Phew – it can sure be a relief!! Now you can be selective. ;)

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Hey thanks a mil, Denise!!!! You rock. :)

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Ahhh, good to hear this post will help you and your clients, Karen!!

  • http://www.sensophy.com Jacob

    AWESOME Post! Really useful, well articulated info, Mari. Keep that flava’ flowing! =)…

  • Greg

    You did not address this in relationship to the issues of creating a Facebook “Business” page. It’s quite different & really a better & more legally protected approach. Creating a page for a business you do not own [say for the Marketing Manager] is easy working off your own profile, but if you are not the owner of the business you really should not OWN the business’ page. From Facebook’s perspective, that is exactly how it happens. It is possible to create a “Business” page that is distinct from one’s personal profile and that is exactly what Facebook recommends. There are instructions on how to do it.

  • Drwheeler

    Mari, this is seriously the best, concise, and well-written article on beginning business Facebook that I have seen….I spent all morning looking at YouTube videos because I am teaching an upcoming workshop on this very subject to a group of real estate agents next week. May I use this article if I reference you as the author?

  • http://twitter.com/jnpalisoc Jennifer Palisoc

    I was trying to get access to this article earlier but the site kept going into timeout. I guess that just goes to show how awesome this article is.

    It’s a REALLY big help for me as I set up business accounts for the company I’m interning with :)

  • Eileen Marrinan

    Thank you so much Mari for this CLEAR and informative article :-) I am just embarking on putting up a Facebook page for my Network Marketing business with the primary aim to generate leads and have gone as far as to create a Welcome landing page for non fans. (Thank you guys for the tutorial on that!!) BUT I now am a little stuck on the next step-what to put on the landing page-ie should it be a direct email opt in for a newsletter or maybe a short synopsis of my Facebbok page and a Like button for my page? Not sure where to send folks to be most effective? Plus a simple FBML template would b useful for those of us who aren’t FBML savvy :-)

  • http://beyondburnout.com Tracey

    Pretty Amazing. Thanks so much for the thoroughness. Can’t wait for the summit. Actually I do have a question. Not sure if this is the place to ask, but here goes.

    I have a profile and page. When I post to someone else’s page, it pulls my profile pic which means I get no increased exposure for my page. If someone clicks on my post, they go to my profile. I want those interested people to “like” my page and not friend my profile. I tried to put html on my profile wall advertising my page using profile html, but I only get a tab and can’t drag the tab to the wall.

    Anyway to get html on your profile front page?

    Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/socialignition Social Ignition

    Excellent article. Really informative and lots of great tips. Like the last poster, I’m also interested in knowing how to use my business (aka Page) logo around Facebook. Because it’s linked to my personal account, when I go and post on someone else’s page, it shows my personal logo and my name, as opposed to my business logo and name.

    Is there a way of doing this? It seems odd that people then need to go to my personal page to get to my business page…

  • http://twitter.com/RadicalSem07 RadicalSem07

    Excellent job !! Do you have a video about this ? ChristmasDesigners

  • http://www.kamilali.com/ Kamil Ali

    Mari, perfect timing!!! Thank you so much!

    I just emailed my brother in America to send me your Fabebook: An Hr a day.
    Please tell me is that best thing to but and and it’s fully updated Or I should merge this blog post of yours with that book for better understanding. Or can you suggest anyother book?

    In my country, Digital Marketing is just started only 2 Digital Marketing companies are working on that. And this is the right time for anoyone to launch a company!

    Regards,
    Kamil

  • http://www.bluebanana.co.nz Linda Coles @ Blue Banana 20

    Awesome as usual Mari!

  • http://www.natalielouise.com.au Nat

    Hey Mari – fabulous post as always. I have clicked out to the majority of your links to find more ways to build my Fan Page up, so a huge thank you for making it easy for us to find more specific info on those things :-)

  • http://www.helpalocalbusiness.com/ HelpALocalBusiness

    As always, Mari produce excelent articles. And his knowledge on FB… man, I learn a lot from her!

  • http://TheBusinessSuccessFactory.com Nicola Cairncross

    Great post – I’m going to tweet it immediately for my clients – very useful guide and thanks to @SteveGWatson for recommending it!

  • Jody Maude

    Thanks Mari, I have become a huge fan of yours since participating in this year’s Social Media Success Summit. You have been a great help to me as I try to get the folks in my organization to dip their toes into the waters (kicking and screaming). I have much to learn and appreciate your knowledge!

  • http://NaomiTrower.com Naomi Trower

    Hi Tracey, You can take a look at my Facebook profile at http://facebook.com/NaomiTrower and see what you can do. In the bio section you can add your fan page url. It might be long if you don’t have 25 fans yet but if you do get your unique url so it be shorter. You can also add a Facebook app called Extended Info where you can add some graphics that will link to your fan page like I have done. One way you can post on other’s wall’s from your fan page is by tagging them (entering @ “their name here) in a status update. You have to be a friend or fan of the person that you want to tag. Just be sure to leave a valuable or encouraging comment so it doesn’t come across as spammy. I hope that helps! :)

  • http://www.davesaunders.net/blog Dave Saunders

    Great detail Mari. You’re such a giver. Thanks!

  • http://aremorch.com/ Are Morch

    Brilliant guide here Mari. Just an awesome extension of your book.

    Cheers.. Are

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1494806632 Sandy Jean Bild

    I just found your site eWomenNetwork and with great timing as I am a Professional Real Estate Virtual Assistant providing “how to’s” on my website. I just posted this morning how to create your Business Page with Facebook. This is great information at a great time!! Thank you!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E3VDOV4SI4F7773XRXBVLTICVQ Sarah

    Have just set up my Fan Page- this is such a useful article thanks. Also thanks to Steve Watson for passing on the link.

  • Keithdshrock

    Fantastic step-by-by instruction. Great graphics. Thanks for your hard work.
    You recieve an “honored social media menton” from me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tracey-Irvin-Marks/1540342988 Tracey Irvin Marks

    Thanks Naomi. I’ll check out that Extended info app.

  • Bernard

    great information Mari. You’re the best!

  • Karen Merzenich

    SERIOUSLY. I am not a fan of chat on FB! Thanks!

  • http://bloggingbistro.com/ Laura Christianson

    Mari – Thanks for the suggestions about how to organize lists. I had created several but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. Using them to monitor the updates of my fellow social media marketers is a great idea (of course, I added you to that list).

  • Steve

    Great post. I am not really good at utilizing facebook to increase blog traffic and I appreciate the great advice

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Caaren-Hulme/100001335366731 Caaren Hulme

    Ok so after reading this fantastic article top to toe I am still looking for a way around the issue of my personal profile picture getting in the way of my business page logo. Social Ignition and Tracy did cover this issue, but I am not convinced that by @tagging people on your friends lists is the best option. Surely if Facebook wants us to set up and promote business pages there is a way to be able to ‘like’ other pages and./or profiles. My main bug bear is that whenever I create a blog post it ends up on both my personal profile and on my business page. I dont want to pester my family with my work stuff. Do I go into the settings and seperate all my friends there who have not “liked’ me on my business page into a new list. This seems very messy, as I would have to keep an eye on it everyday!!! Please can someone enlighten this technically challenged social media girl.

  • Victor Ditingo

    Great article as always

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Vreeken/100001333462689 Michael Vreeken

    Nice tips. But I have my 2 cents. You might customize your facebook fanpage profile with profile image and custom FBML page. Profile image use as an advertisement banner and fan page as a landing page for your service. To make a landing page fast and cost saving you might use facebook fbml templates or builders. I might suggest you such a service: http://facebook-templates.net/

  • http://www.socialcubix.com/ Facebook Apps

    Thanks Mari. It was absolute joy reading this useful piece of information! The tips were just awesome and are really helpful!

  • cheska

    Excellent! Thanks a lot for this! I’m not new in FB but I’m not that familiar with all of it’s applications. I’m very interested in the privacy setting part and setting up a facebook page. Can’t wait to start exploring it and to use it for business already. P.S. I’m not sure if you’ve seen this already but you might want to check out this site: http://sn.im/103m0i – it’s how to get started in twitter.

  • http://facebook.com/traceymarksmd Tracey

    Hi Caaren:

    Yea, I’m with you on the separating profile and page stuff. I too feel like I’m “pestering” friends with work stuff if I were to post work stuff to my page. What are you using to bring in your blog posts to FB? It’s been a while since I set mine up, I know I used Ping.fm at one point. It allowed you to choose between page and profile. Whatever you are using likely has that feature, you may have to find it. Default setting may be to profile and page.

  • Anotherdamndj

    I agree with Greg: if you’re using facebook as a business tool, you should be creating a seperate FAN page, using your personal account. Doing that gives you a lot more privacy and makes half of this article moot as you don’t have to worry about birth dates and friends and relationship statuses. The FAN page will also allow you to advertise within facebook as well as promote events, products, etc.

    This is a great post, but as far as using Facebook for business, you need to go deeper.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Take a look at our sidebar of popular articles for deeper dives into Facebook for business

  • E M Mcclellan

    I found this article really helpful, so thank you so much for your post. The comments as well offer a wealth of information so thank you to all! I do have a question–I am very much a novice as far as social media.

    Where would I find some good examples of the kind of copy that works as far as announcing “Now we’re on facebook… come like us?” Are there any suggestions out there?

  • Keithdshrock

    @ Caaren Hulme if you don’t want business information from your page showing up in your personal — then un-like your fan page — from your personal. ;-)

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/davecarpenter1 Partnersml

    Mari…So love the way you balance strategy with such clear articulation of tactics.

    This is a great example of a high value blog post. Kudos.

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Oh thank you kindly for your specific feedback!! Always happy to share the love! :)

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Michael, we’re a big fan of custom FBML pages here at Social Media Examiner – in fact, this is our top post right now: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-customize-your-facebook-page-using-static-fbml/

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Thank you kindly – glad to hear it!!!

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Aw, bless you. I’m honored for the honorable mention. :)

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Oh, that’s so good to know! Keep on keeping on — just a little momentum and the folks in your organization will turn a corner!!

  • http://www.chicwriter.com/ Shevonne

    I thought all I knew about setting up my Facebook, but I didn’t know I could turn off the chat for some lists. This will definitely help. Thanks!

  • http://www.collabrax.com/ Collabrax

    I liked the blend of personal profile and Facebook Pages. I work with Realtors and this works well for that market.

  • http://www.cooking-made-easy.com/ Lance

    Really helpful page. Thank you so very much. I now have my Facebook page set up thanks to you!

    Chef Lance
    http://www.cooking-made-easy.com/

  • Honda99civicsi

    This is great! I’ve asked many of my friends for help and no one seems to have the answers about how to get attention to my business. Now, I know how to put the business URL under my picture. Thank you this is a big help!

  • http://EllieYamane.com/ Ellie Yamane

    A comprehensive guide! I’d also add about how you socialize with friends. Don’t promote your business right off the bat, don’t spam other people’s walls or send spam messages. Get to know your friends and network.

  • Carlos V. Roman

    Thank you! It was very good. I have a question for you because I am still confused about FB business pages. Specifically related to my name maybe I totally missed it.

    I have a vanity url: http://www.facebook.com/publicworksagency

    How can I chance this from Carlos V. Roman to PublicWorksAgency? I attempted to use an alternative name but it was rejected.

    Thoughts?

    Carlos
    carlos@publicworksagency.com

  • Zandra

    Hi Mari, This is all great, it really is, but you know I still have no clue in the sense that I am hard pressed to tell you what a URL is, never mind find one. How is it possible to get a class or a one on one seminar with you or someone you might suggest who can explain it from scratch? I would love to go over this info little by little actually doing it on my computer with a person guiding me so I could ask questions every step of the way. When I take my course with you will we be doing that?

  • Sunny

    Does anyone know how to add a comment in the feed from your business page? It always shows up as my personal.

  • LKelly

    This is very nicely done! A lot of great detail and a few things I may need to point out to some of our clients too! Thanks so much for the tips.

    Have you done an article on reputation management? I have notice that a lot of businesses do not pay attention to it, or know much about it to begin with! I read a nice article that outlines what reputation management is and why it is important to pay attention to. http://jsncafe.com/2010/08/managing-your-reputation-one-post-at-a-time/ Perhaps you could go further into it for your followers?? Screen shots an arrows are more helpful that just reading – sometimes you need to SEE what is being talked about!

    Thanks again!

  • http://twitter.com/makemediahappen Make Media Happen

    Really great post! Very detailed. Thanks!

    Make Media Happen
    Connecting individuals and companies with today’s social media world.
    http://makemediahappen.com/

  • http://twitter.com/Schnicka Coffee’s Mistress

    This article is clear, concise and gets the job done. However I’m horrified that after all this time people still haven’t figured this out for themselves! It’s all there on Facebook and it isn’t hard to find – I refer in particular to Privacy issues. I can never figure out why people “scaremonger” before reading the Help/FAQs/Tutorials/Guides. But again, thank you – you make it even easier…

  • Sharin_sg

    Great article. Loving it so much. Thanks Mari ;-)

  • Dean_afs

    Through your great content I have learned a lot about about Social Media. Now it’s time to use it. I am setting up my Fan Page and would like to know how critical it is that I select the right classification. My business clearly belongs under “brand, product or service”. We do offer “professional services” but “website” could work as well because that is where we want people to go. Is this important, and what are the impacts if any?

    Regards,

    Dean

  • http://silentwhisperss.wordpress.com Mritunjay

    This must be the best ever post written on subject of FB. Covers a great deal about almost everything that we ought to know. Thanks a ton Mari. A delight reading this post and use it as reference.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1426643775 Erika Schalamon

    How do you chat under your business name? Currently I log in and go into “manage my accounts” to get to my business page, but when my chat is turned on it is still my name and not my business name when I’m on the business page itself.

  • Mmalloy

    Mari,

    If I create a page for my company and say a year from now leave the company and want to disassociate myself will the other admins have the ability to take over the page or will it have to be deleted and the company will have to start from scratch?

  • John

    If you’re an internet marketer who has been asked to setup and maintain a Facebook page for a business, what is the best way to do this? To clarify, if the owner already has a personal page do you have them add the page to their personal account and then add you as an admin – or add the page to your own account?

  • http://www.livyahyarnblog.com sriga

    Thanks, I had no idea how to set up a unique username.

  • http://www.yourdigitalspace.com/ Swamykant

    Excellent Post for Facebook Beginners. thanks

  • http://annieinthesun.blogspot.com/ AnnieintheSun

    Link to Facebakers seems to be broken above, but you can find them here: http://www.facebakers.com/
    This Guide is a great resource, Thanks Mari!

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Hey Ann – thanks heaps. Hmm, odd – I just tried the Facebakers link I have in the post and it works fine for me: http://www.facebakers.com/facebook-pages/

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Sometimes it’s the small, simple things that are elusive, eh!! :)

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Hi John – it used to be that the originating admin could never be removed. Thankfully, earlier this year, Facebook changed that. So, now any Admin can add/remove any Admin. Ideally, the owner of the business creates the fan page and could then assign you as an Admin to build it out. Or, you could easily set up the page under your own account then assign your client as an Admin too. That way you can both access the page. Hope this helps!

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Good news – for the very reason you state (people leaving companies) Facebook began allowing the originating Admin to be removed. So now any Admin can add/remove any Admin. Ideally, I recommend all fan pages have at least two Admins anyway just for safety – you never know if/when someone cannot log in to their personal account which means they don’t have access to the fan page.

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Ahhh – it’s not possible to use the regular Facebook chat from your fan page. However, there are a couple of really cool apps you could add to your fan page to chat with your fans. See http://facebook.com/groupchat for a simply group chat app (it has annoying banner ads at the top, just scroll your page up so you don’t see them!) plus also http://facebook.com/vpype which allows you to livestream video with a groupchat too – you can broadcast via your personal profile to friends/specific friends or from your fan page to all fans. Vpype records and archives shows too. Take a look at my page for an example if you wish – the tab is called “Shows”: http://www.facebook.com/marismith?v=app_126457550345

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Thanks so much for your very kind words!!! :)

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Hi Dean – apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I’m guessing you’ve gone ahead by now. To clarify though, the category you choose determines pretty much just two factors: 1) the default fields you’ll have under your Info tab and 2) the default apps pre-installed on the page, e.g. a musician category will have an app for music.

    At the end of the day, I believe it really doesn’t matter all that much which category you choose as most people are not surfing through Facebook’s directory to find pages via category. When your page is shared or advertised around Facebook, the category will be displayed too though so you want it to be fairly accurate.

    Hope this helps!

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Ahhhh – oftentimes what seems uber obvious to some folks is uber elusive to others. It’s that old “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Facebook’s Help Center is not all that easy to navigate.

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Hi Sunny – alas, it’s not possible to comment as your fan page anywhere else on Facebook except on your own fan page. One possibility is to use the @ tag and make a post on your own fan page and tag other fan pages. Hope that makes sense! It’s not quite a comment but does put your page out there. Just be aware of how it comes across on the other person’s wall and think win:win!

  • Doug Peterson

    Mari: I have just set up my business Facebook page and when I try to forward another author’s article to Facebook it goes to my personal page. How can I forward to my business Facebook page?

    Thanks,
    Doug Peterson

  • MW

    I’m having a similar problem. Whenever I want to share something from another FB page, or to another persons wall, or from another social media platform, it always shows up from my personal page. I am having a lot of trouble separating my personal and business page. Its really quite a nuisance.

  • Joyce

    YOu need to log out of your personal page first then and sign into your business FB page and then each time you link from FB it will go to your business page…

    joyce
    joyce@mazelabs.com
    http://www.mazecordblood.com

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Hi Doug – ahhh yes, the Share button and Like button are always tied to personal profiles. What to do is make use of Hootsuite’s “Hootlet” bookmarklet. You can add various social networks to your Hootsuite account (Facebook profile, fan pages, Twitter, LinkedIn etc), then when you want to share content from the web onto your fan page, just click the little Hootlet button and select your fan page.

    To share content on your fan page from inside Facebook, it’s best to simply copy and paste (paste into a text editor first as the line breaks tend to get a bit skewed), then add an @ tag for the original person/page by way of attribution. Hope that makes sense!! :)

  • http://marismith.com/ Mari Smith

    Hi Doug – ahhh yes, the Share button and Like button are always tied to personal profiles. What to do is make use of Hootsuite’s “Hootlet” bookmarklet. You can add various social networks to your Hootsuite account (Facebook profile, fan pages, Twitter, LinkedIn etc), then when you want to share content from the web onto your fan page, just click the little Hootlet button and select your fan page.

    To share content on your fan page from inside Facebook, it’s best to simply copy and paste (paste into a text editor first as the line breaks tend to get a bit skewed), then add an @ tag for the original person/page by way of attribution. Hope that makes sense!! :)

  • http://www.chrisriches.com Chris S.

    Excellent article. Thank you. I haven’t fully understood facebook until reading your article. http://www.chrisriches.com

  • Susanna

    I still can’t figure out if there’s a way to show only some of the comments/posts I make on other facebook profiles/pages on my personal profile. Very annoying that we can’t decide which page our comments will show up on.

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  • http://www.meratvforum.com Indian T.v Serials

    Thanks, good post.

    In terms of Analytics, Facebook provides a better level of detail than other social networks for business, and functionality-wise it offers a lot more too. It can be a powerful internet marketing tool if used in the right way.

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  • http://www.cygnismedia.com/mobile-phone-application/new-iphone-applications.html iPhone Apps

    Nice post, great detail. I would have liked to see the costs that are associated to it so I could add to my business case justifi cations to use the technology. Keep up the good work! Great Job!!! Informative and attention keeping!

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  • Ronald

    How do you remove the long number after your FB fan page. http://www.facebook.com/scapes20985850985
    curious how to do this so we can post our address.

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  • http://twitter.com/PaceButlerCorp PaceButler Corp

    It’s pretty easy. You have to get 50 (? I think this is right it might actually be less) fans or more then you personalize that to .com/pacebutler. It’s pretty straightforward.

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  • http://www.taichigala.com Taichigala

    Thanks for the info! I’ve enjoyed making my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tai-Chi-Gala-The-Convention-for-Chinese-Healing-Martial-Arts/141438902535000

    I just need to work on getting that URL shorter now! – L.

  • http://www.dred.vn/ dred

    thanks information

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  • R. Denver

    Hello,

    Very nice post, I had some general questions about the usage/setup of Facebook if the authors here (or fellow commenters) could help out;

    1. Is it mandatory that I create a personal Facebook page? I ask because I was able to create a page for my business (which is a new website – not yet launched) without being prompted to create a personal page.

    2. As you mentioned, a vanity URL cannot be obtained until you have 25 “likes” but I am concerned if I canvas “likes” I may loose the name I want, to highjacking… is there a safe way to do this?

    3. Is it against Facebook policy to use a business (fan) page for the purpose of selling my own products “or” affiliate products?

    4. Any idea why the Like button disappears when you login? What I mean is… if I visit your facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/smexaminer without being logged into my own account, I see the Like button at the top of your page, but if visit your page while I am logged in, the Like button is gone. This happens for every fan page I visit, so I assume it is also happening to mine which means people will not be able to Like my page if they are logged… I must be misunderstanding something, yes?

    Hope someone has the time to help me… thank you!

    Ross.

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  • Unique_User5

    I like the fact that this timeless information is still fresh and relevant to every level of user. I needed a start to head in this direction and found it withing this informaion.

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  • Josieheyward

    Hi This has been Super helpful so far. I have been pouring over this article for hours now trying to apply it all.
    Any way I wanted to find out how to set a preferred news feed to a specific list with the new FB page set up.

    Thanks, Josie

  • Josieheyward

    Hi This has been Super helpful so far. I have been pouring over this article for hours now trying to apply it all.
    Any way I wanted to find out how to set a preferred news feed to a specific list with the new FB page set up.

    Thanks, Josie

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  • http://www.facebook.com/JosDJPerez Jos D J Perez

    WOW! Great content for sure. I been using facebook for the last few years and reading your post was a great way to refresh my knowledge and a great way to learn lots more.

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  • thetechchef

    I was recently looking over the New Facebook resource center and noticed a Brand Permissions section. There is says that you cannot use screenshots without Fb permission. And that they must be unaltered.Does this mean no red lines, circled sections, or additional writing? Do you at Social Media Examiner get permission before using screenshots in blogs like this one? Is this a new policy? I have a tech blog reaching a small audience (mostly of my clients) where I use screenshots to show how to do things on Facebook like add additional admins, or hide your birthday. Do you think I need to start getting permission for my blog?

  • http://www.remionline.org Remi Online

    I like your 4 Steps strategy. It looks great !

  • Janina Lear

    Hi
    Great article. Has the way you can view Friends Lists changed. I just created all my lists but when I click on Friends to the left, I do not get a more button so can’t filter my groups and see their posts.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anita-Shaw/100000891012455 Anita Shaw

    This sounds all very intriguing. I have a facebook account which has been pretty much personal. I’m not sure how I can use for promoting my writing/publishing/editing business too, but I’m going to check that out. Definitely worth the effort if I can!

  • Loom

    I was wondering how I can make my fan page come up first on a facebook search?  Is there a way i can create tags or keywords that would make me come up higher on the list when searched?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Billsys/182355341815351 MJIMENEZ

    Great article on the must dos and don’ts for FB. Although I have one question: I have 2 pages for my company that are connected to a non-used profile. My question is should I make that (the non-used profile) profile for my business persona with perhaps a different name since I already have my own personal profile or can a leave it be and still have a good FB campaign?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=686607338 Veneta Yoveva

    Mari, I love your article! It’s completely different of what I’ve read about social media. You truly deliver everything which a person need to know without any sells pitch. The big gurus need to learn from you!
    Thank you!

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  • Ajeet

    As with everything, facebook itself is continuously changing and this guide needs to be updated to fit around the new style of facebook. But other than that, great content and very helpful! Thanks

  • http://www.htmakemoney.com/2011/07/vagexcom-free-ways-to-increase-youtube.html Vagex

    This is very informative article. Some of this information is valuable until now.

  • http://twitter.com/BikeCrimea Макс Иан

    Great article as always

  • Lindseyholloway21

    Some fantastic steps here, I’ll be definately implementing a lot of these for my social media strategy. You can also check out additional tips on Zak Taylors blog on Creating Your Business Facebook Page, it has some very insightful information which you can maybe add.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/best-laptop-for-college-students Irma Glory

    Whoa. Nice article. It’s my first time to see a Step-by-step help article. It’s really a big help. Really handy for those who are still in the baby steps level in business using face book. It’s so motivating and encouraging.I’ll recommend this site to my friends.

  • http://www.sellunwantedgiftcard.com Eliz

    Do you think this strategy is effective for all types of businesses? I think some topics, expecially items that using them is considered personal, are very hard to promote via Facebook pages.

  • Szovataikund

    Hey,

    THis is one of the best posts I have read in a long-long time. But I didn’t read about connecting your Facebook page to your Twitter account. Did you leave that out on purpose?

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  • Heather Huston

    Thanks for all the great info. I have been trying
    to figure out how to hide or remove the FB section on our business page where
    it shows who “likes” our pages. We don’t mind the number, but we don’t want to show “who” has joined our page. We’re just diving into this social media game,
    and are concerned that our clients might be able to see who else uses our
    services. Some are either located in the same area or direct competitors.
    However I am not able to figure this out for business or fan pages, only
    personal pages. There is a lot of info/tools on your site that we will be
    utilizing, however that is the one detail that I am not able to find. I also
    have not found that info searching the Facebook help center. Is this something
    that can be done easily? Is there a post on your website that could help? Any
    info would be greatly appreciated. 

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  • http://www.frugal-save-wave.com/ Denise

    Mari,

    Thank you for the very succinct detail.  This is an excellent starting point. The fan page is what I understand can help tremendously with giving my website business greater visibility. 

    Denise

  • http://www.yourFreedomProject.com/ Jody

    Thanks Mari, very helpful article, clear and simple to follow, nice!

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  • Mark DeSimone

    Which way is the best to set up a Facebook business page:
    1. From your personal profile, create a page
    2. Without being signed in to your personal account, create a page

    Facebook says if you do the latter it will not show up in search and you cannot view other’s info…sounds restrictive so I would assume #1 is better. Or is it?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/garrison.rice Garrison Rice

    Mari, Our new product http://www.fasten-safe.com (splash only so far), is being well rcv’d. Would love to know more about geography and market control as product can be used in many ways…we are getting suggestions we hadn’t even thoought of!  Your thoughts? Thanks, Gary

  • http://www.usedmobilepk.com/ used mobile pk

    These are the excellent Getting started tips and techniques for Facebook, I have launched my own classified ad listing site in Pakistan. I am completely following these guidelines and also made some editions, for example i am using 6 different profiles of mine on Facebook. It will help me to get connected with various type of people on different accounts.

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  • http://ajnabii.com/ Ajnabii

     Hello Mari, very informative post about facebook, you are Rock! keep writting.

    Thanks, Cheers!

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  • allstate1

    Excellent contents for newbie, if each step is seriously followed, it can bring visibility and traffic to their site.

  • ChrisMaherBroome

    Hi  Marie, I have a question, in the old Facebook business page I have my web address as the first thing on my “About” field. This resulted in it displaying in the About Us section on the page. Now with the new Timeline for Business Page The web address is still the first thing in the About field, but now no longer showing on the Timeline. Do you know how I can fix this. I do see that other pages have achieved it?

  • http://crawfordjewellers.ca/ WinifredJoseph3181

    Hi,how can i put restrictions on my facebook fan page? I mean  before they can fully access my page,they have to like my page first.

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  • June Barrack

    Is it possible to create groups on your facebook business page? I can only see this option on the personal page but not on the business page. Any help with this would be much appreciated.

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  • Johnny Appleseed

    Is there anything wrong with NOT making a personal page and just having a business page? I’m not really interested in promoting myself, necessarily – just my manufacturing company and products.

  • Johnny Appleseed

    Is there a problem with NOT setting up a personal page? I’m only interested in promoting my business and products. I would rather that my emails come through by business website. I don’t desire personal contact through Facebook

  • Kate

    Thank you for a fantastic guide! I do have one question as I have just set up my business page. It seems that everything I post on that page gets posted on my personal one. Is that the issue of lists? I want my business posts to be limited to my business page only. Would appreciate your advice.

  • Storm

    Hi Mari, thanks for the insightful information. I am new to the whole social media marketing for your business and I was wondering at what point do you start engaging fans. My business page is up to 30 likes and we are geared towards the hair and beauty industry. I post content weekly, sometimes twice weekly about new styles, how you can get the look and interesting value add information about products. I am currently running a competition (as advised to create hype and bring people into action). it has helped create awareness but no one has actually sprang to action to take advantage of the competition. Please help

  • http://www.studio1c.com/ Michelle

    Facebook, with its wide outreach to millions of users, it’s not a surprise to find the biggest and most successful brands listed on its pages.  Apart from connecting people, this tool is also helping organisations connect with its consumers in a more interactive way.  In order to market a brand on such an exemplary medium, companies should maintain connections by posting updates everyday and focusing on brand engagement.  

  • Wkilliam

    This is a helpful guide.  We started our business page in May and being new (and resistant) to the world of social media marketing, we are only up to 50 likes.  I was just getting ready to consider some FB advertising when I read this article in yesterday’s WSJ.   
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444657804578048750390978708.html?KEYWORDS=facebook+follower

    If I have read it correctly it states FB limits who views your posts on your business page in order to force you into buying ads.  So if I post something on my page  on average only 16% of the 50 who have “liked” me will see it?  Why wouldn’t everyone see it?  I have followed SME since May and have not read about FB’s limiting who sees your page posts. This is disheartening and frustrating to me–we are small and don’t have the budget to spend so others (even people who LIKE us will see our posts)

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  • Emma Capell

    Hi, This was brilliant.  I went through all the steps as I am still a bit of a FB virgin.  I think due to timeline, the information has changed slightly as I had difficulty creating the Friends List.  Instead of going to the top of the screen I eventually worked it out on the LHS somewhere.  Does this guide need to be updated?  Just a suggestion.  I am so grateful for all this free info :)  I will drag myself into the 21st Century one way or another!

  • http://www.facebook.com/szovataikund Szovátai Kund

    This guide should be updated a little bit. Facebook has changed, but the article is still covering all the basics that you have to go through. 

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  • http://flippingbook.com/ Sasha Zinevych

    Mari, this is a great and detailed post. What has changed since 2010 when you have written it? What additional Facebook features should we pay attention to?

  • susan

    is it true that if one facebook page “likes” another page they will not show up in your like count? we are using facebook for B2B and am having a hard time getting over the 100 likers, but i am wondering if this is b/c people are liking us from their own business fan page and if this is true how do you know how many followers you actually have?

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  • Advanced Pet Care Clinic

    Hi, Love your guide, but we have customers telling us they cant post words or picures to our business page. Do we have a setting wrong?









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