Before you begin!

60In a previous post, we covered the top 10 most critical steps for creating a Facebook Page for your business. However, there are some integral steps that should occur even before you sit down to create your Facebook Page.

1. Conduct your research.

Chances are, in this day and age, you’re not the first one in your industry to create a presence on Facebook. As with any other marketing endeavor, you want to conduct a competitor analysis to see how other like companies are using the Facebook platform. If you’re a local business, it is a good idea to also check up on other businesses in your surrounding area even if they are in a completely different industry. Remember although you should only be creating an Official Page for your business, your competitors incorrectly be using groups or Community Pages so be sure to do a thorough search.

There are a few different items you want to look for and these may vary based on your industry. How are they communicating on the Page? Does their stream consist of engaging posts and useful info or are they simply posting product pitches every day? How often are they posting to the Page? Are they using a custom landing tab? What is the voice and tone of the Page? Figure out what they are doing well that you can adapt and what they are doing poorly that you can address.

2. Determine who will manage the Page.

Unlike an entry in the Yellow Pages, your Facebook Page needs to be monitored, managed and updated regularly. You should be posting interesting content and replying to customer inquiries. As your Page grows and connections become more active, this time commitment will increase. It is imperative to determine ahead of time who on your staff will be managing the Page on a day-to-day basis. This can even be an entire department of people as long as the voice of the Page stays consistent. In fact, it is imperative that more than one staff member has admin status on the Page so you don’t risk losing all your hard work if one staff member moves on.

A great way to maintain organization when multiple people are managing the Page is with an editorial calendar. You can preplan most updates ahead of time and then schedule them to be posted by staff when appropriate. Here is a sample editorial calendar you can model yours off of: .

3. Establish goals for and purpose of the Page.

There are a lot of different reasons a company would create a Facebook Page. What’s yours? Do you simply want to build brand awareness? Are you going to share sales and coupons with customers? Will your Facebook Page serve as a customer service tool? It is perfectly alright to do all or one of these with your Page, but it is important to decide what the purpose is. Keep in mind your connections will also play a role in what your Facebook Page is utilized for, so remain flexible. Eventually you may even want to create multiple Pages for different aspects of your business. For example, Dell has several Facebook Pages including their main “Dell” Page, “Dell Lounge” focused on the college market, and “Social Media for Small Business – Powered by Dell as a resource for small businesses.”

What is the target audience you hope to reach with the Page? How many likes do you plan on reaching in one month, six months, a year? How do you plan on growing users and interactions on the Page? You may have X number of existing and potential customers, which could be vastly different from your competitors’ numbers so be sure to set realistic goals for YOUR business.

4. Create a policy for Page management.

Your company should have a consistent voice regardless of who is managing your Page at any given time. You can ensure consistency by establishing a policy for how to manage the Page. You want to set clear parameters for how often the Page is updated, what type of content is posted, what voice you will speak in as the Page. How often should you check the Page to see if new comments were posted? How long should you wait before responding to a customer’s question? How do you respond to a question if you don’t know the answer? Should the Page admin identify themselves when posting updates or commenting? Make sure everyone involved in managing the Facebook Page is on the same page.

Post written by Biana Bakman aka @bianalog. To learn more from, connect with us on Facebook!

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