Several weeks ago, we talked about how to decide whether you need a profile, page, or group on Facebook. If you've decided that a page is for you, let's talk about how to set that up.
Facebook has recently moved from the concept of "fan pages," to just "pages." Now, instead of "fans," you have people that "like" your page. This may be a little more comfortable for those who are not celebrities. It also may be a better option for networking aficianados who have managed to collect more than the maximum of 5,000 "friends," allowed on a profile. So, how to start? First, you'll need to do your research.
It is important to know that you cannot change the name of your page once you've set it up. So, careful research and forethought are necessary before choosing the name of the page. Here are some things you will want to check before choosing the name of your page, and setting it up.
- See if any other similarly-named pages exist. This can be done using a simple "search" on Facebook, using the keywords you're thinking of including in your title. You may not want to start a new page if there is already a similar one in existence. Consider simply supporting the existing one.
- See if there are any other related groups, pages, or profiles. This can also be done using the "search" feature at the top of the site. Related pages can be a good sign - this means there is some interest on the site for the type of page you want to set up. If the site is already thoroughly saturated with nearly identical pages to the one you're considering, see #1, above. However if there are some related pages, but you have a unique "take," (location, political angle, etc.), then you're in good shape. You may be able (later) to network on those related pages.
- If there are related groups and pages on Facebook, look at the more popular ones, and see what they are doing that is making them successful. Also, look at the least popular ones, to see if you can determine why. Maybe the security level of the page needs to be relaxed, or tightened, depending on then amount and quality of participation on the wall, discussion, and link pages. Maybe the name of the page needs to be more specific - or not as limiting. This is time to put your "marketing" hat on, and see what is working in your niche market, and what isn't.
Once you have done your research, it's time to set up your own page. More on that, tomorrow.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.