DIY Marketing: Branding with Facebook
In our DIY Marketing: The Basics article, you saw just how many options you have for building your own marketing strategy. Now we are focusing on how to build your brand and digital storefront using a Facebook business page*.
*This article is focused on the creation of Facebook pages, not a Facebook business account. For details on how to set up Facebook business, read our DIY Marketing: Advertising with Facebook article . You will then be prompted to create a page, at which point, this article will guide you.
It all starts with a “Page”
Facebook has evolved from a social space into a fully-developed networking platform, and part of that evolution came from the creation of pages. Pages are professional profiles that anyone can create that either promote an event, organization, or activity. In the case of continuing education (CE) providers, you’re going to be building a branded page!
You can create a page by going to your personal Facebook account and using the drop-down menu on the far right of the Facebook header bar.
From there, choose a type of page to create. In the case of most CE providers, this will likely be a company, organization, or institution. Regardless of the page type you choose, you will be asked for more details about your page. Select the category you fall into, which could either be education or the industry you create CE for. Then provide the name you want the page to have, and “get started.”
Now you have a page that is ready to be customized!
Blank Slate to CE Storefront
So you now have a page, but it still needs a lot of work before it can be ready for building your brand. Despite all the calls-to-action all over your blank page, your first step is not on this homepage.
Go to “Settings” in the white bar at the top to access all of your page’s account settings. Your first stop is going to be “Edit Page.”
The first thing you see is the Templates section, which automatically defaults to the Venues template. This may work for simple informative page, but you need one that can brand and sell. You can change your template two ways:
Option 1: Click “Edit” and select one of the following:
- Business — if you are looking for this to be your primary organization resource, this is a diverse and very functional template
- Services — if CE is secondary to other offerings your organization has, this template will likely serve you best
- Shopping — if your goal is simply to promote and sell courses with your page, then this is the ideal template for you
Option 2: Scroll down to the tabs selection menu, and:
- Add a tab of your choice
- Subtract/hide any active tabs
- Change the order of your active tabs.
Templates essentially alter which tabs are visible and which are not, and if you want a custom setup, this is the best option for your page layout.
Now you will get into all the nitty-gritty aspects of page setup. Go through each panel on the homepage, each tab on the sidebar, and all the areas of the Settings menu to personalize your information and offerings. When you are all set up, your page will have transformed into something like this:
Using your page for branding
A fully-built Facebook page is as effective as a website, if not more so. Tens of millions of people traffic Facebook daily, and if your page is built correctly, it will easily capture a bunch of those people. The question is: how do I get them to my page in the first place?
There are three major things to do with your page to get traffic.
1.Build up your content
Getting big numbers to show up to your page is great, but it is all for naught if you can’t keep them there. Your content is the key. Publish some documents and notes, have a complete “About” tab, add some photos and videos, and most of all, have a steady flow of posts that are informative, interesting, and up-to-date.
2.Use the “hashtags” and “at” features
With your content built, you now need some exposure. Do some research to find out who some of the experts in your industry are, and what some common search terms are. Leverage this and include these terms in your posts. Hashtags* (#) highlight anything immediately after them as a linked phrase. If anyone searches that word or phrase, your post will show up. At (@) highlights a specific user or page, and tags them in your post. This promotes them andmaking anyone visiting their page see you.
*a note of caution: many words and phrases have multiple meanings, so try typing in your intended hashtags in the search bar on Facebook before using them. You may find this tag has unwanted associations.
3.Promote your page
You have put the sweat and tears into your page, built out all the details and content, and used # and @ to the fullest, and you have gotten results, but have you gotten all that you can get? If you are thriving, then just keep doing what you are doing. If you want more traffic and results, then it might be time to throw some money behind your page.
Up to this point, your Facebook page has been free to set up. To go the next step, you are going to actually pay to target and draw leads to your page, and all the efforts, posts, and content will help convert them. Before you can get to paying for exposure, you have to set up your payments.
If you have already went through all of the Settings options of your page, then you probably saw that “Payments” is the last option on the list. Facebook allows you to set up payments with Stripe or Paypal, if either are your secure payments vendor, or to attach a card to your account. Once you are connected, then you can start promoting your page and posts!
Post boosting is the easiest way to promote your page, and is exactly as it sounds: you create a post, and then you get the word out. Setting it up can be a little complicated the first time, but you’ll have the hang of it in no time.
Start by creating your post, with #, @, media, links and everything you want in the post. However, before you hit publish, click on the “Boost post” button.
This will bring up a special window that allows you to select all the details of your promotion.
- Audience will determine the demographics and details of the people targeted by the promotion. You can use Facebook’s preset audiences, build a unique audience, or you can go fully custom and upload a list of your choosing. You can also create look-a-likes of any of the above.
- Budget and Duration allows you to set how much you want to spend for the length of the promotion, as well as how long you want the promotion to last. You can always increase the money and time, so maybe start small, test it, and then add more once it proves it’s worth.
- Tracking Conversions applies to Facebook Business and Pixel. If you have them both set up, then Facebook can actually measure your website or other webpage traffic generated from the promotion. For more on Business, click here. For more about the Facebook Pixel, click here.
- Payment allows you to choose your payment option, if you have more than one set up.
When you are all done, click the “Set budget” button, and it will take you back to your post, except the “Boost post” button will now reflect your promotion. If you’re all ready, go ahead and publish!
Offers are special versions of posts that add an additional feature: the ability to run a special price, coupon code, or other unique offering instead of a traditional post. You are essentially publishing a discount, and if you want to get that discount out into the world, you can promote the offer, just like you would a post.
To create an offer, go to where you would normally create a regular post, but instead of clicking the “write something” area, take a look at the menu underneath it. It should look something like this:
You will want to select the “Create Offer” option, which will bring up a special window. From here, you can customize all the details of your offer and conditions you want to include. Your offer also includes an actual post, so make sure to use your # and @ there!
Promoting your entire brand
So far, we have talked about promoting content, but now we are going to get the entire page and more out to the Facebook world. You have a few different options for doing it, but they all start at the same place. Find the blue “Promote” button on the sidebar of your page. Clicking it will bring up your promotion options.
- Get more website purchases* is built around creating consistently-running advertisements that target your desired demographics and prime them for purchasing content on your website.
- Promote your business locally** is built around targeting all local audiences to your business and getting them to either visit on-site or online and create more traffic.
- Promote your page is built around actually sponsoring your page on Facebook and generating more leads that will engage with you on your Facebook page and with your Facebook content.
- Build your business* is built around promoting the button on your page that links to your website, essentially the movement of Facebook users from their feeds to your page to your website.
- Get more website visitors is built to drive traffic directly from Facebook, your page or anywhere else, directly to your website homepage.
*Ad building is only available through Business, and is covered in the DIY Marketing: Advertising with Facebook article.
**Some of the promotion names change based on your customization of your page. Changing your page button, adding a location, and showing certain tabs can all impact the option that is shown in the promotions window.
The set-up of each promotion slightly differs, based on the specific information needed build that promotion, but it functions very similarly to the boosted post set-up. Choose your audience, set your budget and duration, include the images and content you want, and then publish!
To learn about creating Facebook advertisements designed for continuing education providers, check out our DIY Marketing: Advertising with Facebook article.
To learn more about Facebook page development, please refer to the Facebook Pages site.
To learn more about Facebook marketing in general, refer to the “Marketing on Facebook” page.