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How to Make and Manage a Facebook Fan Page

Switched Facebook Page

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We're sure that at least a few of you out there have a business, website or maybe a band that you want to promote on Facebook. Operating a standard Facebook profile for promotional purposes is hardly an ideal solution (and we're pretty sure, in the case of a business, a violation of the terms of service). So that's where pages come into play. Pages are distinct from profiles in several ways; there's no limit on how many fans a page may have, multiple people can manage a page, and page managers have access to powerful analytical tools for tracking fans and visitors. We're going to walk you through the relatively simple task of creating a page for your business, band or cool hair club, and give you a few basic tips on how to run it effectively.

Get Started

Create Office Page
First, you'll need to have a personal Facebook account -- obviously, as it's impossible to create and manage a page on a site if you're not a member of it. To get started, click on the 'Ads and Pages' link on the left-hand side of your home page, or simply follow this link. From there, you'll choose what type of page to create: for a business (a brand, product or organization) or for an artist, band or public figure. Once you've hit "create official page," it's time to start filling in relevant information.

Facebook makes creating a page rather painless. Each essential step is clearly numbered and labeled. First, add an image. Whatever you choose will be the public face for your business or band. Choose high-quality, professionally taken photographs or logos. If you're going with a photograph, consider laying the URL of your official website (if you have one) over the image.

Personalize

Editing Info
Next, you'll want to fill in the 'about' section. (Notice how this is very similar to setting up a personal Facebook page.) What ou should write will depend on exactly what you want your page to do: perhaps a brief bio including accomplishments for a public figure or artist, a description of a store or business, or clips from press mentions of your band. The key here is to be clear as to what you're offering, why people should find it appealing, and what makes it unique -- without scaring people by being wordy.

From here, you can start making the most of your page. Have an official Twitter account? Connect it to your Facebook page to automate status updates. Run a blog? Try RSS Graffiti to automatically add your posts to Facebook. The apps you add are up to you, but be judicious. Use the Static FBML app to create a custom landing page, like the one hosted at www.facebook.com/switched. It's also a good idea to change which tab displays by default when someone visits your page. (We've connected our Tumblr, comments and RSS -- which puts up our recent posts -- to our page.) Adding 'FarmVille' is probably not such a great idea.


Take Control

Facebook Page Settings
When it comes time to start tweaking your page, adding apps, changing settings and adding administrators, things get more more complicated. You'll have to know to click the 'edit page' option under the photo while viewing the page. (This might sound like what you were doing when you updated your info and added an image, but it's actually where Facebook has tucked away all the advanced settings for your fan page.) Make sure to add your country and an age restriction (an important option if you happen to run a sex toy shop), change your wall settings, add or remove tabs, and manage any other apps you want to add. (Check the app selection here, but make sure you click "add to my Page," which can be found under the app's image.) You can appoint people as administrators of the page by clicking "add" in the admin box on the right-hand side.

Get Popular
Facebook Like Box

Now that you're all set up, and have at least some inkling of what you're doing (we hope), it's time to hit those Share and Like buttons, and to plaster your Like Box (on the right-hand side of the edit page under "Promote Your Page") everywhere the Internet will let you -- blogs, websites, your personal Facebook. After all, what's the fun of a Facebook fan page without any fans?

Tags: facebook, facebook page, FacebookApps, FacebookPage, FacebookPages, FanPage, features, HowTo, LikeButton, page, promotion, rss graffiti, RssGraffiti, SocialNetworking, static fbml, StaticFbml, techtip, top, web

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