Facebook has grown dramatically over the last few years. You don’t need us to tell you that story; Hollywood has already done so in the film The Social Network. Facebook is huge, mammoth huge, well-over-a-billion-people huge, growing from the dorm room of a university student to the rooms of grandparents globally.
We all know this means a lot for us, and chances are you’re reading this because you know there’s more that you could do to ensure that you get the most out of your Facebook activity for your organisation.
Facebook dominates the social media strategy of any organisation, and rightly so. Some argue that because Facebook attracts people who are looking to spend time socialising, having fun, playing games and watching videos that it’s not a suitable place for businesses. Others counteract that by stating that because of the very fact that so many people are on Facebook, it’s essential to go where your customers and potential customers are. What do you think?
There are always rumours of Facebook’s demise. Initially, it was the lack of advertising presence on mobile. More currently it’s the growth of apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat. After Facebook developed into a publicly owned company, the share price dramatically dropped. Since then, and at current date of publication of this, the share price has risen in an ongoing manner and continues to rise. The truth is Facebook is not only innovative but also ruthless in the way that it will copy the features of many other popular sites and apps (if they are unable to buy these companies). We think it’s not going anywhere soon, and the time invested in it is not time wasted.
If you want a book to read more of the history and background around Facebook check out “The Facebook Effect” by David Kirkpatrick.
Here at Gymnastics Club Manager, we think, out of all the social platforms, that this is the community that our customers need to centre most of their marketing energies. Unlike search engine automation or Google AdWords, where you’re trying to reach one person, whenever you reach one person effectively on Facebook (and they share this message or like a page) you’re also reaching their, on average, 140 contacts.
We know it’s essential for you to maximise your membership and your levels of engagement, and Facebook enables you to do both of these. This eBook will give you the initial tools and approaches to get going.
Once you have identified your niche, this is the perfect platform for you to gain engagement, traction and grow your membership base. But first it’s about growing your fan base on Facebook and before we go any further, let’s look at 5 simple steps to effectively and strategically set up your Facebook page.
5 Steps Towards Setting Up Your Facebook Page
Without stating the obvious, the Facebook page for your organisation is different from your personal page as an individual. A personal page requires someone to click “Add Friend’ to be able to see the content that’s shared on that person’s profile.
With a Facebook page, the content is visible and you can post on the page without being ‘A Friend’. You’re simply encouraging people to ‘Like’ the page so that your content comes up in their feed. (Incidentally, you can always moderate other people’s posts and disable the ability for people to leave posts if you want).
- When you’re setting up your Facebook page, the first important thing to consider is your name. The page name can be up to 70 characters and it’s normal to put in the name that people refer to when describing your club. Ask the question: ‘What would they put in the search engine to find us?’
- Choose which category you want your Facebook Page to be listed in. Go to facebook.com/pages/create. Some people get daunted or anxious because they’re not quite sure how to classify their business or organisation. For most of our customers, it’s likely you will be a Company, Organisation, or Community Group. Choose one of these categories, but don’t worry too much about this. Making a decision on which category you’re in will not determine whether your Facebook page is successful or not.
- Create a profile image. This might otherwise be referred to as an avatar. There are a few important guidelines to consider when choosing the right image for your avatar. The dimensions should be correct. They should be 180 x 180 pixels. This is the optimal size. It’s important to carefully choose the image that you will use for your avatar, as this will be the image that many see whenever you post on Facebook. Having words is not a good idea. Having your logo predominantly with words added to it can be a great idea.
- It’s also important to create a good cover image. This can take a number of different forms. The optimal size of the cover image would be 851 x 315 pixels. There’s no set rule as to what you should show in your cover image, but here are 8 potential ideas that you might wish to implement at some point:
- Highlight what your club does, showing photographs of the activities e.g. different types of classes for different age groups, squads etc.
- Use the cover image to promote an event. You might include the date, location, and event title. A strong image encourages people to attend the image.
- Highlight your members. These can be members of your club or they could be fan page members.
- Have a fan of the week or month, showing a photograph of them and a congratulatory message to them. This could be run in line with an offline campaign e.g. (the person responsible for referring most new friends as members this month).
- Highlight a page/product/service that you want to draw attention to.
- Highlight a free eBook that people can download from the link provided.
- Highlight your location e.g. a gymnastics club, in Kent, pinning the precise location so that people at a glance know where you’re based.
- Highlight your team or those who work for the club.
- Whenever you upload a new cover photo it’s important that your status update is visible, as this is free news. Include your website link in the text of the status update, so that people are able to click through to your site, which could be a specific page you’re wishing to drive traffic to.
There are a number of websites where you can hire a graphic designer to create a Facebook cover image or avatar for you. One of these would be peopleperhour.com. Look for ‘Facebook Profile’ under Hourlies.
5 Quick Page Setting Changes
Here are 5 quick changes you can make to your page settings that will be helpful:
- When you’re working on your Facebook page, and you want to make edits privately, you can hide the page whilst you do so. Go to: Edit page > Settings >Page visibility > Edit and check the box that says “Unpublish page”.
- To add your URL of your website to the About box, click: Edit page > Page info and change it there.
- To change your page name click: Edit page > Page info >Name and change it there. This is easy to do if you have less than 200 fans, but if you have more than 200 fans you need to request the change.
- To change the page’s custom URL, e.g. facebook.com/paysubsonline. Go to: Edit page > Page info > Facebook Web Address> Edit. Be aware that you can only make this change once. This is good to do if you want an easy address to put on your email footers or leaflets e.g. facebook.com/GymnasticsClubManager/ or @GymnasticsClubManager.
- It’s always essential to allow people to post on your timeline as this is how you get engagement. To do that, go to Edit page > Settings > Post visibility > Edit, and then adjust the menu to “Allow posts by others on my page timeline”. In this page click the box to “Add a box to the top of your page so that others can see the posts”.
Facebook is an incredibly effective tool for getting your message out, and we hope that this article will give you some additional pointers to support you as you grow your presence there.
Here at Gymnastics Club Manager, we are committed to helping you grow your presence online, increase your numbers and give you the tools to improve your engagement. We’re interested in the success of your club. Therefore we will be providing you with resources and content that supports you to reach that goal.
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