With nearly 3 billion active users, Facebook’s reach is undeniable. As a business owner, you can use Facebook as a part of an effective social media marketing strategy — but did you know that you can set up your own Facebook Business Page? If you aren’t already utilizing this powerful tool, you’ll want to learn how to create and optimize a Facebook Business Page.

If you’re just getting started with developing your Facebook Business Page, don’t worry. This article will cover the fundamentals of optimizing your page, including:

  • The basics of Facebook
  • Utilizing location pages
  • Optimizing your information
  • Creating a call to action
  • Managing comments
  • Using Messenger to your advantage
  • Claiming unofficial businesses

The Basics of Facebook

First, it’s important to remember that your Facebook page is not a replacement for your business website. Instead, you can consider it a tool for leading customers to your website — while building important connections.

If you’re trying to grow your business using social media strategy, your Facebook Business Page is a must-have. To get started, you’ll need to create your Facebook page, or you may opt to convert your personal profile to a business page.

No matter which route you choose, important first steps include:

Providing Your Business Name

In addition to inputting your business name, you’ll also need to write a clear description of who you are as a brand and what you provide to customers. Think of this as your introduction to new customers.

Setting Your Profile Picture

While this is a fun step in creating your page, consider what imagery you will use for your profile photo and cover photo. You may want to use your logo, a picture of your product, or a photo of your storefront.

Choosing the Correct Type of Page

When setting up your Facebook Business Page, you need to choose the most appropriate category. These include:

  • Local business or place. Choose this option if you have one central location.
  • Company. This option is more suited to a business that is spread across several locations.
  • Brand or product. If you’ve yet to launch a brick-and-mortar location, this option is for you.
  • Cause or community. If you are heading up a nonprofit organization, choose this type of business page during setup.

Utilizing Location Pages

Think of your primary Facebook Business Page as the main page for your brand. You will be able to set up a page structure once you’ve created your main business page.

From there, you can manage your store locations by creating linked location pages for each storefront. Once you build your location pages, you can add important information, including:

  • Location names
  • Additional addresses
  • Location-specific phone numbers
  • Landing page website address

Optimizing Your Information

When it comes to optimizing your Facebook Business Pages, entering your business hours is essential. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to update hours whenever they change or vary. Double-check each location for accuracy.

If you’re familiar with maintaining a Google My Business account, you may be used to customizing your hours for upcoming holidays or events. Unfortunately, Facebook Business Pages do not share this feature. Instead, use Facebook posting tools or Facebook ads to spread the word.

To make sure your customers see important changes in your hours of operation, pin the post to the top of your Business Page’s timeline.

In this example, Urban Grill and Wine Bar created a vibrant Easter Brunch post. This well-designed post draws attention to its holiday hours, so patrons don’t miss out on the special event and menu. In addition, you’ll notice that its regular hours of operation are easily accessed with a drop-down menu.

Notice how Urban Grill & Wine Bar draws attention to its special Easter hours.

Creating a Call to Action

Just like any great ad or blog post, your Business Page needs a call to action — or CTA. Fortunately, you can add a CTA button directly to your page. The button is conveniently located just under your cover photo and can inspire users to engage with your brand.

While Facebook provides the tools for creating a CTA button, the call to action itself is up to you. Depending on the type of brand you are building, you can choose from Facebook’s long list of actions. Some examples include:

  • Buy Tickets
  • Book Now
  • Call Now
  • Contact Us
  • Donate Now
  • Download
  • Get Quote
  • Learn More
  • Shop Now

Choose a CTA that best fits your brand’s goals. For example, if you’ve just launched an Etsy store, “Shop Now” is the perfect call to action for you. If you’re marketing your salon online, “Book Now” would be more persuasive.

Urban Grill and Wine Bar chose the “Start Order” button, which leads directly to the takeout order page on their website. For restaurants, the “Start Order” button is a great way to drive sales directly from your Business Page!

The “Start Order” button makes it easy for hungry customers to get started on their takeout orders.

Managing Comments

Encouraging engagement is the key to using social media marketing effectively. Facebook is an integral platform because it provides so many simple ways to interact with customers, including direct messages, posts, and comments.

Ratings and reviews on your Business Page can be a source of celebration or stress — depending on your customers’ experiences. While you pride yourself on providing quality service, you might occasionally have to deal with an unsatisfied customer.

Because of this possibility, it is crucial to monitor your ratings, reviews, and comments. Managing your customer interactions should include responding to both positive and negative reviews and comments.

Personal interaction on Facebook shows customers that you hear their concerns and that you care about them. This will help you build customer loyalty and garner more glowing reviews in the future.

Using Messenger to Your Advantage

Much like commenting on your reviews, using Facebook Messenger for your brand has several benefits, including:

  • Showing customers that you care about their comments, questions, or concerns
  • Providing quality customer service
  • Encouraging sales
  • Gaining new leads

If you decide to use Facebook Messenger as a business tool, you will need to commit to responding promptly to your customers. Your response rate will be displayed on your Business Page. Consistently respond as soon as possible to any messages you receive to earn a positive response rating.

In this example, you’ll notice that Urban Grill and Wine Bar has earned a positive responsiveness rating on Facebook Messenger. The note that Urban “typically responds within an hour” lets customers know that they can expect prompt service. Respond quickly to your customers to build good faith and earn an inviting responsiveness badge.

Urban Grill has responded quickly enough to its customers to receive a positive responsiveness blurb on its Messenger.

Claiming Unofficial Businesses

As a business owner, you may search your brand name on Facebook only to find other business listings that don’t belong to you. While this issue is frustrating, there is a way to claim unofficial Business Pages that pop up on Facebook.

These pages are often the result of Facebook creating a placeholder where visitors can check in, leave reviews, and add comments about the storefront. Check Facebook regularly for unmanaged pages so you can successfully claim and merge them with your official page.

When you claim the unofficial page, you will need to verify your identity and ownership with valid proof. Examples include:

  • Your business phone number or email address
  • A utility or phone bill
  • A copy of your business license
  • Your last business tax filing
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Certificate of formation

The verification process can take up to 24 hours, after which you can merge the unofficial pages into your own.

How To Optimize Your Facebook Business Page: The Bottom Line

Your Facebook Business Page provides an important portal to your brand. While it requires some work, taking the time to optimize your Facebook Business Page pays off in big ways. Managing your page can lead visitors to your website, help you connect more deeply with your customers, and — ultimately — drive business.

Now that you’ve learned the basics of how to optimize your Facebook Business Page, are you ready to get started? To gain additional advice about online marketing, be sure to check out The Download, a free marketing guide for professionals.

Read more: Interaction on Facebook