Important Things to Know When Setting Up a Facebook Page Account For Your Practice
by Bob Main - Web Presence Coach/Consultant
Okay, you get it and you are finally ready to set up a Facebook Page for your practice. Or maybe you already have one but you’re not sure if it is set up correctly. If your account is not properly set up, you will not be able to take advantage of some of the valuable features Facebook has to offer. This article is going to review the steps for actually getting the account set up.
The one thing that really confuses most people is that Facebook has several types of accounts. There are accounts for individuals (called Profiles), accounts for businesses (called Pages) and then there are accounts for groups, communities and several other categories. The only two we need to focus on are the personal profiles and business pages.
The most important thing to know is that you MUST set up (or already have) a personal profile before you can set up a business page. One reason Facebook requires this is to prevent someone from setting up a business page that scams people. You will also be using your personal profile page as a portal for managing any marketing you will be doing on Facebook. You will always "sign into" Facebook using your personal profile first, then go to your business page. Even though you have to set up a personal profile first, no one
will ever know by looking at your business page that you are the owner.
They will not see anything about your personal profile (unless you want
When setting up the account for your business page, select “Create a Page” from the initial sign up page (see the above
graphic). Facebook will require you to sign into your personal profile or set one up. Then select “Local Business” as shown in the graphic to the right. If you have multiple locations, check out the "Company/Organization" section, but the majority of ECPs should select "Local Business". The difference is in the page layout and features available once the page is set up. But once you set up the account, you cannot change this selection.
Once you select "Local Business", the screen to the left will appear and ask you to complete some information and to select a "Business Category". I suggest selecting "Professional" or "Doctor". This is not as important and you can always change it later if you want to.
Facebook only allows you to have one personal profile. If they find out you have more than one personal profile, they can shut them down. However, you can set up as many business pages as you want (provided you have a legal right to set them up). All business pages must be associated with a personal profile. There are no “free standing” business pages. So conceivably, you could have many business pages that you own/manage. In fact, Facebook makes it easy to manage multiple business pages (or other types of accounts, like community or group pages).
With all the changes Facebook has made recently,it is easy to customize a business page a lot. However, there are two key things to think about when you set up a Facebook business page:
First, once you select a Facebook page name, it can only be changed one time. And it becomes more difficult to change if you have over 200 followers (click here to change page name), so be sure to pick it carefully and give it some thought. Make sure it reflects your practice name, or doctor’s name. Try to make it unique so people searching on the name (within Facebook) can easily find you. Do a search of the name you are considering to see how many other pages have that same (or very similar) name.
Second, get a “vanity” Facebook URL. It will be easier for people to remember your Facebook name and thus make it easier for them to find your Facebook page. An example of a vanity URL might look like www.Facebook.com/smitheyecare (click here for Facebook guidelines for selecting a page name)
So dive right in and set up your Facebook page for your practice. Use these guidelines and go for it. Once the account is set up, it will be time to make it pretty and full of rich content that will engage your viewers.