Apr 192013
 

This is the second in a series of posts covering how to promote your cake decorating services, or just share your creative talents, online. In the first Cake Blogging 101 post I covered the bare-bones basics o f starting a website using a free blogging platform and custom domain redirect. If that seems too overwhelming or for those with limited time, setting up a Facebook page is a quick and relatively easy alternative.

Whether you decided to have a website or not, setting up a Facebook page for your business is a great way to gain exposure for your business. Even if you personally are hesitant about embracing technology and social media, in order for your business to grow you need to find customers, and the next wave of them are likely to be tech-savvy. They search online for their needs, and businesses without an internet presence will suffer.

At the very least, set up a Facebook page for your business. Encourage friends and customers to “like” your Facebook page, and there you can upload photos, posts updates, share links, offer discounts, etc. with the page followers.

How to set up a Facebook page (assuming you already have a Facebook account):

  • Sign in to Facebook and go to: https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
  • Select the type of page, Local Business or Place
  • Choose the relevant category
  • Fill in the rest of the information
  • Check the box accepting the terms and legal stuff
  • Click on the “Get Started” button
  • Follow the Facebook prompts to customize

What to include (or not) on your Facebook page:

  • General business information: name, products/services offered, operating hours, contact information (phone, email, website link, etc.)
  • More specific business information: backstory, “about us” section, specialty services, photo galleries, upcoming promotions, etc.
  • Address? Please note that if you list an address for your business, then users will be able to see and check in to your page using Facebook Places. You may not want that if you’re operating from your home.

Ideas for building your page’s audience:

  • Invite your friends and customers to like the page and leave comments/testimonials on the page’s wall.
  • Offer customers a discount on their next order for liking the Facebook page.
  • Encourage activity on your page’s wall by asking a question for your followers to answer.
  • Don’t count on people to find you. Once your page is set up, share it with your Facebook friends.
  • Try to make it as easy as possible for people to “like” your page: include the page URL on your business cards, link to it from your website, add your Facebook page link to your email signature, etc.

More tips:

  • Use your the name of your business for the Facebook page so friends can easily find you
  • You may not get your first choice when it comes to setting up your Facebook page URL. Try to stick with something that’s as close to your business name while still being easy to remember.
  • Pay attention to how your page permissions are set up. Make sure your settings allow wall posts if you ask for audience participation, for example.
  • Also note the page “insights” stats. You can see how many of the page followers viewed and/or shared your posts. This helps you understand the type of content that is likely to get likes and comments.
  • Think of your Facebook page as a central place to share ideas, current projects, etc. as well as gain exposure as your friends and followers share posts from your page.

If you have a website or blog, definitely link to it from your Facebook page and vice versa. There are social media management services that will automatically post updates to your Facebook page, so every time you publish a new blog post your Facebook followers will be notified. You can also generate a “like box” or badge linking to your Facebook page to display on your website, encouraging visitors to also connect with you there.

I hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions or would like to add further information and tips, please do so in the comments section. The next post in this series will cover the basics of photo editing and hosting. If the purpose of blogging is to share your work, with cakes and food that always involves pictures.

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