Get Friendly with Facebook!
When you think of social media, the first network that probably comes to mind is Facebook, and for good reason -- it currently boasts more than 1.2 billion users worldwide.
Upwards of 15 million businesses, companies, organizations, and public figures have company Pages -- and Facebook continues to gain more and more power as a marketing, customer service, and outreach tool. These Pages can be managed by a number of admin, and are easily integrated into Gremln's dashboard system.
If you’re completely new to Facebook, consider this a crash course in getting started. (Not sure social media is right for your bank? Check out Part 1 of our Social Media & Banking: Get Started Guide.)
Learn the lingo:
- If you have something you want to share with your audience, post a status update. This can include just words, a link to a website, a photo, or a video.
- Your audience can choose to comment on your posts to engage in a conversation.
- You can like other company Pages as well as comments, photos, and videos.
- If you want to share a particular post, photo, or video from one person’s page with your own audience, just click the “share” button and it will be linked to your page.
- If you’d like to mention someone else on Facebook, you can tag them by typing the @ symbol followed by their name (no spaces).
- If you want your post to be aligned with an existing topic or conversation, you can include a hashtag (ex: #SocialMedia). For more explanation and tips on how to use hashtags, check out Gremln’s infographic.
Gather Your Resources
Before you begin actively setting up your account and profile, you'll want to have a few things ready.
1. Images: You'll need a cover photo and a profile image for your page. You can use your company's logo for one of these images, and use a photo of your staff, a picture of the outside of your bank, a beautiful shot of the interior, or a nicely designed slogan that is part of your marketing campaign. Facebook has specific dimension requirements for these images, and they are as follows:
- Cover Photo: 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall
- Profile Photo: 180 pixels by 180 pixels (will appear as 160 pixels by 160 pixels)
(You can ask your designer or a computer-savvy colleague to resize these for you if needed.)
2. Details: When creating your company Page, Facebook will ask you to provide some information to help your audience find you and get to know you better. Having these ready on the onset will ensure your Page creation process is a breeze. You can always edit this information later if you wish to make a change, but it is helpful to have these details on hand during the initial Page-creation process.
- Business name
- Phone number
- Short description of company
- Long description of company
Let’s get started!
Open your Internet browser of choice and type www.Facebook.com/Pages in the address bar. At the bottom of the screen, you'll see "Create a Page" -- click that to begin.
You'll then be asked to select the type of Page you'd like to create. Most banks fall into the "Local business or place" or "Company, organization, or institution" categories. If you only have one branch location, you might want to consider listing yourself as a "local business or place." If there are multiple branches, a "company, organization, or institution" might make more sense.
If you select "Local Business or Place" you will need to select your business category (bank/financial services) from the drop down menu. Then enter your Business or Place Name, Street Address, City/State, Zip Code, and Phone Number. You'll need to agree to Facebook Pages Terms before you click "Get Started" to move to the next steps.
You'll then be asked to either log in with an existing Facebook account, or create a new "business" account. (If you choose to use your personal Facebook account, note that this is in no way publicized through the Facebook Page. It is necessary only for advertising purposes and for Facebook to be able to contact the Page creator.) It may make sense for you to create a brand new "business" Facebook account to fully separate any personal social media activities. If creating a new account, you'll need to provide an email address, password, and date of birth. Otherwise, you can enter your existing Facebook log in credentials.
You'll then be asked to begin providing more information about your business. This is where you can enter the short description and profile image for your Facebook Page. You can skip these shortcuts and fill them out later, if you prefer. You will, however, have to confirm that the Page you are creating is in reference to a real establishment, business, or venue and that the company will be the authorized and official representation of said establishment on Facebook. Then click "Save Info."
You will then be brought to your Facebook page, where you can edit and expand on your company description, hours of operation, contact information, and the general look and feel of your page.
If you’re not quite ready to start posting or have your page searchable by the masses, you can “unpublish” your page until you are ready to be followed by your customers and found by potential customers. Just go to “settings” and click “edit” to the right of Page Visibility and follow the instructions to unpublish your page.
Your Facebook Page can have multiple admins with different roles assigned to them– from manager, content creator, moderator, advertiser, and insights analyst. (Learn more about the details on each role's level of access.)
From your settings page, you can manage your Page privacy settings, visibility, restrictions, notifications, and posting moderation.
Now you are ready to start sharing content with your audience! You can link to informative articles that might be of interest to your customers, or various pages of your website that highlight your products and services. Simply include the web address you want to send people to in the blank field, add any descriptive copy you’d like, and click post.
If you’d like to share a photo or video, you can click “Upload photos/video”, select the file you’d like to upload, and add copy to introduce your post.
Don’t worry if you aren’t instantly flooded with hundreds of creative ideas for content right off the bat. Spend some time perusing social network pages of other banks and local community organizations to help generate some content inspiration. Ask your coworkers for suggestions. Plan to do a bit of “trial-and-error” testing in terms of finding the bets kinds of content and the optimal time to post for highest engagement with your audience. Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t get many likes, shares, or comments right away -- it takes time to build and engage your audience.
Spend some time brainstorming a few post ideas, and play around with posting at different times of day. You can schedule posts to run in the morning, lunchtime, and evening using Gremln’s scheduling tools. Don’t forget to have a bit of fun with your social media efforts – if you’re smiling while you post, that positive energy will rub off on your audience.
And remember – Gremln is here to help! For content generation, best practices, finding your social audience, staying up-to-date on financial industry regulations, and other social media marketing tips and tricks follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Just getting started? Read Part 1 of Gremln's Get Started Guide to get your footing -- then follow up with building your Twitter profile in Part 3 and your LinkedIn profile in Part 4 of Gremln's Get Started Guide to help get your bank started with social media!