By Jeff Kline

Blog

Facebook for Chambers: The Beginner's Guide

Thursday, October 25, 2012

IS FACEBOOK A TRICK OR A TREAT?

Back in 2004, we never suspected that Mark Zuckerberg was releasing what would eventually become, for chambers everywhere, a great gift…and a curse.

Facebook Halloween

On one hand, Facebook allows chambers to showcase personality, appeal to their audience on a visual level, and establish more meaningful connections. But Facebook is tricky to master – it is constantly changing, evolving and growing more powerful. It’s only a treat if we know how to use it.

These next two blog posts will help you change Facebook from a trick into a treat! Follow along to learn the basics and get up to date on Facebook capabilities that will benefit your chamber.

FACEBOOK BASICS

Timeline
Your Timeline serves as your personal profile page. It is a reverse-chronological collection of your status updates, Life Events, photos, and other posts. Your Timeline also displays your Recent Activity, Likes, and Places you’ve been. (Pages have Timelines, too.)

Status update
The primary way to communicate on Facebook. A status update is posted to your Timeline, and can consist of text, a photo, a link, a location or a Life Event/Milestone.

News Feed
A real-time stream of your Friends’ and Likes’ status updates, activity and upcoming events. The news feed is located in the center column of your Facebook homepage.

Friend
A two-way connection between two Facebook users.

Like
Facebook’s Like function applies to content and pages:

  • You can click Like to give positive feedback to a status update, photo or video. 
  • You can Like a Page to connect with it. The Page will be added to your list of Likes on your Timeline, and you will begin receiving the Page’s status updates in your news feed. 

Page
A Facebook tool used for business and marketing purposes. (This is how your chamber will use Facebook). Pages are created for products, businesses, organizations, sports teams, musical groups, celebrities, etc. A Page can only be created by someone with a Facebook account, and that person will be established as the Page administrator. Users connect to Pages by Liking them.

Voice
You have the option to use Facebook as yourself (your personal profile) or as your chamber (your chamber Facebook Page). There is a link at the top of the page to toggle between Voices.

BUILDING YOUR CHAMBER FACEBOOK PAGE IN 7 STEPS

1) Create your page.

Create your Facebook page

  • Click to create a Company, Organization or Institution page for your chamber, then pick a category. (When in doubt, just choose Organization.)
  • Name your page, and be careful! Once you hit 100 Likes, your name becomes permanent.

2) Upload a profile picture.
It is standard to use your chamber logo as your profile picture. The Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber uses a text-free version of its logo for a clean look.

BWCC Facebook profile pic

3) Write a description.
Your About section will appear under the company logo on your page. It must be under 150 characters to fit in the text box. Be sure to include your chamber website URL, and click Add Another Site to include your Twitter, LinkedIn, blog and other pages. The Daytona Regional Chamber keeps it short and sweet.

Daytona chamber Facebook page about section

4) Choose a Facebook web address.
Create a shorter URL that will be easier for people to remember. For example: http://www.facebook.com/daytona.chamber 

5) Skip the ads, for now.
Your chamber Facebook page should be complete before you begin to consider Facebook advertising. You’ll want to be fully functioning before you attract more fans to your page.

6) Edit your info.
edit Facebook page

  • Click Edit Page, then Update Info. Some of this information, such as Category and Username, was filled in when you created your chamber Facebook page. But other information still needs to be added: 
  • Start date and Start type (this will appear at the bottom of your Timeline)
  • Address (this will place a map on your Page)
  • Description (a brief paragraph of detailed information about your chamber – include keywords!)
  • Mission statement
  • Awards
  • Contact information

7) Add a cover photo.
Scroll down (past the Admin panel) to where your Timeline begins, and click Add a Cover to upload your image. Use an event or office photo, an image of your chamber city’s skyline, or even an upcoming event flyer. If you decide to design a custom image, the dimensions are 851 x 315 pixels. The Los Angeles Area Chamber’s cover photo features a stunning cityscape and the chamber tagline.
LA Chamber Facebook cover photo

UP NEXT: BUILDING AND ENGAGING YOUR FACEBOOK AUDIENCE

I will discuss strategies for writing status updates, sharing photos and creating Events, in order to earn more Likes for your chamber’s Facebook page and establish meaningful connections with your audience.

How has your chamber used Facebook to engage businesses in your community? Share your experiences below!

Download the Social Media Blueprint

 

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