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design & marketing blog

Straightforward design, marketing, and technical advice for making your marketing communications more effective.

How to set up a business Facebook page (the right way)

February 18th, 2011

These do-it-yourself instructions are based on best-practice recommendations from Facebook and are current as of February 18, 2011. Additionally, Risingline provides full Facebook development services. If you would prefer to have us setup, optimize and integrate your Facebook and other social media assets with your Website, please feel free to contact us for a no-obligation estimate.

1. Setup a Personal Account

If one does not exist already, set up a personal account for the CEO, owner or a principal of your company. Do not set-up a personal Facebook account and populate it with business information. This is against Facebook’s terms of service and may result in Facebook deactivating your profile.

2. Setup a “fanpage” (In Facebook lingo, fanpage is synonymous with business page)

a. Login to the personal Facebook page you created in step 1. Click “Home” in the upper right.

b. In the far-left column, look for “Ads and Pages” and click. You may have to click the “More” link in that column to see Ads and Pages.

Facebook Ads and Pages

c. Click the “Create Page” button

Create Page

d. Select the category that best describes the type of business page you’re creating. In most cases, you will need to decide between “Local Business or Place” and “Company, Organization or Institution.

  • If you market your products/service primarily in a single market then choose Local Business or Place.
  • If you market your products/service nationally then choose Company, Organization, or Institution.

Facebook | Create a Page

e. Fill in your basic business information and click “Get Started.”

Create a Page

f. Your business fan page is now setup in its initial draft state.  Proceed with uploading your logo or other company images for your profile. Save the other suggested actions like “Invite your friends” until after you add essential information to your page.

Draft Facebook Fan Page

g. Click “Info” in the far-left column then click “Edit Info.”

Fan Page Edit Info

h. Complete the Basic Information page. Insure you use (but don’t overuse) the keywords for which you have optimized your Website.

Basic Information Facebook Fan Page

3. Add additional Administrators to your Fan Page (Business Page)

Click “Manage Admins” from the far-left column. Type in the email address of the other personal profile accounts of individuals that will also administer this page, then click the “Save Changes” button.

Manage Admins

Your additional administrator should now show up on the “Manage Admins” page.

Manage Admins

Important Information About your Facebook Business Page

Your business Fan Page needs to be treated as a business asset. It’s important that the owners/principals of a business have control of the business/Fan Page by being added as an administrator. It’s ok to have a trusted Web developer or employee as an administrator; the business principals just also need to be administrators. As Facebook states:

“Businesses do not typically put the titles to company vehicles in employee’s names, nor do they allow the employee to keep the company vehicle after termination of employment. Nor should they with FB business/fanpages.”

For more information on Facebook best practices for business fan pages please see this article from Facebook’s Website: Fan Page Help – Beginners Read First!

4. Start populating and promoting your page.

Click the “View Page” button in the upper right hand corner, then proceed with Invite your friends, Tell your fans and Post status updates.

Facebook Fan Page Get Started

Confusion Warning!

While logged into your business fan page as an administrator, be aware that clicking on the Home, Profile and Account links in the upper right hand corner will connect you to those section on your personal profile/page with no notification. Hopefully Facebook will correct this long-standing usability issue but until then, it’s best to use the lower column sections to insure that you’re remaining in your business page.

The View Page or Edit Page button that appears under them does pertain to your business fan page.

Facebook navigation

Continuing Your Fan Page Development

The above guide will allow you to optimally setup a functioning Facebook business page, but there are numerous other options you can explore for managing and promoting your Fan Page through your administrator account.

Facebook Optimization and Integration with Your Main Website

Risingline provides additional development services to integrate your Facebook page with your main Website, blog and other social media accounts like Twitter. A popular integration includes us setting up your Facebook and Twitter accounts to automatically post links to blog, news or article posts when you post them on your main Website. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Congratulations to Placement Music for Their Super Bowl Win

February 4th, 2011

While we normally only post boring stuff related to Web development, design and marketing on our blog, I wanted to break with tradition to congratulate the impressive achievement of  Placement Music, a great customer of ours. Placement Music has only been in existence since last year but already they’ve scored huge with their music being featured in the Super Bowl. Wow!  From start up to the Super Bowl in less than a year! Sounds like we could all learn a thing or two about marketing from them. Just to be clear, we did not provide them their top-notch identity design or Website, those are from the talented folks at Tribal Chicken Design in Georgia.  We provide Placement Music custom HTML email design and support for Constant Contact.

Redirecting Users From Links to Old Webpages

January 16th, 2011

Have you just deployed a new Website that includes a significantly different site structure, file names, and/or file extensions?  There are a few basic “housekeeping” tasks that should be performed to insure that indexed pages (in the case of search engines) and bookmarked pages (in the case of users) will not be returned with “Page not found” errors.

301 Redirect

The digital Change of Address Notification

301 redirects are  the best method for telling the world that a previous web page name and/or extension have been replaced by a different page. Think of a 301 redirect like digital equivalent of forwarding your USPS mail when moving to a new physical address.  It instantly forwards an old URL to the newer replacement URL. With a 301 redirect, the server is configured so that when a search engine or user follows a link they have previously bookmarked, the server recognizes that URL as an old page and automatically redirects the user to the new page.  For example we have the following URL set to redirect using this method: http://risingline.com/creative_samples.htm (notice the URL of the actual page you end up on is completely different).

301 Redirets are also useful for creating more descriptive and memorable URLs in marketing campaigns. For example, we found ourselves directing people to a particular page on our Website quite often during phone conversations.  Rather than having to relay the page name with its dash and “.php” extension we just created a shorter 301 redirect; so now we just have to say or type “http://risingline.com/why” instead of  “http://risingline.com/web-sites.php“. This URL is much more effective and memorable for verbal and written communication yet allows us to retain our file name “web-sites” which is more desirable for SEO purposes.

Google Can Index Flash – But Use With Caution

November 15th, 2010

Google and index FlashGoogle’s ability to “see” text content and links within Flash sites has dramatically improved as a recent post on Google’s Webmaster blog highlights. It used to be that any content and links embedded within Flash were like black holes in terms of visibility and accessibility to Google. However, starting a couple years ago, Google has developed the ability to overcome this limitation and it can now index and follow buttons, menus and hyperlinks coded within Flash.

This is definitely good news, but it’s not a green light to go out and develop you entire Website in Flash. In fact, our strategy for utilizing Flash within Websites has not changed from when it was not viewable at all by Google . . . we  never create a self contained Flash Website but rather use Flash selectively as an option for dynamic content to be embedded within a rich HTML Website framework. This helps insure a  optimal environment for Website performance, accessibility, usability and SEO.

Use Flash with Caution

One of the biggest caveats for using  Flash at all is the hatred that Steve Jobs seems to have for the medium. He is adamant about keeping Flash from working at on the iPhone and IPad which as you know have significant and rapidly growing market share within a high-value demographic. In fact, he personally posted a manifesto against the use of Flash on the Apple Website which is oddly captivating to read.

There are other good reasons for limiting the use of Flash within a Website as well which go beyond the scope of this post. As Website Magazine states in a November 12th article on this same topic:

Flash remains a problematic medium at best for publishing content online. The lack of unique URLs, page titles, link anchor texts and content hierarchy are only some of the common issues and factors that make Flash content far more difficult to classify and work with for search engine optimziers. Compare this with HTML content and it’s obvious that the two cannot compete on a level playing ground.

Conclusion

Regardless of what Steve Jobs might think, there is not one stock answer to the question of whether and to what degree Flash should be utilized on your Website . . . that answer will ultimately depend on a number of factors unique to your situation including the specific functions, goals and user profile of your Website and the alternate options available for dynamic functionality. The most important thing is to work with an informed and objective Web development firm (hey, that sounds like us!) to get a clear and objective picture of the pros and cons of Flash vis-à-vis your specific situation and goals.

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