With 1.39 billion monthly active users, Facebook is one of richest sources of community and leads.

You need to be on Facebook because one out of every seven people on earth is on Facebook. It’s a guarantee that at least some of the people you’re trying to reach has a Facebook profile, and if that’s where they’re hanging out, you should be there, too.

Why You Need a Facebook Fan Page

But, you don’t want to publish content on your own personal Facebook page. There’s two compelling reasons why. With a personal page, you can’t get the insight you need to target your audience. And, you’re also limited by how many people can friend you and follow you.

With a Facebook fan page, you’ll get great analytics in the form of Facebook Insight. Use it to cultivate your message and deliver great content to your intended audience. You’ll also be allowed an unlimited amount of fans.

Now, let’s talk about the word “fan” for a moment.

Does the word “fan” makes you cringe like it does me? Unless you’re a celebrity, and even then, it’s important to think of your “fans” as your community. They’re not one dimensional psycho fanatics who draw hearts around your name, hopefully. While you will influence your community, they will also influence you. That’s one of the greatest gifts you can get from your Facebook fan page– understanding and interacting with your audience in a more meaningful way.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about creating a Facebook Fan page, from A to Z.

A: About Page. Sell yourself in your summary.

Fill in every detail you can on your About page. People click on your About page for various reasons. While some may want to find your physical address (if you’re a local shop), others may want to connect with you on other social network, like Twitter or Google+. Fill in the short description and the long description, and if you’re not good with writing, consider hiring a copywriter who can make you sound as amazing as I know you are.

Be sure to include links to point interested visitors in the right direction. And here’s a tip: Because links are a different color than normal text, use links to break up big blocks of text and immediately attract the eye.

Speaking of links, always link back to your website in your short description so that it shows up under your cover photo.

B: Behind-the-Scenes. Give followers exclusive content.

Your website and, to a lesser extent, your blog represent the professional veneer of your brand. But, no brand is one dimensional. Use your Facebook page to show what goes on behind the curtain. Post pictures of you and your team working on projects or hanging out and being silly. It humanizes your brand. Exclusive content will make your community feel more connected to you, which is exactly what you want on social media.

Here’s how radio talk show host Kim Komando gave followers a behind the scenes look to her followers:

C: Choose the Right Type of Fan Page.

There are six types of Facebook pages. Here’s how they break down:

Local Business or Place – Choose this page if you have a brick and mortar business that’s open to the public. This option lets you fill in all sorts of information your audience may be interested in knowing, such as your physical location, your hours of operation, and your price range. Think: Restaurants, print shops, bakeries, hair salons, spas, boutiques, etc., such as Magnolia Bakery and Paraa Safari Lodge.

Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery
Paraa Safari Lodge

Paraa Safari Lodge

Company, Organization, or Institution – You may not be local, you may not be open to the public, or you may have more than one location. If any of this sounds like your company, choose this page option. This option also works for most internet based companies, such as Project Life Mastery and Bernadette Doyle.

Project Life Mastery

Project Life Mastery
Bernadette Doyle

Bernadette Doyle

Brand or Product – Choose this option to highlight a product, service, or app. For example, Screw the Nine to Five, the KinCommunity, and us here at Canva have a Facebook fan page using this option.

Screw the Nine to Five

Screw the Nine to Five
The KinCommunity

The KinCommunity
Canva

Canva

Artist, Band, or Public Figure – Are you a celebrity, a musician, a writer, an artist, an athlete, a doctor, etc.? Basically, if you are the product or the catalyst for action, such as Alex Beadon or UnMarketing, choose this option.

Alex Beadon

Alex Beadon
UnMarketing

UnMarketing

Entertainment – Are you promoting a book, an album, a concert tour, a sports team, a radio station, a book store? 500 Social Media Tips used this option, and so should you.

500 Social Media Tips

500 Social Media Tips

Cause or Community – Choose this option for nonprofits and charities, although you may be better suited to the Company, Organization, or Institution option if you have a local operation. A good example of this type of page is Teach.org.

Teach.org

Teach.org

D: Discussions. Keep the conversation going on Facebook.

Facebook is all about interaction. While some social platforms are more passive (such as looking at the pretty pictures on Instagram or daydreaming on Pinterest), Facebook requires a higher level of social engagement. It’s a much more extroverted platform. Use this opportunity to get chatty.

A great way to increase discussions on your Facebook fan page is to move the conversation from your blog over to your Facebook. Although a controversial move, it is gaining popularity. Bloggers like

While you may not want to delete your comments section from your blog, you can still drive conversations to your page.  On Facebook, create a status on the topic of the conversation. Then, at the end of your blog or newsletter, place a strong call to action to continue the conversation on your Facebook page. Couple it with the direct link to the topic-specific Facebook post.

Here’s an example from Cruise Law News of a page that invites commenters over to their Facebook page. Once on Facebook, you’ll see a very active community that comment about each article. It’s a great way to bridge your audience.

From the Cruise Law News website:

From the Cruise Law News Facebook page:

E: Events. Notify your community about upcoming events.

Do you have upcoming speaking events, webinars, workshops, or meetups? Your fan page is the best place to drum up excitement, invite friends, provide commentary, and post photos after the event.

F: Find Apps. Boost engagement with special apps.

Apps can increase interaction on your Facebook fan page. For example, you can use applications to grow your mailing list, share your social feeds on other platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and celebrate your followers. One of my favorite apps is the Fan of the Week app where you can highlight someone in your community who has added a lot of value that week.

Here’s an example of a Fan of the Week promotion from 123 Homeschool 4 Me:

G: Photo Gallery. Use photos that match your brand message.

People love looking at photos, but not just any type of photos– photos that make sense with your brand. For example, the Branded Solopreneur uses a trademark color scheme of brown and gold in the majority of her images. It creates continuity, and instant brand recognition on your followers’ news feeds. Remember, when it comes to choosing images for your brand – consistency is key.

While a photo may be funny to you personally, resist the urge to treat your Facebook Fan page as your personal page. Post photos that reinforce your brand message.

H: Hashtags. Why #hashtags are important for your Facebook strategy.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, #hashtags can actually be useful for the right audience. Although they’re not as popular on Facebook as they are on Twitter, hashtags can be used to contain a conversation. It can also raise your visibility to a wider audience who may be searching for that term on Facebook.

If you do use them, please pinky swear that you won’t use more than two (2) hashtags per post. And, migrate all of your hashtags to the end of the post. There’s nothing more #annoying than navigating past a hashtag in the middle of a sentence.

I: Increasing Fan Engagement. How do you increase your fan engagement?

Grab something to drink, this may take a while.

This question is the hardest one to answer and the simplest.

Here’s the simple answer: Increase the amount of likes, comments, shares, and clicks on your posts. When your community responds to your content, the algorithm gods at Facebook (collectively known as EdgeRank) determine that you’re worthy to be shared more often to your fans’ news feeds.

Here’s where it gets tricky. How do you increase your likes, comments, shares, and clicks if your content isn’t in front of any eyeballs in the first place?

We discussed one option earlier– bring discussions over from your blog or newsletter to Facebook.

Also, groom your newest fans into loyal community members who want to interact with you. You do this by posting questions, fill in the blanks, photos with inspiring or funny quotes, and videos. And you do this often so that a person who decides to “like” you has more of an incentive to join in on a hot topic.

Here’s a comprehensive article from Social Media Examiner on 26 ways to engage your fans on Facebook.

J: JPEG or PNG? Do you know the difference?

For most of us, a JPEG and a PNG are the same thing– an image file. And it’s boring, right?

Not for us, and not for you after you learn this quick secret.

Although they do seem interchangeable, did you know that choosing the right file format may make the difference between fuzzy, unprofessional images and crisp, highly sharable ones?

JPEG compresses your image file, but Facebook actually compresses JPEG again. So, you get double the compression, which makes for a blurry image.

Enter our hero PNG. Use it for a clearer image, and your fans will thank you.

In Canva, your image is automatically saved while you work. You can then download as an image PNG file or a PDF.

K: Knowing Your Audience. This is key to creating the content they crave.

Why would people want to like your page? What are they hoping happens? Why should people continue to engage with you past the initial “like”?

Your audience may come to you for inspiration. What type of content will motivate your audience?

Maybe your audience wants to discuss your product, service, or recent blog post. Have you posted and answered a FAQ to your page, or started a conversation about a relevant topic?

If you want to continue adding value to your community, you need to know what they want from you, and then you should give them just that.

L: Likes. Two ways to get liked.

We all want people to like us, and the easiest way to get likes is to pay for it. Just kidding! Never pay for likes. Or followers. At best, it’s scammy, and at worst, it can get you penalized on Facebook.

Here’s two ways to get likes on your Facebook fan page:

  1. Post content that your audience cares about.
  2. Engage with other brands as your fan page, not your personal profile. When you like other pages that court your same audience, you raise their level of awareness of you.

M: Marketing. This is one surefire way to get in front of your desired audience.

Ah, marketing on Facebook. The topic is broad, but the time is short, but the best advice is to pay for it. As you’ll see, organic reach is declining. Create a custom audience on Facebook and then target lookalike audiences to expand your influence.

N: News Feed. Use these tips to navigate the news feed.

The news feed is tricky, and heartless. You may show up to one fan but not the other. Your post’s relevance, popularity, and content plays a part in your visibility. The best advice to navigating the news feed is to make posts that resonate with your core community. If they love it, then it will get shared, liked, and commented upon.

Consider posting one to two times per day. According to a report from Social Bakers, posting too much may be annoying and overwhelming, and posting too little will decrease your relevance.

These top brands make an average of one post per day.

O: Organic Reach. Is it dead?

If you’re a Facebook user, you may have noticed that your news feeds are a lot more curated than chronological. In fact, some brands and friends that you follow may not even show up on your news feed at all. That’s because Facebook uses wizardry to create an individualized entertaining experience for its users. The drawback to this algorithm is that it decreases a brand’s organic reach. That’s because Facebook is marching toward a paid model, and eventually organic reach will die.

But it’s not quite dead yet. And you can maximize your organic reach by asking your fans to share your content.

P: Photos. What type of cover photo will engage your potential follower?

Your cover photo (the large photo that shows on your Facebook Fan page) is a crucial communication tool. This is your visual opportunity to explain who you are and why you are. It immediately sets up the tone for your fan page.

Use your photo to highlight your personality, an upcoming event, your

You’ll also need to pay attention to your profile page. Depending on your brand, it may be better to use a logo over a personal photo of your brand spokesperson.

Here’s a few brands who use photos that hit the target:

Q: Questions. What type of questions should you ask?

If you want more engagement, you have to ask for it. It may sound simple, but your fans don’t start the conversation– you do. Reach out to them by posting questions that inspire, make them laugh, make them think, and make them share your question with others.

R: Refresh Your Cover Photos Frequently. Another opportunity to market yourself.

You have tons of things going on, so why should your cover photo stay the same? Update your cover photo frequently to reflect what’s popular right now. Maybe you’re gearing up for an exciting product launch. Temporarily change your cover photo to highlight your product. Perhaps you’re fresh from speaking at a seminar– use that photo as your cover.

Change your cover periodically to energize your fans around your most recent news.

At Canva, we have a large variety of premade templates for professional design results. You can change your cover photo frequently, affordably, and effortlessly with our easy-to-use tool. On the main screen, choose the Facebook Cover option. (If you’re looking for inspiration, check out these awesome examples) See below:

S: Getting Shared. How do you do it?

Shares are more important than likes, and they may edge out comments, too. So, how exactly do you get your posts shared?

There’s no one magic solution, but there are ways to increase your shares. Here are the top three:

  1. Keep it Consumable – Fans don’t want to read a novel. Get to the point quickly.
  2. Post More Photos – They get up to 39% more shares.
  3. Post More Quotes – Everyone loves to share a funny or inspiring quote with their own sphere of influence. Use one that resonates with your brand and your audience. You’ll get 19% more shares that way.

Social Media Expert Liz Azyan from Digitial Matchbox gave us her top tip for getting shared:

“My top tip for maintaining a Facebook fan page is… if you’ve got a great story to tell — share it!”

People want to see, and share, something that is engaging and interesting. Facebook is changing the rules on how people will share information, so you need to pay attention to what’s going on.

One suggestion from Facebook is having a 90-character call to action at the start, to get audiences clicking through or asking themselves a question.

But this doesn’t mean you should fall back on old school direct marketing-style call-to-action statements – definitely so last decade! These will fall under click-baiting, which is a definite no with Facebook’s new rules.

We’re all familiar with click-baiting – using headlines that lure people to click through, but fail to offer something relevant on the other side of the link. Relevance and quality content are what users want to see, so this outdated practice is a huge turnoff.

Instead, make your headlines clear, informative and relevant, so audiences know exactly what they’ll see when they get there.”

T: Teamwork. Empower your team to work on your Facebook page.

Unless you’re a solopreneur, you’ll probably have others working on and maintaining your Facebook fan page. On Facebook, you can select five different page roles: Admin, Editor, Moderator, Advertiser, and Analyst. You can determine who’s allowed to create and delete posts, ban people, and send messages as the page.

U: Updates. Understand which posts to choose and why.

There’s five main post types for Facebook: general comments/questions, links, quotes, images, and videos. Ideally, post an eclectic mix. Images and videos are the most attention grabbing. That’s primarily because we process images much quicker than text. Rely on this type of content as your backbone. And, we’ve made it easy to create visual posts on the fly with

Also, include general comments (such as questions, status updates, and fill-in-the-blanks). Whereas images and videos are more likely to be shared, comments are more likely to spur conversation.

Quotes and links can be all text or accompanied by visuals.

V: Video. Use moving pictures to move people.

Making videos has never been easier. With a smartphone, you can take high quality video anywhere, at anytime, and edit it, too.

Video on Facebook is a way to connect with your fans by sharing a quick story, thought, or trailer. Keep the video less than two minutes, and make the first few seconds the most powerful. You only have nine seconds to capture attention.

W: Welcoming Visitors. Explain why people should like you.

Under your About page, be sure to welcome your visitors. Your About page should evangelize your message but, more importantly, make the visitor feel comfortable. They should know what to expect from your page. Here’s a couple of examples of brands that succeed in being welcoming:

Make the About page a resource for visitors. They’re coming to it to find out more about how you can help them– give them what they’re asking for.

And, by all means, show off your personality (this includes brands). Leave the stilted, third person narrative back in Grammar class.

X: Experiment. Don’t be afraid to try out different strategies.

What works for one brand may not work for another. Your group of fans are unique to you. Pay attention to your analytics, and if video posts seem to engage your fans, do more of it. Some brands post photos exclusively to their feed. No questions, no status updates, but rabid engagement because it works for their fans. Find what works for you.

Y: You. Bring your personality to your fan page.

Your fans joined to interact with you, or your brand. Bring your personality to the table. If you like to spice up your posts with the occasional four-letter word, and that’s something that fits your brand, go for it. But don’t cheat the world out of what only you can bring by emulating someone else. (And, your fans with smell fakeness a mile away.)

Z: Zero In. It’s time to get started!

Now that you know all the steps to creating and maximizing your Facebook fan page, it’s time to zero in and get started. The first step is always the hardest, so let’s do it together:

Step by Step Guide to Creating a Fan Page

1. Navigate to Create a Page on Facebook.

2. Choose the option that best suits your brand.

3. Enter your About details.

4. Upload your profile picture.

5. Add your page to your favorites.

6. Select your Preferred Page Audience.

7. Voila! Your page is created. Be sure to a strong Call-To-Action (such as join your mailing list or visit your blog)

8. Populate your page with a few posts and then invite your friends.

9. You’re done!

So, now that you’ve created your own Fan Page, be sure to leave it in the comments so that we can check it out.

Do you have a favorite Facebook Fan page? Let us know why it rocks in the comments.

Need help getting your fan page up and running? You might be interested in:

Jacqueline is an award winning writer who specializes in brand development and new media. When she’s not writing, she enjoys drawing, Star Trek reruns, and chocolate. Say hello on Twitter (https://twitter.com/kyothomas).