Facebook 101

Facebook is a ‘social network’ that lets individuals, groups, or businesses establish their own ‘Pages’ in order to connect with others within the Facebook social network to share information about “what’s happening” in regard to upcoming events or to share photos, videos or links to websites.

As an organisation Facebook offers two primary benefits:
It allows you to manage your own Facebook ‘Page’, which can be a cost effective substitute to a website for organisations that don’t have one.
It lets you connect with fans and establish an online social network of advocates for your organisation, helping to spread the word about upcoming events, causes, or issues your organisation is involved in.

Establishing a Facebook Page is easy, simply sign into Facebook then visit the Facebook Page creation screen. Alternatively, visit the official Facebook Page for Facebook Pages, where Facebook communicates everything that is happening with Facebook Pages to its users.

Once you’ve created a ‘Page’ you will need to fill out the page with details of your organisation, starting with a Facebook Page picture. Your Page picture is taller than it is wide and will be located on the top left of your Facebook Page with a smaller square subsection of this image used as the ‘avatar’ that represents your page when admins authorised to post for your Page add posts or comments on Facebook.

From there, you will be required to fill out your page’s info, post an update to your Facebook ‘wall’ and ask your friends on Facebook to ‘Like’ your page using the ‘Suggest to Friends’ link for your page. This is an important tool that lets you leverage your personal network to help your organisation’s Facebook Page gain a ‘critical mass’ of followers.

Once your Facebook Page has attracted 25 ‘fans’ you can create a “custom Facebook URL” by visiting the ‘Edit Info’ link on your Facebook Page. Once you have claimed your custom URL ie: Facebook.com/myorganisationisawesome you are in a much stronger position to use this URL to promote your Facebook Page over the temporary URL Facebook gives your Page when you first sign up (eg facebook.com/pages/Cool-arts-organisation/123456789012345).

After you have secured your ‘custom URL’ start publishing updates about your organisation’s activities, and post photos/videos accordingly, asking for comments from your fans. From here, build your Facebook fan numbers by running Facebook Ads (if you have the budget) that leverage the Facebook apps you run on your Facebook Page.

Originally part of my blog series commissioned by the Australia Council for the Arts.