How To Create Your Facebook Page
Starting a Facebook page for your library is very easy to do. Simply go to the Facebook homepage: www.facebook.com, without logging in and click on the “create a page” link. You do not need a Facebook profile to have a page for your library, but it does make it easier. Facebook will ask you to provide the name, address and contact information for your page, and then a basic page is created for you. You can customize your library’s page by adding pictures, operating hours and a description. You may want to include your main website link and any tertiary links such as that to your Libguides, if your library uses them, in the general information section. Multiple phone numbers can be included in the phone number section if you want separate numbers listed such as for reference or circulation.
It is a good idea to include several images of your library initially. The images appear across the top of the page, making the page more appealing to users. People by nature are more attracted to pages with more images. After you make a few initial posts, click on the “suggest to friends” link and suggest your page to your colleagues and friends. Remember not to preemptively decide for your friends who will or will not accept your suggestion. Let them make their own decisions. It gets the word out about what you are doing, and the worst thing that will happen is your friend will just delete the request. The best thing that could happen is that friends whom you thought might delete your request actually “like” your library’s page and expand your network! Once your page has more than 25 “likes,” you can create a customized username for the page, for example http://www.facebook.com/username, so it is good to solicit a lot of friends and colleagues up front, so you can secure a good username. That associated link can then be added to websites and in email signatures to further promote your Facebook presence.
Maintaining your library’s Facebook Page and keeping it active is essential to driving traffic there. One person can do this effectively, but having support from other team members makes it easier on everyone and less of a time commitment for a single person. While being active is important, it is also important not to post too often. If you post too often though your library’s page, people may “unlike” it, so it can therefore be counterproductive. Posting a few times a week is about where you want to be so that you don’t overwhelm your support base while at the same time staying visible to them.
Whenever someone “likes” something you post, the action appears on their profile, which is added advertising and can generate a larger fan-base for your page. For this reason, you should consider creating informative, but fun posts on occasion, or even offering a contest through your Facebook page. It is therefore also important that you “like” all of posts made to your page, so that 1) your friends see your page through your personal profile, and 2) when someone posts a comment on the post, you will be notified and can respond quickly. Your posts should almost always contain a photograph, link or video. Looking at a fan page with just lines of text is not as appealing as looking at one rich with images.
A nice feature of the Facebook Page is the ability to create an event and then invite folks to attend. You should consider using this feature anytime your library has any event. Be sure to include a nice photograph and a detailed description. It is a free way of promoting the event and getting the word out to people who may not otherwise know about it. Plus it has an RSVP function so that you have a better idea of how many people may be attending. Just be aware that sometimes folks will say they plan to attend and then do not, so do not count on final RSVP figure as set in stone.
If you do not want to be the sole person updating the Facebook Page, you can invite your colleagues to also be administrators of the Page. In the upper right-hand corner labeled “admins”, click on “see all.” This will take you to the list of current admins and give you the option to add more typing in their name or email address. Giving your colleagues admin status helps them to feel involved, alleviates some of your workload, and will make for a more dynamic and richer Facebook Page for your library.
Coming up next: Bells & Whistles!