How to create a profile page on Facebook
A step-by-step guide to creating a profile page on social networking site, Facebook.
Originally Facebook was created as a social networking site for friends to connect at a college campus in the US. Now, it has expanded to include the capabilities to use Facebook both in a classic way by creating a Profile, and in a newer way developed for brands, businesses, clubs and organisations by creating a Page. Profiles are primarily intended for individuals wanting to network with existing real-life friends and acquaintances.
The main advantage of having a profile rather than a page for your organisation is that profiles are able to invite people to be their friend. To become a fan of a page, people have to know about your organisation’s Facebook page already and search for it themselves. Within a profile it is also possible to create ‘Groups’. The group function could serve to create a private space for other community organisations or as a shared space for individual members (with individual profiles).
Pages, however, were created for the needs of organisations. Pages have advantages over profiles with regard to organisations. For example, pages can have an unlimited number of fans, pages are able to be viewed by anyone- even if they don’t have a Facebook account, and pages allow you to send an update to everyone on your fan list at once.
Since official usage of Facebook by organisations is encouraged on Pages rather than Profiles, we have concentrated on Pages in our how-to guide. If you do want to create a profile though, the instructions below will still help guide you as the process is similar. More information about creating Profiles is available on the Facebook help pages and the links we have included.
Creating a page on Facebook
- Start at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. This will send you directly to the page entitled ‘Create a new Facebook page’. This part of the site is specialised for businesses, brands or groups.
- You will be faced with three categories: Area, Brand/Product or Artist/Band/Public Figure. Click on the circle next to the category that describes your organisation best. A pull down menu will appear under the category you select and you need to choose a sub-category. Write the name of your organisation in the ‘Name of …’ field below.
You are ready to press the ‘Create Page’ button!
- You will be directed to a page called ‘Facebook Login’. Enter your email into the first field.
Under the next question the ‘No, I need to create a new account’ option will be automatically selected.
You will need to create a new password (use a mixture of upper and lower-case letters as well as numbers). Remember this password as you will need it to login in the future, but keep it secure.
Select a birth date that you will remember (the administrator’s birth date for example) as it is used as a security question. It will not be displayed on your profile.
Copy the words displayed in the ‘Security Check’ image. Click on the ‘Terms and Conditions’ to read them. Click the box next to the Terms and Conditions to agree.
Click ‘Sign up Now!’.
- A confirmation will be sent to the email address you entered in step 2. To continue you will need to click on the link that will be sent to you by Facebook.
- Your page is now created! The next step is to add information to your page. At the moment it does not have any content.
Adding Information To Your Profile
- At the top of your new profile you will notice a box that reads, ‘To start, add information or upload a picture’. Click on ‘add information’.
- You will be directed to basic information. Enter the year your organisation was founded and click ‘Save changes’.
- At the top on the page you will see three tabs: Picture, Basic Info, Detailed Info. Now you have completed Basic Info click on the ‘Detailed Info’ tab.
- Once you have filled in the Detailed Info fields (website, company overview, mission, products) remember to click Save Changes. It is ok to leave any of the fields blank that do not concern your organisation.
NB: If at any point you get lost and want to go back to the main editing page of your profile here is what to do: Look at the top right of the page, there is a ‘home’ link? Click on it. To get back to editing your profile, click on the ‘Pages’ link on the next page - it's near the top by ‘Ads Manager’ and ‘Help’.
Adding Pictures To Your Profile
Pictures are very important on social networking sites. They help users feel more connected and interested in your profile. Ideally you should be updating and uploading photos regularly. When you add photos it shows up in your organisation’s friend’s ‘mini-feed’. This means everyone will see you have added new pictures, so they will be encouraged to visit your page and have a look. You could add, for example, an album with pictures from recent events you have held like a fun run or fundraiser.
Main Profile Picture
- You need to upload photos that are already stored as files on your computer. If you are continuing on from adding information you simply need to click on the ‘Picture’ tab next to the ‘Information’ tabs.
If you are working from the main profile editing page then click on ‘Edit’ next to the ‘Profile Picture’ link that is in the first editing box from the top of the page.
- You will be directed to the upload page.
Click on ‘Browse’ under ‘Upload Picture’. Find the photo you want to upload in the window that pops up and press OK. To upload to Facebook your file must end in .jpg, .gif or .png.
- If your picture is not centred properly in the ‘Thumbnail Version’ you can adjust it. The thumbnail is what will be displayed when your organisation is listed in user searches, among other things. To adjust the thumbnail hover your cursor over the thumbnail picture. Then hold down your mouse key and drag it into the desired position.
Creating Photo “albums”
- On the main profile editing page scroll down until you find the ‘Photo’ editing box. Click ‘Edit’.
- On the new page it should say you have not yet created any albums. Click on ‘Create new album’.
- Now you need to type in a name for your photo album, a location where they were taken and a short description of what the album is about. Now click ‘Create Album’.
- You will be directed to an upload page that is different to the one for uploading a profile picture. This upload tool is more powerful and able to upload up to 60 photos at once. To find your files click the + signs next to the computer folder icons on the left. Click on the folder that contains the photos you want to upload.
- All the photos in the folder you choose will be displayed to the right. Click on the check-boxes to select the photos you want to upload. The click on the ‘Upload button’ just above where all your photos have been displayed.
- Once the upload is done you will be able to add to captions to your photos if you wish. You will be automatically directed to a page where you can do this.
- To then rearrange the order of your photos click on the ‘Organize’ tab.
To add more files to the album from a different folder click on the ‘Add More’ tab.
To delete some of the photos click on the ‘Delete’ tab.
To change your album name or it’s information click on the ‘Edit Info’ tab.
Beyond the Basics
1. Page Administration
So far only the person who used their email to sign up is an official administrator of this page. Administrators are the only people who can edit information on the page, upload photos or video or delete inappropriate comments from other users. There may be several people who will be administering your profile. Be sure your administrators have an agreed policy as to how the page will be used. To add extra administrators to your profile you need to invite them.
Go to your main profile editing page. In the right hand column is a heading ‘Administrators’. The emails of administrators are listed here. To add another admin click ‘Edit’.
On the right of the new page enter the email of the new admin and click ‘Add’.
You then need to type a message to the new admin inviting them to be an administrator (see above). Then click ‘Send Invitations’.
Once the new admin has received an email from Facebook to create their own password they will become an official admin.
Publishing the page and changing viewer restrictions
At the moment your profile is not visible. When you are happy with your profile you can ‘publish’ it so that the public can see. You can also restrict the ages or home countries of the people viewing your profile.
Go to your main editing page. Scroll down to the bottom and you will find the ‘Settings’ box.
‘Edit’ your settings. Set any age or country restrictions by selecting the settings you require. To publish your page: change the ‘Published Status’ drop down menu to Published (publicly visible).
Managing other user’s posts or comments on your page
Friend’s of your organisation will eventually be able to comment on your page in many different ways including commenting on your photos, contributing to your discussion board or posting a wall comment. If you understand the layout of Facebook applications you will easily be able to delete any inappropriate posts in any of these formats.
Every user post on your page will have a ‘Delete’ link written in small type below it. If a comment/post is very offensive and not just unwanted, you can also click on the ‘Report’ link that will be in small type beside it. If you continue having problems with a specific user you should delete them from your fans/friends list.
Sending an update to all of your friends/fans at once
If you go to your main Facebook page on the upper right under Fans there is a link, ‘Send an update to fans’. Click on this and write your message. You are able to attach photos or videos to the update as well as format the update to look professional.
2. Recruiting Friends/Fans
You cannot invite users via Facebook email to join your page as this would be considered spam. You will need to promote your Facebook in other ways, for example, mentioning it in your newsletter, promoting it on your website or inviting visitors to your centre to join.
Facebook offers a targeted ad service that can be run for several US$ a day. However, unless you are a commercial enterprise this shouldn’t be necessary.
Users can be invited to find your page by searching your organisation’s name. Providing they spell it correctly it should be in the first few results they get. Once you have some initial fans your fans list will begin to snowball. This is because on Facebook when someone adds a new friend they show up on the ‘mini-feed’ of all of their previous friends. In this way it is easy for friends of friends to notice your organisation and add themselves as fans. Your fans are also able to invite their friends to join your page.
Check out this page from Facebook on how to promote your page: www.facebook.com/pages/manage/promo_guidelines.php
It gives the guidelines you will need to reference your Facebook account in any of your materials without infringing on copyright. There is also a Facebook button provided that can be placed on your website.
3. A Guide To Applications
Applications are a big part of what makes Facebook unique and useful. Applications are small add-ons to profiles that are designed to facilitate communication and sharing, to help people learn more about your personality/organisation or just to have fun.
A small battery of applications have already been loaded onto your page automatically. These can be found and edited from your main profile edit page. New applications can be browsed from the ‘More applications’ link at the bottom of the main applications list.
Below is a brief guide to each of the applications that are automatically loaded onto your profile. More detailed information on common help issues can be found about each application here: www.facebook.com/help.php?page=430>.
This is a space where admins or fans can start up topics to discuss together. The format is more like a forum or discussion board rather than instant chat. A topic to discuss is posted and then people can reply using text. If you click ‘Edit’ next to the discussion board link on the main edit page you can add a new topic to discuss. On the top right there is a button ‘Start New Topic’ that enables you to do this.
Remember you can delete any posts on the discussion board or report a user by using the ‘Delete’ and ‘Report’ links next to their posting. If you decide not to use a discussion board you can delete the application by pressing the X button next to ‘Discussion Board’ on your main edit page.
You are able to create events and invite your fans here. This is great if you want to formalise the details of any group activity (fundraising sales, meetings, movie nights etc) by posting it online. You are able to invite people and receive their RSVPs here also. To create an event you simply need to press ‘edit’ next to the Events tab and enter in all the relevant details.
This allows you to edit the organisation information you entered when first creating your profile.
Here you can share updates, thoughts or blog-type posts with your fans. For example you might use the Notes application to reproduce your community newsletter.
This is where photos are added and managed. Instructions on how to do this are in this guide under ‘Adding pictures to your profile’.
You can even add video to your organisation’s page! Uploading video is very similar to uploading photos. You need to click ‘edit’ by the Video tab and then ‘Upload’ in the top right hand corner. Make sure the files aren’t too big/long though, otherwise they will take too long to upload!
This is a space where you or your fans can leave quick comments. For example, ‘Looking forward to the fundraiser tonight!’, rather than a long explanation of what the fundraiser is for. Remember you can delete any comments that are unwanted by using the ‘Delete’ and ‘Report’ links next to the posting.
To turn off any of your applications you just need to click the ‘X’ in the top right corner of their tab on the main edit page.
Getting Started Guide
The official getting started guide- a must read for anyone who is confused by Facebook.
Creating a Facebook Page
Official and complete guide to creating a Facebook page (PDF document).
A beginners guide to Facebook for non-profits
Excellent and detailed tutorial on how to create a Facebook profile.
How Non-Profits can use Facebook
Ideas on how Facebook can be useful to community groups.
Reguarly updated blog dedicated to discussing Facebook and it’s updates.
Is a Facebook page a complete media strategy?
Discussion on the potential limits of using Facebook as your main type of marketing.
Guide to issues of Facebook safety.
Your first stop for any issues/problems with Facebook.
Facebook Pages Insider’s Guide
Useful information on using and setting up your Facebook page as well as marketing.
Official Facebook Blog
Source for official Facebook updates.