One of the first things you should do after choosing a strategic dog walking business name is to setup a Facebook business page. But you don’t want to just create the page, you need to know how to maximize the settings to attract business.
I cover the most important settings and some tips & tricks you can do to make people want to contact you over your competitors.
How to setup a Facebook business page for your pet business
I have some images for the pages where you can create your Facebook business page, but I won’t be going over every step. Most of the options are easy to understand. Here are some quality links I found that will help you create the page:
1. Facebook For Business: 1st Facebook link that mentions you should have your business name, description and cover photo. It also says have a profile photo, but that should be your logo. So use your logo or use a personal photo until you get a logo.
2. Create A Page: 2nd Facebook link which takes you directly to create your business page (image below). Obviously, choose the “business” option. The 2nd image below shows the category where you would start typing “dog”, “pet” or whatever keyword best fits your business.
3. Create & Manage Pages: 3rd Facebook link that lists the benefits & top features of a Facebook business page.
4. FB Help page: 4th Facebook page that has more in-depth information with links to related topics.
5. Call-to-action help page: And the final facebook link covers CTA buttons (call-to-action). I chose a contact button with the label “Send Email”. This is an easy way for people interested in my services to send me a Facebook message. Choose whichever CTA you prefer.
6. How to create a Facebook Business Page 2020: This is a good article that shows all the steps in creating your Facebook business page. I’m not going to cover each step because I want to cover all the important setup options.
Facebook business page setup
Here is a list of the options after clicking Edit Page Info with a brief description of each (most important IMO in bold text):
1. General: 22 different and important settings.
2. Page Info: The most important settings. IMO.
3. Messaging: Three settings you want to turn on.
4. Templates and Tabs: A listing of the tabs/sections of your page. You can reorder them, delete some, add others, etc. I have the 3 most important as the top ones: Services, Posts, and Reviews.
5. Post Attribution: Make sure to set it to your business name for posts, image uploads, etc. and not your personal account.
6. Notifications: Settings for things you want to be notified about.
7. Advanced Messaging: Deals with apps and subscriptions – I skipped this section.
8. Page Rules: Roles for different people who have access to the page. Skip unless you have employees or business partners who will be adding content, responding to messages, etc.
9. People and Other Pages: This is for banning someone who isn’t nice. It’s your page so remove any questionable commenters.
* Preferred Page Audience: Skip, no longer available but the link is still active.
10. Authorizations: Skip unless you plan on running Facebook ads.
11. Branded Content: Some kind of marketing thing – no clue. Let me know if you understand this setting.
12. Instagram: Connect your Instagram account to access more features that aren’t available otherwise.
13. Featured: Shows pages you have LIKED from your business page, not your personal account. Not sure why this is important.
14. Crossposting: Not important IMO.
15. Page Support Inbox: This is for page support tickets you have submitted to Facebook.
16. Wi-Fi Network: It’s whether or not your business has wifi. Don’t see this as applicable if you have a dog walking business.
17. Appointment Settings: Lots of important settings here.
18. Activity Log: Timeline plus changes to your page – not important, just informational.
Most important setup features
The following are the most important setup features for your Facebook business page. Definitely look into the fields on each of these tabs.
22 fields that are important to set if they apply to your business.
- Page Visibility: Make sure your page is published.
- Visitor Posts: Click the Edit link and select “Disable posts by other people on the Page”. It’s your page and your business. I wouldn’t let other people post ANYTHING that may negatively affect my business.
- Post and Story Sharing: Set to On so that people can share posts that you create.
- Audience Optimization for Posts: News feed targeting – leave Off.
- Messages: Click Edit to turn the feature on for people to contact you privately.
- Tagging Ability: Turn on for people to tag your photos and videos.
- Others Tagging this Page: Allow people to tag your page.
- Page Locations for Effects: Turn this On.
- Country Restrictions: Leave blank so that anyone from any country can view your page.
- Age Restrictions: With the recent COPPA thing, I set this to 18 years or older. No one under 18 will hire me to walk their dog plus they probably aren’t interested in my page anyway.
- Page Moderation: To block posts with certain words. No need if you set the profanity filter below.
- Profanity Filter: I set it to Strong. It’s my business and I don’t want anyone commenting with profanity on MY page.
- Similar Page Suggestions: Check the box on this one so that your page is included in Recommended pages.
- Page Updates: Not sure what it is but I checked the box for this one.
- Post in Multiple Languages: I skipped this one but you may want to check this one if it applies to your business.
- Translate Automatically: Turn this On.
- Comment Ranking: Turn it On.
- Content Distribution: I left this unchecked which means people can download my images.
- Download Page: Not important.
- Merge Pages: Not sure why you would do this unless you set up your tabs wrong.
- Remove Page: This is to DELETE your page – don’t do it unless you do not want the page anymore.
- Live Commentary: No clue what this one is.
8 important fields and settings for this tab
- GENERAL > Description: Write a succinct description of your business
- GENERAL > Categories: Start typing “dog” or “pet” and select the categories that apply to your business. I chose “pet sitter” and “dog walker”.
- CONTACT > Phone Number: Make it easy for potential clients to contact you by adding your phone number here. Next 2 are also under CONTACT.
- Website: Add the home page of your website here or leave blank if you do not have a website yet.
- Email: Enter the email address for people to contact you. Don’t use your personal email. Get a second Gmail account for this.
- LOCATION > Address: You enter your address even if you do not board pets at your place. Skip this if you are uncomfortable putting that information on the internet.
- LOCATION > Service Area: If you don’t add your address, then definitely add the neighborhood or city of your service area.
- Hours: Set the hours that you are available for walks or sitting visits. Set each day individually if weekends are different than weekdays.
I set the following options to “On”
- Use the Return key to send messages: This sets the ENTER key to send the message.
- Help people start a conversation with your Page: I’m not sure what it does but I turned it on.
- Starting a Messenger Conversation – Show a greeting: “Hi ‘username’! Thanks for getting in touch with me on Messenger. Please send me any questions you may have.” This is just an example of an automatic greeting after someone sends you a message.
I turned all options “On” and chose the following option:
Get a notification each time there is activity on your Page or an important Page update. This is the first option under the heading “On Facebook”.
Obviously, turn off any option that you do not want to be notified about.
Set your time zone here. Also, turn “On” Reminders under Appointment Messaging and both options under Appointment Notifications.
But the most important section is under Services List > Show Services. Not sure why this is in the Appointment Settings section, but I added 3 services: Dog Boarding, Dog Walking and Pet Sitting. I then added a brief description and the rates for each (see image above).
Cover photo “trick”
The free business page on Facebook does not allow you to add different rates for each of your services, like different pet sit or dog walk lengths or boarding cats or puppies.
To get around that, try doing what I did – add pertinent text to your cover photo. As you can see in the image of my cover photo below, I highlighted my 15-minute walk (my preferred walk length). I also added my email address though I typed a fake address for the image below. And you can see the image of my service area as well.
I added my business name and logo in black to fill the negative space. It’s not a great graphic design but then I’m not a graphic designer. I’ll figure out how to make it better the more times I look at it.
Use either Canva or the free program Inkscape to create your cover photo (I use Inkscape). The maximum cover photo dimensions are 820 px wide x 312 px high. Check out all the specs for the cover photo and profile photo on the Cover Photo Help Page.
Tips to get the most out of your page
Here is a screenshot of the menu options on my Home page. Notice how I have Services and Posts directly under the Home link. You can change the order in Templates and Tabs mentioned above.
Here are 10 important tips to get the most out of your Facebook business page:
1) Pin an informative post: Consider writing a post with a dog photo, your rates, brief FAQ section, etc. If you pin it to the top, it will always be the first post first-time visitors will see. This is another work-around for the free business page Facebook offers.
2) Fill out the About page: This is where people can see where you are located, business description, hours, email address, website link and more.
3) Services tab: I can’t stress enough how important this is.
4) Consider creating a video with a dog you walk. This makes you a real person and shows experience.
5) Write posts for your page and include great photos and graphics. If you have a website with a blog, then you can share them on your page. Otherwise, create posts just for Facebook.
6) Contact me, Share, Like, etc: Pick the call-to-action that you feel would be best for you. I prefer the Contact Me option.
7) Create a Facebook group for pet lovers and invite pet owners from your area.
8) Client reviews! You have to get your clients to give you 5-star reviews on Facebook. Bribe them if you have to.
9) Use your business name in your URL: You can set this up when you create your page. If you already created one, go to Page > About > and click Edit next to username field. Then change and click create username. I think you can only do this one time so choose wisely.
10) Custom Facebook tab: A testimonials tab would be my first choice. Use your client reviews with a photo of them or their pets.
Don’t wait. Make creating a Facebook business page for your dog walking or pet sitting business a top priority. Let it work for you while you are working. Take a look at my article Dog Walking Business Online Presence for more insights.