24 Feb How to set up a Facebook Page for your Municipality
Lately we’ve helped a few municipal administrators and planners to set up a Facebook page so that they can communicate on the ubiquitous platform. It has been particularly useful for enabling residents, municipal staff and planning teams to communicate and share ideas.
Why use Facebook for a Municipal planning platform?
After evaluating some of the commercial software platforms that are available today, we made a decision to recommend using Facebook for a couple of key reasons:
- Facebook allows you to keep residents up-to-date via a platform that most of them know and use. We are able to provide event information, add progress reports, solicit feedback and share photos and urban design and planning concepts.
- We didn’t see a sufficient value or feature advantage from the paid platforms that outweighed what can be done on Facebook.
- Once the planning project is over, Facebook can continue to be used by the community for general communication and a variety of other activities.
The simple fact is that many residents already use the platform regularly so promoting engagement is easier through Facebook. We’re also betting that, as we use it more, we’ll be able to enhance our planning projects by using the platform and, in all likelihood, Facebook will continue to add features that will enable us to improve citizen engagement over time.
How to set up your community page
Below is a step-by-step process to get started. We’ll try to keep it up-to-date but, because Facebook is always changing its user interface, you may find things not quite the same when you read this. If that happens, we’d appreciate an email letting us know that we need to make an update. Onward…
- Log in to Facebook using your personal account.
- Click on the tiny triangle at top right in the menu bar. Select Create Page from the drop-down menu that appears.
- On the Create a Page screen, click on Company, Organization or Institution.
- From the drop-down menu that appears, select a category that you think best suits your community. Most of our clients will use Government Organization or Organization. I doesn’t matter too much what you select here. Type the name of your community in the Company Name field. Click Get Started.
- Next you’ll be asked to complete four sections to get started. You can do this now or you can skip ahead and complete that information at another time. The four sections are:
- About – you can add a few sentences about your community. You can also choose a unique Facebook web address to make it easier for people to find your Page (this can only be changed once, so choose wisely.)
- Profile Picture – You can add your logo/seal at this point or you can do it later. It should be a square shape with dimensions of 180px x 180px.
- Add to Favorites – this just adds your new Page to your personal account’s favorites. This is a good idea if you want to have quick access to the page from your personal account.
- Preferred Page Audience – Although this can be a great tool to use for certain circumstances, you shouldn’t customize this section at all. Your community is likely to have a diverse range of residents so you don’t want to filter out anyone from participating.
- Click Save if you’ve added any information in any of these sections. Click Skip if you want to do this later.
- Your Page should now be live. At this point you will want to start adding content.
How to add administrators or editors to your organization’s Facebook Page
We often manage our client’s Page during a planning project so we can add information directly to Facebook Page. To enable this, you will need to provide admin permissions to another person as follows:
- Click Settings at the top of your Page.
- Click Page Roles in the left column.
- If the person is your Facebook friend, begin typing their name and select them from the list that appears. If the person isn’t your Facebook friend, type their email address.
- It’s likely you’ll want to select either Admin or Editor to select a role from the drop-down menu. If you give someone Admin role they’ll have the same permissions as you. If they’re an Editor they have reduced capabilities.
- Click Save and enter your password to confirm.