How to Enhance Your Facebook Page
Learn about advanced features that can improve your company's Facebook Page.
Hi there, The Digital Marketer here, ready to help you put the power of the Internet and technology to work for your business.
I want to talk to you about Enhanced Facebook Pages. In case you don't know this, Facebook offers Pages to companies, organizations, and anyone who wants a business-oriented and publicly-accessible presence on Facebook. Facebook Pages look very similar to personal profiles and their default settings are quite limited. But Enhanced Facebook Pages? Well, they can be much...spiffier!
What is on a Facebook Page?
By default, Facebook Pages have several tabs that lead to some basic features. The available features are often based on the category you chose--such as nonprofit or business like a restaurant--when you initially set up your Facebook Page.
Basic Facebook Page features include:
The Wall, the interactive page where you can post status updates and where others can comment on your posts. You can put very little branding and very few links on this page, and if you choose it as the landing page where your visitors are first directed, it can be very confusing to them because the Wall does little to explain who you are, what you do, and why people should become a fan of your company, organization, or even your product.
The Info tab allows you to include very basic, plain-vanilla text and a few links. You’ll want to use this section to offer your company overview or product description, business hours - if relevant - and mission.
The Photos tab, well that's self-explanatory and is where you can photos or the Video tab where add Videos that you want to showcase.
The Boxes tab often contain content from applications that you can add to your Facebook Page. Applications are additional content or multimedia modules similar to what you can add to your personal Facebook profile, however, not all apps on Facebook work with Facebook Pages.
The Discussions tab consists of simple text message boards for discussion among fans. If you are really looking to build community on Facebook, however, Groups are currently a better feature for community discussions.
How to Enhance your Facebook Page
If you want to start off with a cheap and easier option for enhancing your Facebook Page, explore the Facebook Applications and see what options you have available for adding interactivity and functionality. If you're in Edit mode on your Facebook Page, just browse Applications.
Applications to Enhance Facebook Pages
Some applications I've added to Facebook Pages that I manage include:
Causes - If you are a nonprofit or if you support a particular cause, you can add the Causes application to show your support and invite others to participate.
Polls - You can add a tab to lead to the Poll application where you can publish polls and share them with your Page fans and Facebook friends.
Networked Blogs - Feed your blog or blogs into your Facebook Page and list your blog on Facebook through this application.
Note that not all applications can be added to your page as Tabs.
More Advanced Tips to Enhance Facebook Pages
To really enhance your Facebook Pages, you will have to use FBML or Facebook Markup Language, which is Facebook's set of markup tags similar to HTML but proprietary. If you don't have the time or the inclination to learn FBML, you can use an application called Extended Info which is a little harder to configure than most Facebook apps, however, it gives you a little more flexibility and features than the default Info page. Extended Info includes the ability to add images, video, and additional text blocks as well as FBML tags.
Most FBML programming is handled by programmers--particularly Facebook apps developers. The results of a skilled FBML programmer can be truly impressive. Check out the Facebook page for The Gap, for example, to see how they've broken out of the limitations of basic Facebook Pages. Some people wonder if it makes sense to make your Facebook Page look more like a branded web site, but my feeling as a marketer is any amount of seamless branding can't hurt.
Bottom Line: There are a number of ways you can add applications to enhance your Facebook Page to offer more branding and functionality, but FBML-powered Enhanced Facebook Pages are really the cats meow. Most of us, however, won't be figuring out FBML in the near future, so finding a good FBML programmer and designer could be the way to go.
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Facebook - http://www.facebook.com
The Gap Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/gap
Coca Cola Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/cocacola
American Eagle - http://www.facebook.com/americaneagleoutfitters
Victoria's Secret - http://www.facebook.com/victoriassecret
Dell for Small Business - http://www.facebook.com/dellsocialmedia
FBML Tutorials - http://developers.facebook.com/