How to Enhance Your Facebook Page
Learn five ways to improve your company’s Facebook Page.
There's a lot of confusion about Facebook Pages versus profiles and even more confusion about how to enhance them with your images, content, and branding.
Refresher: What is a Facebook Page?
Just as a refresher, let me define a Facebook Page versus a Facebook profile versus a Facebook Group. A Facebook Page, sometimes called a Fan Page, is the only part of Facebook accessible to the general public--that is, non-members. Profiles are what individual people set up on Facebook. Groups are what you set up when you want to build a community and manage an ongoing discussion. Facebook Pages, profiles, and Groups all look practically identical with Tabs that lead to individual sub-pages, including the Wall and Info.
However, there are subtle differences between all three of them that usually only Facebook knows about and the rest of us have to figure out!
What are Enhanced Facebook Pages?
Enhanced Facebook Pages are pages that contain additional customized tabs and sub-pages - which are the pages represented by each tab - that are programmed with a combination of HTML and Facebook Markup Language or FBML. FBML is Facebook's proprietary coding language. The content for FBML-programmed sub-pages must be hosted on a Web server since Facebook does not offer this service.
There are applications that exist to help you create semi-custom tabs on your Facebook page with corresponding sub-pages, however, you can do a lot more with a tailor-made FBML page. There are currently, however, a dearth of skilled FBML programmers who are also designers, or who work closely with designers who understand the ins and outs of Facebook Page development.
How to Enhance Your Facebook Page
Let me give you a few quick and dirty tips to enhance your Facebook Page; I’ll also mention a few custom Pages that you should really look at to get an idea of what is possible.
Extended Info. Go to Applications on Facebook while you're in the admin area of the Facebook Page you want to enhance. Search for Extended Info, and you'll find an application that works like a template where you can add content modules such as text, images, and other things to simulate a custom FBML page. It takes a while to get the hang of this app, and it won't allow you to change the Tab name to anything other than Extended Info, however, it's a good start to customizing your Page.
Twitter App. There's a company called Involver that has a number of free apps you can use to enhance your Page. I recommend their Twitter app which will stream your Twitterfeed into a new sub-Page with a tab that reads “Twitter.” Another app by Involver is...
YouTube App. Though Facebook does have a Video tab that you can add to your Page quickly and easily, if you already have your videos on YouTube, you can kill two birds with that proverbial stone using Involver's YouTube app. Other free apps by the company include a Photo Gallery, Slides, RSS Feed, Flickr, PDFs, and File Sharing. Pro Apps available for a fee include Signup, Coupons, Polls, and a Welcome Tab. Premium apps for an even bigger fee include Facebook Connect, Social Quiz, Social Flash Game, and Flash Embed.
And just in case you're wondering, no, Involver didn't pay me to mention them nor are they a paid sponsor of this show but they should be. I just really like what they're doing.
Networked Blogs If you want a Tab that reads “Blog” and that feeds your blog RSS into a sub-Page, you can add your blog to the Networked Blogs application. The only pain is that you have to verify your blog by either manipulating your blog code or by inviting your friends to verify you. Once you verify your blog, however, the Blog tab is a great addition to any Facebook Page. Another app you might want to use for a blog tab is Blog Box but the tab will read Blog Box.
Slideshare App. I love Slideshare, and I try to diligently upload the slides from all of my presentations--when I have slides--to my Slideshare account to share with the whole wide world or at least whoever is interested. Now don't get me wrong--I hate slides for presentations and am a much better presenter when speaking off the cuff. Still, Slideshare is such a useful resource for sharing information. If your company makes presentations, you can add a Slideshare tab to your Page and show off your slides.
If you want to take a look at some nicely designed FBML-enhanced Facebook Pages, check out the Pages for The Gap, Dove, Starbucks, and Coca Cola to start.
Bottom Line: Why settle for plain vanilla default Facebook Pages when you can add a few bells and whistles that actually have value for branding and engagement. The Digital Marketer says enhance your Facebook Page today!
That's all we have time for on this show.
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Involver Apps Gallery - http://www.involver.com/pages/gallery.html
The Gap - http://www.facebook.com/gap
Dove - http://www.facebook.com/dove
Starbucks - http://www.facebook.com/starbucks
Coca Cola - http://www.facebook.com/coke
Aliza Sherman's Slideshare - http://www.slideshare.net/alizasherman
Extended Info - http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2374336051
Networked Blogs - http://www.networkedblogs.com/
Facebook image courtesy of Shutterstock