Integrate Facebook in your business

 Building your business in facebookBuilding your business in face-book - The first step in building your business’ Face-book presence is to decide on your strategy for incorporating Facebook into your overall business and marketing plan, as described in the previous lesson. The next is to fully understand what you’re working with, so let’s take a look at the basic framework of a Facebook Page and start drafting what you want to see on yours. Remember that a fan page for a business, organization, or cause is very much like an individual’s Profile page, with just a few differences.

It’s meant to showcase your Wall, which displays the stream of postings that people who have Liked your Facebook Page see in their News Feeds.

  • Your logo. You get a large area in the upper-left area for your logo. Many fan pages use a modified logo that urges the visitor to click the Like button for the page.
  • Left-hand rail. Except for your logo, the left side of the page, called the “left-hand rail” by Web designers, is Facebook content. It shows typical fan page links, a few of your followers (the people who have Liked the page), and related photos.
  • Title. The title of your page is the name of your business.
  • Like button. In a way, this is the central focus of the page because getting people to Like your page helps you interact with them regularly on Facebook.
  • Tabs. You specify the tabs shown. The first tab is your Wall, made up simply of postings that you’ve put up using the business’s account. Other tabs can be named whatever you’d like and hold various content, as described in this lesson.
  • Page content. The content underneath each tab is different, which you specify. Your Wall content is built one posting at a time and also includes Likes and comments from people. These bring your Wall to life, so try to get comments. Other pages can be standard Facebook content or can be semi-customized.
  • Right-hand rail. The right-hand rail is made up of Facebook Ads, often targeted to people who advertisers assume are likely to visit a fan page of this type.
You can also add extra tabs to your Wall that hold various kinds of content. With the additional tabs, a Facebook Page is like a fairly simple website within Facebook. The Facebook Page has several links down the left-hand side, and each link contains a single page of content.

If you’re a solo act, you can plan your fan page all by yourself. If you’re part of a larger business, you should get input from others.

In either case, you can also reach outside of your business, to customers, other business owners, and knowledgeable friends and family for ideas and feedback.
Your Wall will evolve by itself.

As you plan your fan page, though, you’ll want to launch the page with a few other sections, each having suitable content. The sections can be the same as or different from those on your website.

Facebook allows you to create the content for your fan page using a kind of drag-and-drop interface that I cover in some detail in the next .

Following are some ideas for choosing and filling in tabs for your
Face-book Page—intended only as a starting point for a brainstorming session.

Typical Website Tabs
A typical website includes tabs that you can adapt for your fan page:
  • Home tab. For your fan page, your Home tab is your Wall. You can choose a different default tab if you like, though. The Amazon.com fan page, has an entire tab just to encourage people to click the Like button for the page and made that page the default page for visitors. The page had about 500,000 Likes last I checked.
  • Contact information. Difficult-to-find contact information is the number one complaint of visitors to traditional websites. Make complete contact information including the URL of your website; your phone number; a map; and anything else that helps people reach you super easy to find on your Facebook Page.
  • About the company. This is information about who you are, where you’re based, and so on. You can jazz this up for Facebook; include something interesting about your philosophy, feature a quote from a younger employee, and so on.
  • Press releases and announcements. Have a dedicated place for news such as new hires, promotions, events, and so on. You can tie this into the Facebook Profile for the business an alert goes out as a status update and links back to your fan page for more information.
  • Products and/or services. You want to sell, of course, but you should use a lighter touch on Facebook. So consider including simple highlights of what you sell, perhaps in the form of fun facts. Choose an approach that’s likely to promote engagement in the form of feedback and comments, not just sales. (You’re likely to end up with more sales that way.)
Freeform Pages Using FBML

When you create a typical web page, you use HTML HyperText Markup Language. This is a kind of code embedded in the text on your Web page that controls how the page is structured.

You might not see the actual HTML, though. Many web design tools hide HTML from you and allow you to use word-processing type controls to bold words, create bulleted or numbered lists, and so on. The design tool actually creates the HTML code to make it all happen for you.

Facebook also allows you to create freeform content within your tabs, using a version of HTML called Facebook Markup Language, or FBML.

An FBML page can be up to 760 pixels wide—more than half the width of a typical widescreen laptop (which is typically 1280 pixels)—and can even have Flash animations embedded in it.

This article for the benefit of the scientific source: Facebook, Wikipedia and other sources scattered

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