Facebook profiles were designed for social purposes. Makes sense. Some folks who are incorporating business purposes through their profiles are risking problems with Facebook, including termination. Ouch.
Pages are like free mini Web sites. There is also the benefit of Page content being indexed by Google, whereas regular profiles are hidden in the Facebook walled garden.
Here are 10 Facebook Page tips to help you get started and to customize your look and feel. If you have others, share them in a comment below:
1. Lengthen your photo/image. Bigger may be better. If you submit a large photo or image, Facebook will crop it. Here’s a trick. If you make the image only 180 pixels wide, Facebook let’s you make it 540 pixels in length (this is a recent change from 200 pixels by 600 pixels). This is valuable real estate for brand promotion. Samples are here: http://www.facebook.com/vitaminwater and http://www.facebook.com/Cheetos.
2. Create custom Pages/tabs. Simply by adding HTML code, you can create wonderful interactive and graphic custom pages, which are contained in tabs. You can create pages for interactive ads, calls to action, announcements, blog posts, anything. First you have to add the Static FBML application. Once the app is added, simply click "Edit Page," then "Edit FBML" to title your page and add your code. Believe it or not, you can copy the code from your blog, such as the "About Me" page or a blog post, and display it on your Facebook page.
Note: If you want to create more interesting interactive pages, reach out to a person who knows coding for Facebook — a guy like Mike Mueller.
Tip: Use the Facebook Developer FBML Test Console tool to preview how your code will display.
3. Choose a landing page for visitors. The default setting on Facebook pages is the Wall. Yuck. You can change this by clicking "Edit Page," then "Edit Wall Settings" to make any page the landing page, such as a custom page you created. Simple.
4. Create events. Create event tabs that include descriptions, images, links and video. You can invite Facebook contacts to your events. Once you have the event, you can display photos and video on your event page. You can share the event links in e-mails or on your blog or Web site. I am volunteering for an event in Westchester, N.Y., so I helped out with the event tab (I like the pic).
5. Add blog posts manually or automatically. You can add your blog posts to your wall manually by clicking link and adding the blog post URL. If done manually, you get to describe the post in your own words (keywords). Since Facebook pages are indexed by Google, a keyword title may help.
If you’d rather have your blog posts automatically display on your page, add your blog to the Networked Blogs application. …CONTINUED
Tip: You can tag friends in updates of photos, videos and blog posts simply by typing "@." This attracts attention to your page and fosters interactivity. If you could tag non-friends, it would be much better. Hey, Facebook, can you allow this?
6. Add profile HTML or profile box. These two similar applications let you create interactive displays, or calls to action, on your personal profile. Profile HTML and Profile Box both accept HTML. Gigya My Stuff is a similar application for your page.
These applications make it easy to display images that can link to your social media accounts, your blog, Web site, your Facebook page, or anywhere else. I added an e-mail subscription sign up box, a Card.ly link, contact form link, and more. See an example of how I used the Profile HTML and Profile Box to expand my profile. You are, of course, free to use your own creativity to make your profile more interactive.
7. Add Your LinkedIn profile. A LinkedIn application lets you add an icon to your Facebook profile that connects to your LinkedIn profile. You can also get the badge code at LinkedIn and add it to your Facebook profile via Profile HTML or Gigya My Stuff (see No. 6 above for links).
8. Display property listings. This can be done with the listing Web site RealBird and Realtor.com. There are probably others. RealBird lets its "Pro" subscribers add their listings for display on their Facebook page, simply by embedding their widget code in a Static FBML application. Here is a sample page using Realtor.com.
9. Add a storefront to your page. Payvment lets you add a free storefront page to your Facebook page where you can display items for sale. It uses PayPal to process the payment, so you’ll have to have a PayPal account.
10. Choose a vanity URL for your Page. Once you get 26 fans you can pick a vanity URL.
Tip: A quick way to get to your pages is to bookmark them. They will appear in an icon in a toolbar at the bottom of Facebook, even if you are at your profile. You can also bookmark Facebook applications.
11. Bonus. Check the Facebook blog for additional tips. You can also share by adding comments. How the heck do I get on that blog?
Please share your Facebook Page applications, tips, or secrets in the comments section below.
Joseph Ferrara is publisher of the Sellsius Real Estate Blog and a partner in TheClozing.com, a real estate news aggregator site. He is an attorney with 25 years of experience in New York, and he also coaches agents on the use of blogging and social networking.
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