Facebook is wildly popular. Kids flock there for a daily social fix. Grannies log in to see family photos, and Fortune 500 companys have caught on with decked out fan pages. Its usage is across the board, so its hard to grasp the sheer potential for business without some perspective. I grabbed some fun facts to illustrate this point.
- ‘1 out of every 8 minutes online is spent on Facebook’.
- ‘40% of Facebook’s user base is age 35+’
- ‘64% of Facebook users have become ‘fans’ of at least one company. ‘
- ‘US Internet users spend 3 times more minutes on blogs and social networks than on email.’
That’s gigantic. And good insight into how the world is changing the way they spend their time each day online. Even still, I dont need to convince you that if you have a business, it should own some Facebook real estate.
I’ll show you the right links, and how set it all up, but learning how to make a fan page on facebook goes beyond filling out basic information. So I’ll include a few tricks to make your fan page really shine.
HOWEVER. In order to amp up your fan page with custom content, we’ll need to create a facebook app (dont worry, its not hard) and this is only allowed through a personal account. So to stay in compliance, create a personal account first, then make your fan page. I know it might be a pain, but thems the rules.
Now that were all up to speed, sign in to your personal facebook account and we’ll get started.
How to Make a Fan Page on Facebook
Finding your way in facebooks everchanging landscape can be difficult. At the time of this writing, the correct link to create a fan page is here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
Here, click on your business type, choose a category, then name your business. The ‘name’ will show up as the name of your fan page. Create your fan page and verify your email.
Go through the steps of including your business information. Your basic fan page looks like the image below. Click on the ‘edit page’ or ‘edit info’ and go through the settings links to get a feel for whats there.
Make a Fan Page Image for Facebook
The #1 suggestion Facebook makes is to upload an image. This is your first opportunity to create a stand out fan page and really brand your company. Use that space wisely, because it will mold your fans first impression. Think about what your fans NEED to know about your business and include it in the image.
Because its an important first step, lets take a look and learn from the big boys. CSI Miami keeps it short, simple and to the point. A defining image of the show, their logo and where to find them offline. Simple, yet effective. Motorola takes it a step further by featuring products in their image. Dallas Cowyboys go all the way by running a contest, then pointing to that contest in their fan page image. Thats truly interactive and brilliant marketing from the start.
My fan page is a little different, intended to brand my website which promotes my individual services. Because the business is of a more personal nature (you’re hiring me personally through my website) I incorporated my photo, so potential Facebook clients can see who they’ll be working with. I also include my name in the photo because the page is named after my business and not myself.
Creating the Fan Page Image
Create an image 180 pixels wide. Image height is not fixed, but dont make it too tall because your tabs are located directly underneath. Keep at least the first couple tab icons visible without scrolling. Add your photo, logo and any pertinient information. When your image is just right, click on the ‘Upload an Image’ link in facebook and make it live!
To control the icon that shows when you post updates, go to ‘edit page’ > ‘profile picture’ then click ‘Edit Thumbnail’ and move the image to the desired spot.
Note: Every time you upload, facebook throws the image into your ‘profile pictures’ gallery. If you’d like to delete the mishaps, go to your page > photos > profile pictures. Inside each image, there’s a delete link.
Fan Page Tabs
‘Facebook Fan Page Tabs’ are the icon links in the left sidebar under the fan page image. When you click on each of these tabs, it loads different information. Facebook gives you power to customize the information you display with the ability to create custom tabs.You can also set your welcome page, or ‘default landing tab’ to load one of your custom tabs instead of your ‘wall’, so it will be the first thing visitors see when they come to your page. Featured content can be very powerful for your business.
The goal of a featured fan page tab is to create content that works for your business and is also useful to your fans. You might like to simply introduce your company by featuring what you do. I’ve also seen free giveaways, sign up forms, videos, and in the previous example, a contest. The sky is the limit in a custom tab. Facebook pulls this information from a real web page elsewhere on the internet, so whatever you can do on a regular webpage, you can do in a facebook tab. As long as the width of the page is confined to 520 pixels wide, you’re golden.
Creating Tabs on your Fan Page
To create the content that will appear inside your custom fan page tab, you’ll need the ability to either write an html page or customize a template, and be able to upload it to your web sites server. If you dont want to mess with html code, I offer a facebook template built into a wordpress theme to make it simple to create custom fan page content.
Create your content in html format max 520 pixels wide and upload it to your server. You’ll need to copy the url where the content is located so we can plug it into facebook by creating an application.
Creating the Facebook App to install a Fan Page Tab
If you go through the process once, you’ll have this down. But facebook doesnt explain the settings clearly, so I’ll show you exactly how to set it up in a video walkthrough.
Update! As of October 1st, 2011 Facebook requires all face book iframes be hosted on a secure server. Your webhost should offer an SSL for free. Host your facebook pages on an SSL to meet this requirement.
I hope this article was helpful. If you make your own fan page, leave a comment and link us there. Id Love to see it!