Facebook Fan Page Customization: Tips, Tricks, Applications

December 19, 2010 · 41 comments

by Dustin Betonio

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Facebook is the number one used social network in the world. There is a lot of potential for marketing on Facebook, but to get optimal benefit you want your page to stand out instead of looking like every other page. Having a Facebook fan page is a good way to promote your blog, your business or anything else you do in the online world. Further Facebook allow you to customize your fan pages a lot using their FBML language making it completely unique and perfectly aligned with your marketing strategy. For example it is possible to add forms to collect emails, paypal buy now buttons etc. Check out these 30 examples to get an idea of what is possible.

As Facebook’s user base increasingly grows larger (it just hit 500 million), so do the benefits of having a fan page to market your content. If you’re a frequent visitor of other peoples’ fan pages you may have noticed that it is more and more common that they are customized. It is not that difficult and you should consider giving it a try yourself. In this article I am going to show you how to customize your Facebook page using FBML aka Facebook Markup Language.


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Add Static FBML to Your Fan Page

FBML allows you to do add a lot of native Facebook functionality such as:

  • A Facebook Landing Page
    This is useful for leading people to a page you have designed for welcoming new potential followers. It will be added in the page tab.
  • HTML
    You can add more or less anything you can create with HTML. Good examples of this is adding an email newsletter opt-in form,
  • Share button
    You can add the “Share” button anywhere on your Facebook page, which allows users to post anything you designate on their wall.
  • Comments
    You can add as many comment boxes as you want, it can be one generic comment box for the page, or create comment boxes for multiple items that you have on your page (example: an e-commerce page might have a list of items, each of which could have their own commenting section).
  • Other good ideas: 7 FBML examples to rock your Facebook fan page.

First thing you’ll need to do is add Static FBML to your facebook fan page:

  1. Login to your Facebook account & Search for “Static FBML”

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2. Then click on the tab Add to My Page & Select the page.

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3. Once you’re back on your page you will notice there is a FBML tab next to Discussions. This means you are ready to proceed.

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Creating a Landing or Welcome Page

Hopefully you have an idea of what you want your page to look like with links of where you want your visitors to go. If not, no problem. Might be a good idea to open up your preferred photo editing application (e.g. Photoshop or Image Ready) and create a quick design of your new page. If you are promoting a web site or a blog through your fan page you could also use a screenshot of your site. Keep in mind the width of the page should be no wider than 520 pixels:

1.(Optional) Create an image with width 520px & appropriate height in Photoshop, Image Ready or similar application.

2.(Optional) Create a folder named “FBFP” at your web server & upload the image in that folder. This is needed as your image needs to available on the Internet and Facebook does not offer hosting. 

3.Now Navigate to your fan page & click on Edit Page tab below the Fan Page’s Profile Image.

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4. Find the Static FBML App under Applications and click on “Go to Application”.

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5. Edit The Page

Warning – you’ll need some HTML knowledge to edit the page, but you can also use a HTML editor as it makes it a lot easier. Click on edit and you’ll see this. I have added a very simple example to show you how HTML is added and that it works as intended. All it does is showing a screenshot I created of tripwire magazine and uploaded to my web server. Clicking in Save Changes will save the FBML Application settings.

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6. Now navigate to your Fan Page and you will see a new tab with the title you have written, by clicking on that tab you will see your image in that page. Result in my case looks like this.

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8. (optional) Now to set your new page as default landing page you need to click on the edit page tab as we have done in step 3 & locate Manage Permissions page and then set your default landing tab to the new page

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You are all done with creating a new & improved version of your fan page.

Applications for Customizing FaceBook Fan Page

Having complications in using FBML? You can still customize your fan page using various applications. Below are applications to make easier to share photos, videos, files, twitter. Depending on your needs

1. Clobby – Group Chat

Clobby

Clobby provides you with a way to chat with people from your own page within a simple-to-use chat tab that can be installed on any Facebook page: profile or fan. Your pages can become a platform for fans to chat, and invite more friends to join in. You’re thinking to yourself: oh, I have chat on Facebook, why would I need another one. Well, Clobby is also a collaborative Chat Room, meaning everyone can join and chat together, which is somewhat neat, somewhat annoying—your choice.

2. TabSite

tab Site

one of the few services that also allows you to create a Welcome tab on your personal Facebook account. So you don’t have to own a page to enjoy and utilize this feature or service.

3. Shoptab

ShopTab

anyone who wants to bring e-commerce to their Facebook page. The service will help you set up a mini-store under a shop tab on Facebook.

4. Static520

Static 520

Static 520 will give you the ultimate welcome page, there’s no question about it. In fact, it is almost like having a mini-site inside your Fan page. If you have a site, this might be too much for you. But if you don’t, and you have your own small business, and are looking for ways to market your brand, then Static520 is a very good place to start.

5. Poll Daddy

Poll-Daddy-Polls

With Poll Daddy application you can create polls which you can share it on your fan page to get feedbacks from the users & increase their participation on the fan page.

6. Tabfusion

tab Fusion

an ultimate tab suite for your fan page and profile. Unlike most of the services offered here, Tabfusion has an app for each tab you want to add. I believe that the Twitter tab is the most used one, and Tabfusion was the first to release this kind of tab. This is probably why it has more than 122,000 monthly active users alone. But there are many more tab apps to choose from and the integration is done in a flash.

7. Pagemodo

pagemodo

The editor is easy to understand and very pleasant to use. The problem however, might be the fact that Pagemodo creates a static page, which means only text and photos that are not really click-able. But I’ve heard that they are about to launch a new template that will allow you to add video as well, one that will play directly from the page.

8. Involver

Involver

Involver  provides professional application for your Facbook Fanpage which you can install with a single click. The involver has large application gallery which has RSS Feed, Twitter, YouTube Channel, Photo Gallery & many more applications. With the free account you can install only two applications.

9. RootMusic

Root Music

RootMusic uses a SoundCloud connection to promote music over a musician’s fan page on Facebook. RootMusic also allows the page creator to design it the way it suits him/her. The results can lead to a great looking page that will stand apart from other pages in Facebook, which is why musicians should use it. The creation process is pretty easy, it just may take some time to add all the information about yourself (bio, gigs date, etc). All you need to do is to connect through Facebook, and RootMusic will guide you from there.

10. NorthSocial

North Social

A service that can help to make your Facebook page look a lot better than it looks now. Their easy-to-use applications enable anyone to quickly create & manage a custom Facebook page. I didn’t like two things though. First is the fact that each service is individual so you can’t create a page that combines elements such as video and pictures. The other thing is that none of the plans offer you the ability to use the apps in all of your pages.

11. Tigerlily

Tigerlily-CMS

Tigerlily application is easy to implement & its has content management systems of its own which is easily controlled from fan-page. In Tigerlily CMS free version you can easily add different modules like text editor, video, image, twitter, RSS Feed, MP3 player, flickr & podcast.

Author : Dustin Betonio

Dustin Betonio is a Translation Management graduate at University of Mindanao. His earlier career was devoted on customer service outside the information highway. Currently studying Law in the same University.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Sergio Gómez June 6, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Excellent advice. It is important to have the right tools. I recommend you Trisocial ( http://www.trisocial.com ) they have an extensive suite of apps to customize the fanpages and to do contests and promotions. regards!

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Facebook Developer September 5, 2011 at 9:15 am

Brilliant tricks.

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tortia August 16, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Facebook developers have not provided anyway to get back to old Facebook profile

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Dhaval Pathak August 5, 2011 at 10:53 am

that was nice trick & application.

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david admin July 1, 2011 at 9:13 am

Facebook developers have not provided anyway to get back to old Facebook profile

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Developing Facebook Games App May 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Nice tips.

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Lynn Hope May 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Nice collection. We’d love you to add hostFB.com (own site) to the list since we provide fan page application hosting services for free.

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rihana0786 April 11, 2011 at 10:03 am

Your site is probably undoubtedly one of the finest . Total perception of the website is definitely lovely .
Locksmith Corona

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uda February 17, 2011 at 11:15 am

i’m facing the same problem with daniele but my admin layout is just the same as this tutorial. i’ve checked the link itself and the image appear in browser but it won’t show up in the tab. i dont know what is wrong. can u help?

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Daniele Rossi January 18, 2011 at 2:28 am

Weird – my jpg won’t show up in the tab and I don’t have the option to choose a default page. Does Facebook show admin pages differently?

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Lars January 18, 2011 at 7:22 am

Daniele I have a feeling that facebook may have different admin layout. If it is region or country borders or some other rule the use I don’t know.

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Steve Lindsley January 6, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I’m trying to set this up with a couple of FB pages I have, but am having trouble getting the html code to work right. I had hoped that I could simply copy the html code for a widget from SoundCloud (where I have some of my music), but it doesn’t seem to work right. Nothing shows up. Any suggestions?

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Lars January 6, 2011 at 8:07 pm

are you sure it is valid html you are putting in? If possible provide an example here

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abercrombie milano December 29, 2010 at 10:12 am

Terrific Post! I am really into social media right now (like everyone else out there!), especially Facebook Marketing and FBML. It can be hard to keep up to date with such a fast changing innovative topic but I manage to do it through the fan page factory

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Lars December 29, 2010 at 3:53 pm

thanks for the feedback abercrombie hope for your success in this area!

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Dani December 27, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Thanks! I like the screen shots showing how/where to find the landing tabs and and FBML info.

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Walter December 26, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Wow, I tried ‘Involver’ on my travel blog http://facebook.com/travelmemo for Twitter and Flickr streams and it worked immediately after a few clicks ;-)

The tool is very user friendly, it worked from the Involver website as well as from within Facebook. Very impressive usability…

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Coleen Sosa December 23, 2010 at 8:08 pm

I found another cool webapp called “Kontest” which is a great to build Contest promotions on Facebook : http://kontestapp.com

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Aaron December 21, 2010 at 1:01 am

Terrific Post! I am really into social media right now (like everyone else out there!), especially Facebook Marketing and FBML. It can be hard to keep up to date with such a fast changing innovative topic but I manage to do it through the fan page factory (http://facebook.com/thefanpagefactory ?) and blog posts exactly like yours. Tips and tricks rock. I am trying to learn as much as possible to put myself ahead of the curve. So thank you again!

Enjoy!

Aaron

Also, Have u heard anything about Lujure.com? The new fan page builder? Any reviews?!

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Max Mitchel December 20, 2010 at 9:10 pm

I found another cool webapp called “Kontest” which is a great to build Contest promotions on Facebook : http://kontestapp.com

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Lars December 21, 2010 at 7:39 am

Thanks for the tip!

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laptop_repairs_manchester December 20, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Great stuff, defo will try some of these out, many thanks

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Ryan Merket December 20, 2010 at 5:58 am

Great list! I’d be remiss not to mention Appbistro.com (disclosure: that’s my site!). We have the only directory of Facebook Fan Page applications, with reviews & ratings.

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ChrisK December 19, 2010 at 3:42 pm

@ 8.
Have no shown Default Landing Tab ? :( I’ll try on some languages.

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Lars December 19, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Are you looking in the Manage Permissions area?

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ChrisK December 21, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Yeah i looked there:
http://www.blaip.pl/no.jpg

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Mark "Chief Alchemist" Simchock December 19, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Just what the doctor ordered. Thanks again Dustin. As if I didn’t have enough to do already ;)

One (possible) caveat I’d like to add is to be aware that when using 3rd party applications (I believe) those apps sometimes “expose” what might be assumed to be private data about you (as admin), your page (e.g., visit) and/or those who engage your page (e.g. Like it).

I mention this because yesterday I went to enter a contest on a FB Page based form. After entering my details I got the infamous, “Is it OK if we look at everything else too” message. I, at that point, opted out.

It’s amazing that FB is 500+ million and counting. One can only hope they start to act more responsible. But with little or no competition there really doesn’t seem to be much of an incentive to do so, eh?

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