Create Facebook Fan Page That is Welcoming to New Visitors

July 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Design & Usability, Social Media

Raise your hand if visitors to your Facebook Fan Page see your Wall comments when they arrive at your page. Now raise your hand if visitors see a well executed welcome page (and no, the Information tab does not count as a well executed welcome page).

If your visitors see a well thought out welcome page, then this post isn’t for you.

If you’re wondering how you can get your Facebook page to default to a tab other than the Wall and how you can use this functionality to keep new fans or customers, then this is the post for you.

With FBML and a few Wall settings, you can turn your Facebook page from a social media dumping ground into a fun (or serious) extension of your brand.

Here’s how:

Create your welcome page. Depending on the service(s) or good(s) you’re providing, your welcome page can include a brief introduction about you or your site. It can provide instructions for where else on your Facebook page visitors can get good deals, chat, download coupon codes or buy your products (Starbucks’ fan page does a good job of this). You can also point visitors in the direction of products they can purchase or how to connect with you in other ways (1-800Flowers.com fan page does a good job of this). Your welcome page will need to be created in HTML (which is what FBML supports). If you’re not familiar enough with HTML, you can consult with your website designer or use one of the Fan page templates available online.

1800-flowers-facebook-welcome

Add the Static FBML application to your page. (Click on the link to be taken to the page). A window prompt will ask you which page you’d like to add the application to. Select the page you’d like to add the app to.

FBML-for-facebook

Adjust the FBML Application. Once you’re back on your Facebook Fan page, you’ll need to find the “Edit Page” selection (usually directly under the image you have set for your site). Once you’ve arrived at your list of page applications, find the FBML Application and click the “Edit” option.

Change the name of the Tab. It will default to FBML; however, you can change it to something like “Welcome,” “Who We Are,” “Discounts,” etc. Paste your HTML code in the box provided and click save.

Once you’re back to your fan page’s edit page, click on the Application Settings option in the FMBL box (now called whatever you named it in the step above). Application Settings allows you set the your FBML up as a box and/or tab on your page. If you select Tab, it will stay as a Tab on the top of your page. If you select Box it will not.

Now that you have your FBML set up, you’ll need to make your new welcome page the default landing page.

To do this, head back to your page’s Edit page. Find Wall Settings and click Edit.

You’ll be given a number of options that you can select. To make your new FMBL page your landing page, select the FBML page you created. Once you’ve made your selection, hit save and voila. You’ve just created a new and improved landing page for your visitors.
facebook-wall-editing

Facebook’s New Privacy Settings: What Does this Mean for You?

May 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Social Media

The social media world has been abuzz these past few weeks over Facebook’s recent unveiling of new privacy settings on its ever-growing popular social sharing site.

Facebook recently made the decision to allow different levels of privacy for its account users. From a “please just update my family members” option to a “let it all hang out” option, Facebook believed it had found a happy medium for those users who like to share a little or a lot.

Thanks to a few new Facebook APIs sites like Time and Pandora (among many others), are using new Facebook Connect-type options to allow brand fans to see what they have in common with other brand fans. Click on an article about The Fray on Time — plan to see all of Time’s other Fray Fans in the Facebook window.

As a e-commerce retailers, this could have some great implications. If you don’t already have a “see who else likes this” option on your site, these APIs could be the answer you’re looking for.

On the other hand, you could risk losing current or prospective buyers if they feel as though what they’ve bought or looked at won’t be kept private.

As a response to the new “lack of privacy” options, some Facebook users have taken down their pages, shuttered their accounts and returned to a Facebook-free world. Others are withholding information, such as which brands they like, while others are continuing on as if nothing ever changed.

What does that mean for you?

That all depends on what you’re doing with your Facebook brand page. You may notice a slight drop in fans due to the mass exodus of “We’re not going to take it” users. Then again, if Mark Zuckerberg is right and there really is no such thing as real privacy, you may start to see an increase in people liking your brand. Either way, I wouldn’t count on Facebook closing its doors any time soon. I also wouldn’t begin taking down my Fan/Brand pages anytime soon either.

Facebook appears to be having a bit of a midlife crisis right about now. Like any good partner, it’s best to just sit back and watch and intervene when things start to get out of control.

Get Your Mobile Feet Wet by Using QR Codes

May 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Marketing Strategies, Social Media

qrcode

If you’ve been entertaining dreams of taking your website mobile, but weren’t sure where to start, consider getting your feet wet with QR Codes.

In the simplest terms, QR Codes are the 21st century version of the bar code. Standing for “Quick Response,”  these two-dimension pieces of matrix code are programmed to be used at high speeds.

QR codes got their start in the manufacturing industry, where users would point, scan, select and move on. Soon, retailers and other businesses caught on to the QR trend and began using them on everything from magazine ads and business cards to candy wrappers and store windows.

You may be wondering:  How would I scan one of these codes if I don’t have a trusty scanner like I see at the store?

I’m happy to say that if you have a mobile phone with a camera and a QR reader application, then you’ve got yourself a scanner.

Creating and using QR Codes is extremely easy.  All you need is a QR Code Generator. I’m personally a fan of Kaywa.com (http://qrcode.kaywa.com); however, if you search for QR Code Generator in your favorite search engine you will likely find one that suits your needs.

Once you’ve arrived at your QR Code Generator page, decide what you want the eventual QR code to point to. Do you want to point people to your website? Maybe your phone number? Perhaps a text message? Whatever you choose, include that information and then choose the size of code you want. The code you see above is a size L; there are smaller sizes and an extra large size available.

After you’ve indicated the size and destination of your code, select the Generate button. You’ll see code that you can then plug into a website, blog, or other documents.

You can also save the image (right click > Save As) to use the QR code on a business card or other print out.

Now that you’ve created the QR code, how can you use it to go mobile?

Remember, I said we’re just getting our feet wet. These codes won’t magically produce a mobile app for you. What they will do is help act as an extra calling card or marketing tool for potential customers who can’t make a purchase right that very instant.

As an e-commerce retailer, consider adding QR Codes to specific pages or products on your site (for example: discounted merchandise, new products, a “Don’t want to miss this!” product or page). Again, think of QR codes as an electronic flier that your customer can have handy on their mobile phone.

If you want to test if your codes are working, consider creating a special URL on your site for QR Code related items. Anyone that arrives at that page did so through a QR code.

This might be a little new fandangled for most people, but QR codes are quickly becoming the next big thing according to many industry experts.

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