With 500 million registered users, there’s never been an online platform with as much marketing potential as Facebook. Nowadays all the buzz around promoting your business or brand is focused towards Twitter, but Twitter is relatively small when it comes to audience size and isn’t a platform that offers much leeway to promote your brand. Facebook on the other hand is in its prime and is ready to be taken advantage of.
With the ability to get vanity usernames & URLs, flexible profile pictures, extremely customizable welcome pages, ability to have a conversation that is not limited by character size and a bunch of apps and an option to add custom coded apps, it is now possible to promote your brand left, right and center via Facebook fan pages.
After the jump we will touch down the tip of the Facebook fan page customization iceberg.
Static FBML is a simple app that enables newbies, non programmers and developers alike to spice up their Facebook fan pages. FBML stands for Facebook Markup Language which is what is used to develop apps that run on Facebook.
Adding FBML To Fan Page
The journey towards adding Static FBML begins with logging into our Facebook account & searching for it. Alternatively, you can click here to go directly to the app.
You can add the app to your fan page by clicking on Add to My Page link on the top left hand corner.
If you have more than one fan page to manage from the same account, select the one where you want to add the app. Once you select the page, there will not be any confirmation or further instructions from Facebook. Just click on Close and follow our instructions.
Tabs in the Facebook fan page are basically apps. In addition built in Facebook tabs (apps), we can add our custom code or third party apps to enhance user experience.
Creating a Tab
The first step to create a custom app using code from Static FBML is to create a new tab. To create a new tab, go back to your fan page and click on Edit Page in the top left corner.
Under Applications section, we can see FBML listed. Click on the Application Settings option associated with the FBML app to bring up a prompt which prompts us to choose between a box and a tab.
Add the tab to the fan page and click Okay. You’ve now just created a brand new tab to your Page. The tab will be blank by default and let us proceed towards customizing it.
Creating a Landing Page
To stand out among the other clueless brands, I advise you to get yourself a custom landing or welcome page. Instead of letting your fans directly access the usual wall posts & feed page once they click the Like button in your webpage, a landing page with images, offers or contests will create a great first impression on your brand’s online campaign.
Creating a Welcome Page is a piece of cake with Static FBML. Be sure to create a image that truly represents the spirit of your brand and upload it in image hosting sites or in your own server.
The image width should not exceed 520px. While there is no restriction on the height of the image, a design that does not need much scrolling is ideal.
Now navigate to the FBML application by using the Edit Page option mentioned as before. Click on the Edit option under FBML to bring up the Edit FBML page.
Add an appropriate title to the landing page. Now let us add the image I have uploaded at Imageshack. Since I am not a programmer, I just copied the HTML code provided by Imageshack, pasted in the FBML code section and saved it. If you want to link to your webpage, remove the imageshack.us and replace with your domain name under the target href.
All common HTML image tags, linked or otherwise, will work when added into Static FBML.
Navigate to your fan page and you will see the new tab title and not FBML. If you click on the tab, the prospective landing page with the uploaded image will be displayed.
Time to make this tab the default landing page. Use the Edit Page link and navigate to the Wall settings section. Click Edit and choose the newly created tab from the drop down to be the default landing page. Voila! Now we have brand spanking new welcome page in line with your tastes.
Your profile picture can be as large as 200 x 600 px. Instead of the usual square sized images, you can opt for sky scrappers to add to the uniqueness.
Adding a MP3 player to Fan Page
Do you want to play the songs of your band for your fans in your fan page? Create a tab using the same steps as before using Static FBML and add the following code:
<fb:mp3 src=”http://host.com/file.mp3″ title=”Song Name” artist=”Song Artist” album=”Album Name”/>
Add the location of the file, the meta data and your visitors can sway will they network on the fan page.