Following is a guest post by Rajeev Edmonds from New Delhi, who publishes a blog called Mintblogger (I highly recommend subscribing if you haven’t already).

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Facebook is undoubtedly one of the most popular social media services used by individuals, businesses and non-profits to connect with people. Groups and Pages are excellent options to leverage the large network and reach of this popular platform. Lately, Facebook Pages have become quite popular among businesses to show their presence in a much better way building engaging and long lasting relationships with users and fans. Let’s see how to make an interactive Facebook page that gives a reason to your fans to stay, interact and promote your cause.

Custom Image

Picture says a thousand words. Take a look at the Facebook page of Coca Cola. Not only does it brand the page, but it also grabs immediate attention of the visitor. Just as a successful blog needs a customized design, the key to a successful page is customized images that represents your brand.

How To Create A Powerful And Engaging Facebook Page

You can try out various Facebook profile photo hacks to get the required effect you want.

New Features

Since the revised version of Facebook pages has been launched in March 2009, the layout and features have changed dramatically.

Tabbed interface – allows you to group the content and applications as per your requirements. Not only you can edit the default tabs, but you can also add new tabs giving you complete control in its customization.

How To Create A Powerful And Engaging Facebook Page

You can freely drag them to arrange in required order. With new Facebook application standards in effect, almost every new application (internal or 3rd party) can be integrated with Facebook tabs. This opens endless opportunities to create customizable tabs with your choice of third party applications.

Direct feeds for fans – is another new feature that allows your fans to access the page updates directly from within their Facebook profile.

Multi-media integration – lets you embed audio/video content to the wall making it rich in content and more engaging for users. Facebook allows users to upload a video file of size up to 1 GB and supports 18 major video formats.

How To Create A Powerful And Engaging Facebook Page

Similarly, you can upload unlimited amount of audio content. With no restriction on the amount of upload, you can provide podcast series to your fans.

Events and Discussion Boards: Invite and Discuss

Events – serves two purposes. First they keep your fans updated with new happenings and cool offers in your kitty and secondly they help in expanding the reach of your page. Once a fan RSVP’s an event, it is visible in his profile. His friends can view the event and can further RSVP it creating a snowball effect. While creating an event, time-zone differences and dates play a big role. If you have the rough demographic data of your fans, you must create an event that can be attended by majority of fans.

How To Create A Powerful And Engaging Facebook Page

Discussion boards – have the power to develop a lively and interactive community around your page. Initiate some threads with eye-popping headlines that may entice the visitors to respond. Once you get a decent number of regular contributors to the forums it can help in keeping your page updated with fresh new content on regular basis.

Custom Page Settings: Personalize Visitors’ Experience

Facebook pages of Bon AppÈtit Magazine and Lucky Magazine presents a perfect example of custom landing pages for non-Fans enriched with multimedia content guiding the prospect to the main site and its products.

How To Create A Powerful And Engaging Facebook Page

Default Landing Tab – By default fans and non-Fans both land on wall tab. Through page settings you can easily set a custom landing page for non-Fans as shown above.

Sharing/Uploading Permissions – No community can survive unless there is enough room for everyone to contribute their part. You MUST allow your fans to write, post videos, photos and links on your wall. In case any fan misuse the permissions, you can selectively block him from posting. The more freedom you will give to the fans, the more they will feel at home.

Third Party Applications: Spice Up Your Page

There are tons of Facebook applications for enriching your page with desired content. These applications are powerful, easy-to-use and extend the functionality of the page. Here are some of the popular applications that can be used to customize your Facebook page.

How To Create A Powerful And Engaging Facebook PageProfile HTML: As the name implies, this excellent application lets you add arbitrary piece of HTML code to your page. You can even create a separate tab with this application filling it with different sections of customized HTML code. Through this powerful application you can create a separate landing tab for non-Fans filling it with subscription boxes, links, post excerpts, presentations, animation slides, promos and much more. It all depends on your imagination and your coding ability.

How To Create A Powerful And Engaging Facebook PageYouTube Box: Yet another popular application used by large number of Facebook users. Take a look at Discovery Channel YouTube Box. A perfect example of selecting the right kind of application to keep the readers engaged. YouTube Box allows you to embed videos from Google, Yahoo, Dailymotion, Bebo and many other video services. You can customize the layout (horizontal or vertical), can change the size of video and can give custom title and description to the video. It also supports 6 different themes to suit your taste and preferences. You can also upload a bunch of videos and can display them in random order as per your custom settings. If you have your own YouTube Channel, you can easily connect it to your Facebook page through this handy and easy-to-configure application.

How To Create A Powerful And Engaging Facebook PageBlog RSS Feed Reader: This is a must-have application for every Facebook page. Want to share your blog articles with your fans? Use this application to grab the latest content from your blog via feed and serve them in a presentable format to Facebook community. Not only it fills your page with regular updated content, but also drives traffic to your blog or website. BR Feed Reader supports all major feed formats and provides number of customization options. Custom image, a unique icon for each feed, separate/merged feeds and custom feed update intervals helps you configure the best combination for your Facebook page.

There are many more such applications in Facebook application repository that can be used to make an appealing Facebok page. In case you are still hungry for more and want to be a true Facebook ninja, head over to Facebook developers forums. Here you can find plethora of resources to customize and enhance your Facebook account.

Custom Facebook Page URL

Normally, a typical Facebook page has a long and cryptic URL that makes it difficult for you to aggressively market and promote it. Visitors also cannot remember such long cryptic urls. How about a short custom URL like http://facebook.dj/company-name? Use this excellent Memorable Address Facebook application to create short, memorable web address for your Facebook page.

General Page Management Tips

1. Do not experiment too much with your brand image on the page.
2. If possible keep a dedicated admin for discussion board.
3. Update photo and video tabs on regular basis (at least every fortnight).
4. Every quarter, create a poll to get your fans feedback about their views on various page elements.
5. Resist the temptation to integrate tons of applications in a single tab.
6. Do include a subscription box on the custom landing page for non-Fans.
7. Keep enhanced wall posting permissions open for all (fans).

Also check out John’s Facebook Booster offering.

Learn how one nonprofit increased their online fundraising by 1,400%!

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Learn the tools, tactics, messaging, and website tweaks that created thier explosive result!

Comments

  1. I am writing an application that displays quotes and wanted to know how I can make it fetch a random quote every time the profile is accessed instead of every time the displayPage() is viewed?

  2. Facebook Pages allow artists, businesses, and brands to showcase their work and interact with fans. These pages come pre-installed with custom functionality designed for each category.<arel=”follow”href=”http://www.revitol.ro/product/overview/Acnezine_Acne_Solution/”>acnee

  3. Facebook Pages allow artists, businesses, and brands to showcase their work and interact with fans. These pages come pre-installed with custom functionality designed for each category.<arel=”follow”href=”http://www.revitol.ro/product/overview/Acnezine_Acne_Solution/”>acnee

  4. Hi,

    I have a Facebook profile for my not for profit company. We have a Fans page as well as a Causes page. I would like to create a customised tab to show Donate.

    As our company is a Singapore based company we cannot make use of the Facebook donate function. So what I would like to do is to create a tab saying Donate and if fans click on that page, they will be brought to a page where they can download a donation form and send it in to us directly.

    I've seen the codes to create a tab but my question is where do I input those codes?

      1. hi thanks for the help.
        i have found the app but there seems to be some problem in which i am unable to add the app to my page. it pops up a box saying there is no result.

    1. how did you create a fb company profile? when i try to sign up it rejects my company name?!? any tips would be great!

  5. Hi John,
    i have created a facebook group for my business but i can't add a note tab. how do i add a note tab on facebook group?
    also, what is the major difference between facebook groups & (fan) pages? which is better to promote, interact & share useful info/notes with my clients?
    Thanks.

  6. Hello,

    Thanks for the tips. Here's what I'm looking to and I've been thinking about trying this a number of different ways but I am making a tab for a facebook fan page for Studying Abroad and want to connect students to photos of other students currently abroad that are publishing their pictures on flickr, picasa, photobucket, facebook, etc.

    One thought is to use Yahoo Pipes and mash all of the different photo RSS feeds into one and then make a FBML slideshow to display the RSS. The problem is I can't find any examples of people doing this but I feel like this would be a really useful/cool feature.

    Another idea is maybe using the flickr tab and importing all the different photos into a flickr account.

    Or maybe just manually post the pictures from the different students as appropriate but I was hoping to do something more interactive/hands free.

    Any ideas or links would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

  7. Thanks for this great help! One big problem I'm having is when I search my page I see only original posts first created. I have to go to home tab on upper right to access latest feeds. One thing I realized last night is I had neglected to hit the like button myself. Now I have a box to write and post in. Was this my only oversight (doubt it) & can I now cut and paste my old, misplaced posts?
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Art-at-your-feet/

  8. One other question. I want my page to be the name of the group – Art at your feet. But when I created the page, it asked for a first and last name. So I have the organizer's name now showing up with the page. Any way around this?
    Thank you again.

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  10. Hi John,

    I've tried to add a variety of different apps to my Facebook page, but when I try to add something after I press “Add to My Page” it says “No Results” even though I have 10 Facebook pages that I manage consistently.

  11. You mentioning coco cola here only wants me to direct you and your readers to a post I recently put on my site (inspirational facebook fan pages) I guess It would be worth a look.

  12. @Kim – you need to add applications through your Facebook page. When in the “edit” mode, click more and the search. Don’t use the upper right search box.

  13. @Brooke – Three things:

    RSS: Try using the “Notes” Application for your RSS feeds – check out “How To Use Facebook “Notes” To Get More Traffic“.

    YouTube: No clue here – are you sure your adding the app to a page and not a profile?

    Twitter: Tweetdeck allows you to post to Facebook. If you want to post every Tweet (not recommended if you are a heavy user of Twitter), check out: “How To Link Your Twitter Page and Facebook Profile For Social Media Sanity

    Again, make sure you’re adding these apps for “Pages”, not “Profiles”.

    Finally, Chris Garrett, Rebecca Leaman just launched a free forum on social media for non-profits. Please join NonProfitWorkshop.Com.

    Hope this helps!

  14. Hello,

    Also new to facebook. I am having the same issue as Kim. I do not understand the answer you gave?

    FYI: I tried to use the facebook connect button on your site and I get “Error while loading page from DISQUS Comments”