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Building a Facebook Page (part 2)

Now if you followed the directions to build your own Facebook page in part 1, you’re ready to dress your new Facebook page up a bit. Again, I’m assuming you have some familiarity with Facebook already, but even if you don’t, you should be able to log in and follow along. Since the re-design, Facebook pages operate even more like a profile, so it should look pretty familiar. A couple of additional items on pages are quite useful.

Applications
There are exactly 6 bizillion and 3 apps for Facebook pages. What you want to put up depends entirely on what you are interested in. Do some searches for things you’re interested in and scan the apps to see what’s there. I know you’ll find something. Apps are a good way to add content, but even more important, to give your fans a way to bond with you more deeply. If they use the same apps as you do you’re already sharing, and new content gets added to your page without you having to come up with everything on your own.

One caveat about apps. Think before you install. Does this app reflect the nature and corporate culture of your business or your personal goals? Is there any possibility the app could offend the people you want to connect to? No? Cool. go for it.

Custom apps
If you have the skills or the funds, this is a good place to spend some of that money you saved. Create custom apps like games and dynamic content that will set you apart form everybody else and draw people to your page.

Custom Tabs
Probably one of the most exciting things in the new Facebook design is the ability to create custom tabs and link directly into them instead of the default. This means you can direct people to specific promotions, events or ads you want them to see right when they reach the page. Handled carefully these inbound links can convert a lot of new visitors to fans and friends quickly. Why dump all your users into a page full of updates when you can direct them to specific information that interests them? This is particularly useful if you’re running a promotion or an ad. Just link the ad to a tab until it’s no longer needed and then delete it.

Content content, content
It’s really great that the news feed feature is now pretty close to real time and you can bring in feeds to add to your content, but don’t stop there. Add unique content your users can only find here. Post Q&A sessions, video, games or other content that will be it’s own draw to your page. If all of your content comes from your friendfeed stream, why wouldn’t they just go there instead?

Don’t dump it all up there at once. Portion out a few nice tidbits at a time. This will make it easier for your friends to absorb all the great content and let you pace yourself a little.

Events
Events are a great way to reach out to your friends and extended network and grow your fan base. Post your events on your page and let people RSVP and invite their friends right on Facebook.

Tagging
Post videos and photos and tag other users in them. If you host an event post the pictures for everybody to share with their friends. This is a great way to reach out of your own network through the networks of the friends tagged in the pictures or videos.

Admins
If more than one person will be adding information on a regular basis, you have the option of adding them as an admin. Click “Add Admins” and select a friend to help with the page. (The person must be a Facebook friend already, or you can friend them and do this step later). The person will get a notification in their in-box and will have to accept it to become an admin on your page.

Suggest to Friends
Suggest your new page to your friends to help you spread the word. It’s a good idea to get your content into the page before you start sharing it with your friends and advertising it, so I usually wait to publish the page until I think it’s got enough content to be interesting.

Profile it
Now that you’ve got a spiffy page with amazing content and fans are starting to see it, make sure you tell people about it beyond your friend network on Facebook. Put it in your e-mail signature, in your personal profiles on other networks. Add a link on your website and

Become your own best fan
It’s a good idea to be your own fan, but again, wait until you’re ready to show it off to the world before you fan your page. Then tell all your friends and invite them to your new page!

Patience

Sooooo you did all the work, you faithfully upload content on a regular basis, but where are the cheering hordes? You may have to give it a little time. Facebook popularity can be an amazingly quixotic thing. No one really knows what’s going to flash and what isn’t. If you’ve got good content and you make the page something people will find fun and useful and share with each other, you’ll see your fanbase grow. Give it a chance.

If all else fails
Think about running an ad on FaceBook or even Google to show the page off outside of your network. Ask for opinions on the page from people who aren’t going to gloss over the bad bits and act on that feedback.

  • Ryan

    Thanks for the details. I'm having trouble getting my blog RSS to post headlines to the Wall on my Fan Page. I've had no problems adding RSS tools that show up as their own modules or tabs…but really want the headlines to go out as wall posts.

    Any suggestions?

  • Renee

    Than you for this post Janet. It is very informative about how to take my FB fan page to the next level. I did have a consultant quote 9 hundred to just build the page and now I don't need to hire her at all.

  • Ryan,
    Checkout RSS Connect, an app on Facebook. It will allow you to bring multiple feeds into your page and post them on your wall. It's got a lot of configuration options to make your life easier.

  • Glad to help Renee, I hope LOTS of people see how easy this is!

  • Ryan

    Thanks Janet,

    I got it working but I'm now I've realized that I'm not receiving updates in my feed that inform me of these (or any other) wall posts to the fan page I'm managing.

    Is that a setting that is unique to my profile, or do I need to get the word out to all of the Fans that they need to tweak their settings too?

    -Ryan

  • Ryan,
    It may be the result of some of the feed issues Facebook is having. You might want to keep an eye on the forums. Start with this thread: http://forum.developers.facebook.com/viewtopic.ph

  • vf2008

    Can you address the fact that facebook now requires authentication via an electronic signature and that a fan page must be attached to a profile? which then means that you have to have an actual person posting vs. a the brand posting?
    also, any word on when a Twitter app will work to update the fan wall?
    Thanks!

  • I don't really thing the signature thing is a big deal. It's just the same when you upload an image, you have to verify you have rights to use the image.
    Here's a link to some good info about this:
    http://www.allfacebook.com/2009/04/public-profile

    Oh, and for all the people who couldn't figure out how to enter a digital signature. What they want is your name. No URL's etc, just your name.

  • I keep putting my name in and still keep getting an error message saying "Please be sure that your signature matches your full name" over and over again, even though I am using my profile name???? Why can't I get it to work?

  • As I understand it they want your full legal name and not your user name. Your user name is not a legal name.

  • Ben

    Is it possible to create a Facebook page that doesn’t link to your profile?

  • sytography

    Janet, is it possible for fans to tag their photos becuase the settings in the photo album page is enabled but clearly isn’t working.

    Bit of a n00b question I know but one thats beginning to make me pull my hair out 🙂

    Regards
    sytography
    “Life Looks Better Through A Lens”

  • The tagging feature seems to be an on-again off-again thing. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Lots of people have complained, you’re not alone.
    Here’s a link to add your comment so you can watch for FBook to post an answer!
    http://www.facebook.com/help/search.php?hq=tagging+faces&ref=hq#/help/question.php?id=180756

  • Ken

    Hi Janet, great 2 articles on building pages. I’ve gone ahead and built a page for my business and it was simple. What I can’t figure out is how to share, for example a youtube video and have it show up on my business page??? It always shows up on my main page wall? I assume my fans will be going directly to my business page but the videos are being posted to my main (personal name) page? Can you please help?

    Thanks in advance,

    Ken

  • Janet

    There are two ways to do it. If you go to your business page you can share a link on your wall just like you do on your personal page.
    Alternatively you can add a YouTube video box to your page by adding the YouTube video box application to your page and selecting videos through that.
    To add applications to your page go to http://www.facebook.com/applications.

  • cintra04

    how do i get fan page posts to show up on my fan's walls?

  • cintra04

    how do i get fan page posts to show up on my fan's walls?

  • Pages can send updates to fans, but can't send them individual messages. Any messages a Page sends you will appear in the separate “Updates” tab of your Inbox.

  • Pages can send updates to fans, but can't send them individual messages. Any messages a Page sends you will appear in the separate “Updates” tab of your Inbox.

  • jillianp

    Does anyone know how to add friends to a fan page?? I know you can get fans that are already on your personal facebook, but what if I want to search an area of people??

  • Hi, great article. I'd like to be able to add a search box on my page whereby someone can search for a retailer and it then takes them through to a pre-populated search similar to the vouchercodes.co.uk fan page (on the box tab), and myvouchercodes.co.uk fan page where the search box is in the left hand column. Any advice on the way forward for this would be much appreciated.

  • Great resource material, Janet. Question: I'm a webmaster and my clients want me to set up FB PAGES for them. Do I become the 'owner' if I set them up, or should I ask for their profile user/password and set them up via a client employee's profile?

  • I like the client to own the page so I walk them through how to set up the page from their own profile and then make me an admin. That way it's their page and they can remove admin permissions as needed. It's important that the company retains ownership of the facebook page, so I tend to avoid letting an employee create it from their personal acct. Better to have a profile for a senior person or founder as the base point for a page.

  • webdiva3

    Do you know of any way to untangle now? I've already created a couple pages for clients and now I must face the music and tell them I own the page. Didn't mean for that to happen. I'm not aware of a way to transfer 'ownership.' Thank you for the quick response. I'll be following your posts.

  • Ouch, AFAIK there isn't a way to transfer ownership. You can make them admins but it's still “owned ” by you.

  • Excellent posts Janet. Recently discovered, seems they've added the ability to add an admin by email, without being friends [do remember that not being the case earlier this year/prob at the time this post was written].

  • AprilButler

    I just created a fanpage and I am about to pull my hair out!!!

    1-why can't my fans tag themselves in photos??
    2-when I tag them why does it show that my personal page tagged them and not my fanpage? Can that be changed?
    thanks for ANY help that you can give
    April
    fan page: journeys remembered photography

  • Only the person who posted the photo or the person who is tagged in it can interact with the tags. People can't tag themselves in a photo they don't own. And when you post an image to your fan page and tag someone your fan page isn't tagging them, you are.
    Kind of defeats the purpose of tagging on a fan page but I guess somebody has to be responsible for the tag….

  • diana82

    I recently created a Fan Page for my company but in order to post an article it asked for my name and now it shows me as a individual with a fan page. How can I remove that name so I am just a Fan Page?

  • Unfortunately Facebook displays posts by the admin as posted from the page. You could make someone else the admin and then post as yourself on the page if that's what you need. Of course then you're not the admin… I expect they will allow admins to post as themselves sometime in the future.

  • Unfortunately Facebook displays posts by the admin as posted from the page. You could make someone else the admin and then post as yourself on the page if that's what you need. Of course then you're not the admin… I expect they will allow admins to post as themselves sometime in the future.

  • diana82

    I recently created a Fan Page for my company but in order to post an article it asked for my name and now it shows me as a individual with a fan page. How can I remove that name so I am just a Fan Page?

  • Unfortunately Facebook displays posts by the admin as posted from the page. You could make someone else the admin and then post as yourself on the page if that's what you need. Of course then you're not the admin… I expect they will allow admins to post as themselves sometime in the future.

  • jj

    Can I change the name of my Fan Page? I just want to add the words 'Fan Page'

    Help!

  • jj

    Can I change the name of my Fan Page? I just want to add the words 'Fan Page'

    Help!

  • Unfortunately no, you can't change the name of your Fan Page. At least not yet! If you don't have a lot of fans you can create a new one and move the fans to the new page, but that's a painful process if you have a big fan base…

  • Unfortunately no, you can't change the name of your Fan Page. At least not yet! If you don't have a lot of fans you can create a new one and move the fans to the new page, but that's a painful process if you have a big fan base…

  • Cara

    Hi Janet. Is there a way to 'disconnect' (for want of a better word) a fan page from a profile? I'm working with a small company who set up their business as a personal profile, and then created a fan page within that profile. They now have about 100+ fans but whenever anybody goes to their page it's on the profile page, and the FB url is directed to the profile too. The profile should never have been set up, but if we delete I'm worried we'll lose the fan page too. I hope that makes sense!

  • Cara

    Hi Janet. Is there a way to 'disconnect' (for want of a better word) a fan page from a profile? I'm working with a small company who set up their business as a personal profile, and then created a fan page within that profile. They now have about 100+ fans but whenever anybody goes to their page it's on the profile page, and the FB url is directed to the profile too. The profile should never have been set up, but if we delete I'm worried we'll lose the fan page too. I hope that makes sense!

  • Well that's something that happens and then they go…..ah…we really don't want all these people friending us, HERE!
    Unfortunately you can't just switch people over to a fan page, they have to do it themsleves. My suggestion is to offer some very cool stuff on the fan page and then tell people you are migrating everyone who is not “close personal connections and family” to the Fan page and ask them to please join the Fan page.
    Do this a few times and hopefully they will move.
    Then gently remind the ones that don't that you are closing your profile except to family and even though you are un-friending them it's not personal and you'd love to stay in touch on the fan page.
    Most will move under these circumstances…

  • Well that's something that happens and then they go…..ah…we really don't want all these people friending us, HERE!
    Unfortunately you can't just switch people over to a fan page, they have to do it themsleves. My suggestion is to offer some very cool stuff on the fan page and then tell people you are migrating everyone who is not “close personal connections and family” to the Fan page and ask them to please join the Fan page.
    Do this a few times and hopefully they will move.
    Then gently remind the ones that don't that you are closing your profile except to family and even though you are un-friending them it's not personal and you'd love to stay in touch on the fan page.
    Most will move under these circumstances…

  • Cara

    Thank you. I think maybe I'm getting confused over something glaringly obvious. The company has a profile page AND a fan page. The URL only links to the profile page, but we want the fan page to be visible, not the profile. Do I have to delete the fan page made whilst logged in as the 'profile' and create a totally independent one, and then convince the already existant fans to migrate to a 'new' fan page?

  • Cara

    Thank you. I think maybe I'm getting confused over something glaringly obvious. The company has a profile page AND a fan page. The URL only links to the profile page, but we want the fan page to be visible, not the profile. Do I have to delete the fan page made whilst logged in as the 'profile' and create a totally independent one, and then convince the already existant fans to migrate to a 'new' fan page?

  • You can't make a fan page totally independent. It has to be owned by a profile. So my suggestion would be to leave it as it is and ask people to migrate to theFan page.

  • You can't make a fan page totally independent. It has to be owned by a profile. So my suggestion would be to leave it as it is and ask people to migrate to theFan page.

  • Pam Rogers

    Janet…I didn't know how to send this question directly to you so I am posting off another thread.
    I really hope you can answer this question. We have a project and want to build a facebook page. Can we work on the page over time, and not post it until we are ready? How do we “save” but not post? Thanks so much!

  • Yes. You can build your Facebook page and get it all ready before you publish it and make it live to the world. Just don't publish until you're ready for prime time!

  • Pam Rogers

    Janet…I didn't know how to send this question directly to you so I am posting off another thread.
    I really hope you can answer this question. We have a project and want to build a facebook page. Can we work on the page over time, and not post it until we are ready? How do we “save” but not post? Thanks so much!

  • Yes. You can build your Facebook page and get it all ready before you publish it and make it live to the world. Just don't publish until you're ready for prime time!

  • As much as I appreciate the discussion on this page I think it's more appropriate on my other site- The Social Media Coaching Center. So I've posted How to Build a Facebook Fan Page part 1 and How to Build a Facebook Fan Page part 2 over on that site so our members can participate in the discussion too, so keep the questions coming!

    Thank you.