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Tutorial- maximize your Facebook Fan Page with a custom tab

Everyone has a Facebook fan page these days. Our hair stylist, my friend’s cat, our neighborhood, the weather, everything. Real estate is no exception. Today we won’t spend the time arguing the merits for or against having a custom page for an agent (hint: we support fan pages being about a neighborhood or central theme with agents being in a moderator role over a “look at me and my avatar of me talking on the phone” role).

Facebook now accounts for 25% of all web page views in America and is no small network. Agents are flocking to the space increasingly and the most frequent question we hear is “how do I customize my page?”

The easiest way to customize a fan page is to add a custom tab and although it’s rumored that iFrames (barf) will replace FBML, there’s no telling when that will happen, so let’s spice things up with minimal time involved while we still can. Here’s how:

  1. Install the Static FBML application on your fan page.
  2. Select the link that says “Add to my Page.”
  3. Go to the main page and click on “Edit page.”
  4. Select the FBML application and click on the edit icon (pencil) to begin editing the page.
  5. Name the box and add your html or text (more on this later). Save changes. This defaults to a new box on your boxes tab.
  6. Go to the Edit page that lists all of your applications. Locate the fbml box you just made, click the pencil, and select “Application Settings.”
  7. Click on remove to get rid of the box then click on “add” to make the new box into a tab. Click “okay.” Now you have a custom tab with your new content.

The above requires some knowledge of html or at least the ability to copy and paste code and embed objects. So here are some tips:

  • The width of a Facebook fan page is 520 pixels wide, so a simple beginner way to add customization is to add a 520px image that is a link to somewhere specific on your blog. Take this for example:

Click on image to see this fan page in action.

  • Realtors could use this as a simple way to add standard documents. Consider uploading to Scribd.com your standard docs that might also be on your website like buyer’s rep agreement or brokerage information acknolwedgements.
  • HINT: Scribd automatically adjusts embed code to width, just pick a height and include as many as you want in your custom tab which could be called “Docs” or “Buyer info” or “Seller docs” or others.

Remember, you can copy and paste code for YouTube videos, so perhaps a gallery of all of your current listings would be a good use of a custom tab. Perhaps your fan page is about your team, so a Flickr.com gallery with pictures of everyone would be useful.

The options are endless and although they can get very complex if you choose for them to, Facebook fan pages can get a simple face lift with a few lines of HTML code. How will you use the custom tab option? Show us in comments what you end up doing!

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Denise Hamlin

    November 21, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Hmm, you make this sound real easy Lani. Guess I need to give it a shot. You’re right, everyone including the cat has a Facebook Page these days. If you want to make an impression you need to kick it up a notch so it doesn’t look like a page like any other.

  2. James Ward

    November 22, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    I took advantage of the fbml custom tab to add the “1 Minute Market Report” that I learned about courtesy of Max Pigman. The info will always change and be relatively updated while the graphic and ability to link to the customized report just looks good!

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