This article provides five actionable tips you can employ now.
The Visual Opportunity
When Facebook moved the navigation into the left column and added the Photostrip, I wrote how you could optimize your Facebook page for visual branding.
And when Timeline was rolled out for personal profiles, I also wrote how you can customize your cover photo and profile picture.
With each new overhaul of Facebook pages, there have been increased opportunities for brands to use imagery to better promote their offerings and create visual interest, and Timeline for pages is no different.
At the 2011 f8 conference, Facebook announced Timeline — a major overhaul of the personal Facebook profiles to which we’ve all grown accustomed.
UPDATE December 15, 2011: Facebook announced that Timeline is now available worldwide. Read how to get started.
When Timeline is rolled out, your personal profile will be organized in reverse chronological order, as a “timeline” of your life, like an online scrapbook. As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says, “Timeline is the story of your life… in a new way to express who you are.”
When Will Timeline Become Available?
At this point, only those who are registered Facebook application developers have the option of converting their personal profiles to the Timeline format. And only they can see the Timelines of others who’ve opted for it.
Heads up, page admins! As of October 1st, Facebook announced that any iFrame page tabs not hosted on a secure server under HTTPS will not be displayed to users browsing under HTTPS. This article will tell you what you need to do.
According to Facebook’s Cat Lee, “The content will not be accessible for users with secure browsing turned on. There will be a page that states something close to: This app does not support secure browsing.”
To help page admins locate a budget-friendly and secure hosting solution for their page tabs, I did some digging and located some great hosting companies offering low-cost secure hosting solutions.
There are certainly others, and I have provided some guidelines for making the right hosting choice. I have also laid out some of the basics of hosting and security certificates.
Facebook and Secure Browsing (HTTPS)
In February, Facebook introduced the “Secure Browsing (HTTPS)” option. Since then, when browsing under HTTPS, any page tab content not hosted securely displays a popup with a warning that the page is not secure. Users have to click on the popup before viewing the tab content.
Page tab creators had the option of providing a “Secure Page URL” to display to HTTPS users. As of October 1, a secure URL is mandatory, and page tabs not hosted securely will no longer be displayed to users browsing under HTTPS.
Google’s getting social in a big way.
Google has been quite busy lately, rolling out Google+ (Google’s social network) to a limited audience, the Google +1 button (a feature similar to Facebook’s Like button), a new Google Analytics interface and Google Analytics Social Interaction Tracking.
Google Analytics Social Interaction Tracking
This new Analytics feature allows you to track social interactions on your website, your blog or on your Facebook fan page. These actions include the Twitter button and the Facebook Like, Unlike and Send actions.
For example, how do you add popular FBML tags that facilitated interaction on Facebook, such as Reveal/Fan-Gating, Multi-Friend Invite, Share button, Like button and Comments.
Facebook Social Plugins to the Rescue!
As of March 10, 2011, it became official—the new Facebook page layout was applied to all fan pages. Now that the dust has settled, bugs addressed and some tweaks made, admins can now focus their attention on making the most of what Facebook has given them, which is a LOT of screen real estate!
Essentially, the new page layout gives over two-thirds of the available screen space to brands (see the red boxes in the image below), with Facebook reserving only its narrow blue band at the top and the right column for its own content.
On Thursday, February 10, Facebook finally pulled the trigger and announced the updated layout of Facebook pages. They made the change to bring them more in line with the recently redesigned personal profiles and to provide a more consistent user experience.
As with any major change to the Facebook user experience, the new design and features were accompanied by complaints, but overall, were well received.
Many have asked me how sites like Threadless are able to add multiple Like buttons and comments to their Fan page, allowing visitors to buy, Like and comment on any t-shirt on their Shop tab.
Well, it turns out it’s actually quite easy, using the fb:comments FBML tag.
Using fb:comments, you can add a Like button and comment boxes in multiple places on your Facebook tabs and, optionally, each can be accompanied by a user comments section. This provides more avenues for fans to interact with, and share, your content.
I decided to dig in and research the current landscape thoroughly, both to better understand the lay of the land and to save you the research hassle.
It was only a matter of time before Facebook and e-commerce would converge. Until a little over a year ago, only storefronts existed on Facebook, where merchants could display and promote their products and, with “Add to cart” buttons, imply e-commerce functionality.