These days, just having a website is no longer enough of a web presence for your business. Maintaining a Facebook presence, as well as participating in other social networks, can be a valuable way for businesses to connect with prospects and customers, share content, and generate leads. But as you're likely aware, the capability to easily and freely customize a Facebook business page isn't really there. Unlike your own website, you have to work within Facebook's individual restrictions and design limitations. This can make it difficult for businesses to achieve a unique presence that stands out from competitors.
But, is it impossible? No. In fact, there are several things you can do to uniquely brand and customize your Facebook page. Here are our top 8 tips.
1. Claim Your Vanity URL
First things first. Make your Facebook page more shareable and easier to find by creating a more recognizable vanity URL (e.g. http://www.facebook.com/hubspot) at http://www.facebook.com/username. This will make your page look more professional, become more easily identifiable, and make it easier to share your Facebook page URL with others. Make it simple by using your company name.
2. Create a Custom Welcome Page
Consider creating a custom tab (see number 5 below) to generate a custom 'welcome' page. Use this page to welcome new visitors to your Page and encourage them to 'Like' you so they can see your posts in their news feed. Set the page as your 'Default Landing Tab' (you can do this when you're editing your page under 'Manage Permissions') so it's the first page visitors land on when they visit your Page. This will help you generate new fans! (Note: As ClearRisk has done, with HubSpot, you can take this one step further by installing HubSpot's Welcome App, which also presents visitors with a form that can convert them into leads...right within Facebook!)
3. Get Creative With Your Picture
Your Facebook photo doesn't simply have to be your logo. Get creative, and use the real estate to provide more information about your company or use an eye-catching image and design to attract visitors' attention. Consider what OverGo Studio did in the example below, integrating its Facebook photo design with its welcome page. Genius! Just be careful that if you do something like this, your design also works with other elements of your Facebook page (like your wall), as your photo will appear throughout your pages on every tab visitors click. Also, be sure to check your photo to make sure it also works as a thumbnail, since your thumbnail will appear next to each post you make on your wall or in a comment. Crop your thumbnail as necessary.
4. Leverage Your Page's Photo Strip
Since Facebook added the photo strip feature to business pages, businesses are finding creative ways to use it to customize the look of their pages. In this blog post, Social Fresh offers some helpful tips on how to customize your photo strip as well as examples of companies doing it well. Consider using the strip to spell out a word or promote a current campaign. Get those creative juices flowing, and have fun with it!
5. Create Custom Tabs
Using iFrames, create custom tabs on your Facebook page to feature whatever you want! Think of these custom tabs like landing pages within your Facebook page. Here are a few great ideas of tabs to use tabs to customize your Facebook page:
- Showcase Customer Testimonials and Case Studies
- Promote Featured Content or Lead Gen Offers
- Provide Product Information
- Publicize Your Social Media Presence in Other Channels (as Idea Sprouts has done below)
6. Create Tabs Showcasing Content From Other Channels
In addition to custom tabs that you can create yourself, many other social media channels offer applications that easily enable users to add a tab to their Facebook page to showcase content they've published to other channels. Have a SlideShare account to which you publish your company's presentations? Add the SlideShare app to your Facebook page. The app will pull in your SlideShare presentations nicely onto a tab on your Facebook page. You'll find that you can add Facebook applications for many social channels to your page, such as YouTube, Twitter, and Flickr.
7. Customize Your Post Targeting
Facebook's response to Google+'s Circles feature was a new feature that enables users to customize who can see their Facebook posts. For your Facebook Page, this means you can now limit posts to only display to fans in a certain location or language on a post by post basis. Use this feature to segment and personalize Facebook posts to different audiences of fans on your page. Personalization can lead to more engagement and better results!
8. Run a Facebook Contest/Promotion
Contests and other promotions can be a great way to encourage engagement on your page, attract new fans, and customize your presence. While Facebook has some pretty strict guidelines for just how contests can be conducted on their platform, luckily, the folks at Wildfire worked closely with Facebook and its guidelines to create an application that easily enables marketers to create Facebook marketing campaigns like contests, coupon giveaways, and user-generated content promotions. Marketers can build the contest using the Wildfire app, and the contest is then accessible via a custom tab on the marketer's Facebook fan page. Marketers can also make it accessible via their company's website or a unique microsite.
In what other ways can you customize your Facebook business page? What other examples of unique customization can you share?