Designing an All-In-One Facebook Page With Custom Applications

Having to spend a fortune on your own custom Facebook page is a thing of the past. Today, technological advances have provided us with the ability to craft our own custom Facebook pages with minimal spending. From Social Media to e-commerce integration, Facebook has become the target for an all-in-one customer experience.  Although installing these apps takes minimal time, you must spend a significant amount of time researching different tools.

The good news is that all of this research has already been done. My suggestion is for you to log onto your Facebook page and follow as we go. By the end of this article, your Facebook should be unrecognizable to your customers (in a good way).

For my tutorial today, I chose a Facebook page I recently revamped for one of our clients.  I will explain step-by-step how I managed to integrate these applications at almost no cost.

First Things First: Focus on Design

Designing the look and feel of your Facebook page can often be a challenge.  Lucky for us, our Web/Graphic Designer, Bridget Farrell, managed to accommodate the client’s wants and the customers’ needs in the cover design. But if you don’t have the resources to hire a designer, there are several free tools that can help you come up with a logo, cover page and design ideas that will deliver a professional look.

The first thing you may want to do is come up with a logo if you haven’t already done so.

Here are some free tools that can help you craft a logo:

•    Cooltext.com is a free graphics generator for web pages, or anywhere else you may need such as an impressive logo, without a lot of design work. It takes about 5 minutes to craft and it’s perfect for logos that are letter based.

•    Logoease.com is another tool you can use to craft your free logo. Compact, with a simple design interface, this tool allows you to create professional logos without having to spend hundreds of dollars on a design.

Now that we have a logo, it’s time to start creating your Facebook Homepage tab. My personal favorite tool for this is Pagemodo. Although they offer a free plan, I would suggest purchasing the  “Pro” for only $5 a month. This plan includes unlimited access to all tab templates including 3 fan pages, cover photo templates, hosting, no annoying footers, Like Gate options, and Google Analytics integration.

Here’s what the homepage looks like:

Pagemodo offers a wide range of homepage templates. You have the choice to include images and videos. You can also include a call to action message like the one below:

 

Pagemodo also allows you to add a Like Gate to all your custom tabs. This feature will ultimately push likes to your Facebook page because it requires a user to like your page before they can view the content. Just make sure you come up with a catchy line.

This is what it looks like:

You may also customize the Like Gate by adding your own image or html code.Other tools you may want to consider when crafting your Facebook Homepage Tabs include:•    Involver. This tool allows you to use two applications for free. If you feel you need more than two, then you must purchase their plan. The application that will let you add a custom homepage is called Static html.  In order to install it, you must visit their website, search for the Static html option and click  “install.” Easy enough. The great thing about Involver is that you can add multiple custom tabs by selecting the button “add a second Static Html application.”•    TabPress. This tool is an iFrame application that previews fan-only content. To install this application, click the “Add to My Page” link on the left side of their Facebook page, under the profile picture. Remember that TabPress does not host images. What this means is that, if you want to include any sort of graphic, you will have to upload the images to a site and reference them using html code, using this format or wherever you have your images hosted:

<img src=“http://www.yourwebsite.com/images/yourimage.jpg”>

You can also use the standard html code. Just enter it in the appropriate boxes.

•    TabSite. This tool allows you to create tabs within your tab, resulting in a mini website. You get two tabs for free, but if you require more tabs there’s a monthly fee.

•    LuJure. This tool is for those who don’t know coding and wish to create a professional looking page. With their drag-and-drop design area, LuJure makes it easy to add images and text. To install this application you must add the billing information on the website – even if you’re using the free version.

•    Hosted iFrame. This tool is free and can have up to a maximum of 5 tabs. The best thing about this application is the fact that you can include your Google Analytics code fairly easily. In addition, they’ll also host your high-resolution images (up to 25 MB).

The next step is to choose additional tabs. Before you install any applications, ask yourself these questions:

•    What are my customers looking for when they visit my Facebook page?
•    How can I make my product/service appealing on Facebook?
•    What resources do I have?

For this particular client, it was essential to showcase the featured products in an e-commerce site. This ultimately provided their customers with the ability to redirect to the website when they selected a product.

Here’s what it looks like:

Although, I created this site with Pagemodo, there are many other sites that can help you craft a successful e-commerce page. In addition, these apps will also allow you to embed them on your business website in order to add an e-commerce functionality.Here are some you can’t miss:•    Payvemnt. This tool is a Facebook e-commerce solution that lets users add a professional product catalog to their Facebook pages. The application is extremely user friendly. It provides an admin panel located directly on the Facebook tab.•    Ecwid. This free tool allows you to add a shopping cart to both Facebook and your website pages. It functions with an easy drag-and-drop design functionality.

•    BigCommerce. This tool will allow your customers to shop directly on your Facebook business or fan page. This tool is free for the first 15 days. Pricing starts at $24.95.

•    VendorShop. This is a free e-commerce solution that lets users set up a shop tab on their Facebook page. Once the tab is installed, you can add products, prices, and descriptions. This tool offers a PayPal checkout service.

The next step is to integrate your blog and your most popular Social Media sites. This will help those sites obtain more visibility.

This particular client was especially active on Twitter. As a result, I integrated their Twitter account through Involver.

Here’s what it looks like:

I managed to integrate their blog through Involver as well. This tool allows you to publish your articles directly on your Facebook page with the click of a button.

Tools that can help you integrate these apps include:

•    FaceItPages. This tool offers a variety of templates and modules for your page. They also offer a very easy Twitter integration system. With the free account, you have access to photo galleries/slideshows, header banners and contact modules.

•    Thrustsocial. This tool works with a drag-and-drop interface that lets you add widgets to your Facebook page. The free plan includes the integration of Twitter and blog feed.

•    Shortstack.  If your Facebook page is relatively new and you lack the budget necessary to customize your tabs, then this tool might help you out. You can add up to 12 tabs per page. You will also have access to Like Gating, sweepstakes and Social Media integration widgets.

Creating your own customized pages for Facebook no longer requires hours of researching useful tools. You’re welcome! Use these tools to improve your Facebook page, incorporate your e-commerce site, your blog, and your other social media pages to give your fans an all-in-one experience.

Now compare this to your own Facebook page. Does it offer your fans this functionality? If not, it should! Just remember that it is not enough to just create a Facebook page, you must maintain it. If you need help doing so, contact us.

 

December 4, 2012

Written by Lucia Sastre

Lucia is an SEO Specialist with a true passion for Social Media and Public Relations. She has dedicated her efforts to researching and implementing new Marketing techniques for innovative technological trends. Prior to her induction to Optimum7 she successfully served in the Marketing Campaigns at Telefonica, Coastal Construction Company and Cleveland Clinic Hospital. She has also written for several newspapers including the South Florida Times, the Beacon Newspaper and the Examiner. Lucia graduated from Florida International University with a Degree in Mass Communications and a Minor in Art. With a passion for cultures and languages, she also completed four years of French at the University of Iowa. Lucia is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, but spent most of her life living in the United States, Mexico and South America. In her spare time, she is a freelance photographer, teaches tennis and enjoys the outdoors.

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