The Business of Broadband

Bye-bye, FBML. Hello iFrames!

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About this time last year, we wrote a post explaining how independent ISPs could use something called Static FBML to create a custom landing tab for their Facebook Fan Pages.

Well, a lot has changed since then, so it’s time for an update. Here goes…

Facelift First

Back in December, Facebook announced that it would give profile pages a makeover. This year, similar changes also went into effect for Pages.

The old Facebook Page (left) and the new Page layout (right).

The old Facebook Page (left) and the new Page layout (right).

Navigation on Pages has been moved from tabs at the top of the page to links at the left. This is good for marketers because they no longer have to limit the number of tabs displayed or worry so much about tab names getting truncated. Now your Page can have lots of “tabs” with up to 35 characters in each name.

For information on how to manage your tabs, profile image, and photo filmstrip for maximum branding on your page, check out this article from SocialMediaExaminer.com.

Bye-bye, FBML. Hello iFrames!

On March 11, Facebook pulled the plug on FBML. If you’ve already got custom tabs built with Static FBML, don’t panic. They still work, but Facebook is advising that you migrate to iFrames for your custom Page content.

So, R.I.P. FBML. Though it’s no big loss in my book. Not too many folks could claim to be expert FBML programmers, and there was a lot that a Static FBML tab couldn’t do – like run a Javascript so you could import a blog or Twitter feed, or host a form to collect signups for your newsletter or blog. iFrames are much more flexible and you can build your own just by knowing a handful of HTML tags.

There’s an App for That

You’re not a programming whiz? No problem. There’s a handy iFrame app that will help you create your own custom landing tabs for fans and non-fans.

You can use simple HTML tags to build the page and then paste the code in to the iFrame app. Don’t know any HTML tags? There’s a good video demo and a list of common tags to build your custom tab at SmartPassiveIncome.com.

Here’s how we made a custom landing page for non-fans on ZCorum’s Facebook Page:

  1. Log into Facebook, go to your Page and click the Edit Page button.
    Facebook-iFrame-1
  2. Click Apps in the left menu. Scroll to the bottom and click Browse more applications.
  3. Search for Static HTML: iframe tabs. There are lots of other iFrame apps, but this is the one you want if you want to create tabs for fans and non-fans.
    Facebook-iFrame-3
  4. Click the star logo to access the app. Then click Add to my Page in the left menu.
    Facebook-iFrame-4
  5. In the popup, select the Page to which you want to add the app and click the Add to Page button. Then click Close.
    Facebook-iFrame-5
  6. Go back to your Page. Click the Welcome tab in the left menu to edit your custom landing tabs (I’ll show you how to change the name from Welcome to something else in just a minute).
  7. Copy and paste the code for your custom landing tab for non-fans into the top box. If you want to do a custom landing tab for fans, copy and paste the code for that tab into the second box (or leave it blank if you don’t want to create a landing tab for fans right now). Click Save and View Tab.
    Facebook-iFrame-7
  8. The app will give you a few options to view your tab. First, click View your tab as a non-fan to see how your tab looks to users that haven’t yet Liked your Page. Check that everything looks like you want it to, or go back to the App to tweak, if necessary. If you’ve added a custom tab for fans, you’ll want to check that as well.
    Facebook-iFrame-8
  9. When your custom tab looks just like you want it, you can change the name of the tab in the left menu to something other than “Welcome”. Go back to the Wall and click the Edit Page button.
  10. Click Apps in the left menu and scroll down to the Static HTML: iframe tabs app. Click Edit Settings and enter the name you want for your tab. Click Save. Click OK. Click the View Page button and now your custom-named, custom-tab appears in the left menu.
    Facebook-iFrame-10

Optional step:

If you’re using a custom tab as a Welcome or landing page, then you’ll want to make sure that the custom tab – not the Wall – is the default landing page. First, click the Edit Page button. On the Manage Permissions tab, select your custom landing tab from the drop-down menu for the Default Landing Tab. Click Save Changes.

Facebook-iFrame-optional

Now, when new users come to your Page, your custom landing tab is the first page they’ll see. When they become fans, they’ll see your fan landing page (if you created one, otherwise, they’ll see the Wall).

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About the Author:

Paula served previously as a Marketing Manager at ZCorum.

Discussion

  1. Julie Compann  April 1, 2011

    As more and more broadband service providers reach out to their consumers, they will begin to understand the value in social media marketing. Many companies still invest their dollars into static marketing campaigns and nothing more. There is power when you create a venue for a two-way dialogue with your customers and social media marketing brings this type of platform to the forefront. While I do not believe that Facebook is the super-duper killer app for reaching out to all of your customers, I do think it is an essential part of the over all tool kit that one would want to consider.

    Paula, I am sure this tip will be helpful to others interested in pursuing this path. Thank you for making it easier!

    (reply)

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