You have probably visited some Facebook Pages that send you to a custom Page tab, rather than sending you to the usual Wall area. This custom tab usually encourages you to Like that Page.
For example, if you go to http://facebook.com/Open you will see the American Express OPEN Page.
Should you use a custom landing tab, or should you simply leave your Wall as the default tab you visitors will see first?
I think there are pros and cons to both methods.
I really like how the custom landing Page encourages people to Like the Page, by making it very prominent and easy. You can also include an opt in form and other custom content here, which can be useful for your marketing campaigns.
But I also think there’s something to be said for sending people right to the Wall, where they can dive straight into the interaction -- because that’s the heart of Facebook.
It’s really up to you to decide which option is best for your business.
If you do decide to create a custom landing tab, do it well.
Make that Like button as prominent as you can.
Offer a special piece of content to people who Like your Page.
Ask them to opt in for something on your website, or send them to more content within your Facebook Page or within your website.
The American Express OPEN Page has links to different parts of their Facebook Page, with content from different experts. This is an involved example, but it’s well done because they’re taking you deeper into their Facebook Page to show you what they have to offer, why you might want to stick around.
How do you set the landing tab?
Go to Edit Page. Under Manage Permissions, where it says Default landing tab, you can choose any tab on your Facebook Page, including the Wall, as your landing tab.
To use our previous example, American Express are sending people to their Big Break tab, so they would click Big Break on this screen.
How you choose to use this custom tab is up to you. You can include anything you want in this tab: you can embed a video, you can use custom graphics, you can format the text any way you want, you can insert an opt-in form – or any combination of these elements.
Anything that can be used on a website can also be used on your custom Facebook tab.
There are a few different ways to create one of these fancy custom landing Pages. An easy option is to use a Facebook app.
There are a lot of choices here as well -- quite a few different apps allow you to build a custom landing tab.
The app that I recommend is called Static
HTML: iframe tabs.
The reason I recommend this app is because it’s completely customizable, and it allows you to create different views for fans and non-fans.
Static HTML: iframe tabs also allows you to create multiple tabs, and it’s completely free to use.
This is the most advanced, full-featured app that is available for free. It doesn’t even require its users to include a credit or advertisement link on the bottom, the way many other free apps do.
To add the Static HTML: iframe tabs app to your Page, use this link.
The popup will give you the option to add Static HTML: iframe tabs app to your Page.
Once you choose to add the app, you will see a new Welcome tab on your Page. (The tab is called Welcome by default; but you can change it to whatever you like.
You can always find your custom Static HTML tab by looking for its icon: a little gray star. Clicking on the gray star will bring up the interface to customize your content.
It gives you two options: regular content and fans-only content.
You have probably seen examples of this on Facebook.
There are many Pages that invite you to like the Page and get something special as soon as you do. You can automatically do that on your Page using this interface. So, for example, you might offer people a free report, or a guide to encourage them to like your Page. In this case, your regular content would have a call to action, something along the lines of “Like this page and get my free report,” while your fans-only content would include the link to the free report.
As soon as people click the like button, they will be able to download your report.
You can customize your landing tab even further.
But you can still do this very easily if you have a WordPress site.
Here is an easy way to create this code:
Create a draft of a post in WordPress. You don’t have to actually publish this draft on your WordPress website; this is just a shortcut to generate the code.
As you know, in WordPress, you can easily tweak various elements without knowing any code at all. You can insert a headline, make it larger, or change the color. You can add images, videos and forms. The WordPress visual editor allows you to format your post the way you want to, without even looking at the code.
Just tweak your draft until the preview window looks the way you want your landing tab to look. Once you have all the elements exactly where you want them, click on the HTML tab to switch to code view. You don’t have to understand any of it, all you need to do is select it and copy it. Then switch to the Welcome tab on your Facebook Page, and paste the content.
Click save and view the tab.
Static HTML: iframe tabs app will give you the option to see it as either a fan or a non-fan. If you have only pasted the code into the non-fan window for now, this view is going to be the same either way. (You can always add the special content for fans later, using the same procedure.)
If you view it as a non-fan, you will see how the Welcome tab will appear to people who do not like your Page yet. When someone is looking at your page and they click Welcome, this is the interface that they will see.
But for the moment, the first thing they will see is still your Wall.
To change that, you can set the Welcome tab as your default landing tab.
Setting your default landing tab is simple. Just choose Edit page from your Page profile. From the Manage permissions tab, you can select your default landing tab.
This is set to Wall by default. If you change that to Welcome, whenever someone visits your Facebook Page, the tab you’ve just created is the first tab that they’ll see.
Don’t forget to save that change!
But what if you don’t want it to be called Welcome?
What if you want it to be called Sign up or Subscribe for free, or another custom name?
Here’s how you can change the name: go to your apps and find the little gray star, which is the icon for Static HTML: iframe tabs.
Click Edit settings to bring up a popup window where you can set your custom tab name.
Change it to Sign Up For Free, or whatever you want to call it, and hit save. When you go back to view your page, you will see the name you just chose.
Another great feature included in Static HTML: iframe tabs is multiple tabs.
You can use one for people to sign up for your newsletter, and another one where they can browse through the products that you sell; you can create a really nice-looking custom tab that features your services, and another tab with a map to your business – you can add all of these tabs to your Facebook page.
To get extra tabs, use this link: on.fb.me/extratabs.
You can add as many as 12 tabs to your page. The process is exactly the same as with the first one. You can create a custom full-featured Facebook Page with these tabs.
Anything you can do on a website, you can also do with these tabs.
Other Options to Customize Facebook Page
For another option for creating a free landing Page that looks great,
Check out http://Pagemodo.com.
Simply click Get Started Now without signing in to see the free options.
You will be taken to a choice of the layouts that you can use for free. There are a lot of professional looking templates for you to choose from to help you create a basic landing Page, for free, with a nice professional design.
Of course, they do have a lot of different options to entice you to upgrade, such as collecting email addresses, adding a slide show, or removing the footer. Whether or not this is something that might work better for you depends on your needs.
The North Social (http://northsocial.com/) is a subscription-based website that offers more customization options and has many professionally designed templates.
The monthly fee to use this website is/starts at $19,99.
This option is more involved. Whether the subscription is worth it for your business, again, depends on your needs.
Whatever your needs are, one of these three options can get you started on your custom landing tab.