How to welcome new Facebook fans with a custom landing page
So you’ve set up a Facebook Page for your business, did you know you can give it added oomph with a new visitor landing page? It’s an extra step, but well worth taking the time to do it now that Facebook has surpassed Google to become the leading U.S. website. Here’s what you need to know to customize your new Facebook visitor landing page in four basic steps.
What is a Facebook landing page?
Your landing page is a special tab on your Facebook site. It is the first one seen by new visitors. Think of it as a brochure cover or front door. Once it’s been opened, your visitors won’t see it anymore unless they go and click on the tab where it resides.
There are four steps to building your landing page:
1. Brainstorm what you need
2. Decide on content and links
3. Design it
4. Build it
1. Brainstorm what you need:
I like to look at what other people have done when I’m in the planning stages for doing something new. Here are a few examples to look to for inspiration:
Mari Smith, Facebook expert
Mari has a loaded FB landing page (see it here) – giving you a full sampling of everything you can do with yours. Probably more than most businesses need, but appropriate for Mari’s business and certainly worthy of exploring when you are about to build yours. She includes:
- A welcome letter outlining what you can expect to gain from becoming a fan
- A video welcome
- Tweet stream feed
- A list of latest blog posts
- Links of other social media sites (such as flickr, YouTube, etc) to find her
Mari also has another, less-complicated landing page that she designed a while back that you can still see here. (Mari, I hope if you are reading this you will keep this link up. It’s a nice comparison to your shiny new page and demonstrates nicely how a business can start simple and grow their page over time.)
Straight-forward and gets the job done, non?
Northfield Mt. Hermon School
What’s interesting about this landing page is that it has links to various school programs (such as the arts) that take you to the school’s appropriate website page. It’s clean, simple and straightforward. But also provides a directory to everywhere else online that NMH has an important web presence. As Facebook becomes increasingly a place for people to search for organizations as well as people, this type of web directory approach makes good sense. (One opportunity I noted on this page that was missed, is the links did not include source data in the code. So the school is unable to see how much of their traffic to each page came via Facebook in their web analytics. Be sure your developer doesn’t skip that important step! They also haven’t claimed their user name. See how to at the end of this post.)
http://www.facebook.com/search/?q=northfield+mount+hermon&init=quick#!/pages/Mount-Hermon-MA/Northfield-Mount-Hermon-School/16149203556?ref=search&sid=650738481.3658512030..1 (Yep, it’s a pretty ugly link, I know. Clear demonstration of why you need to claim your user name!)
Other pages to consider for inspiration (via @marismith)
http://www.facebook.com/EZINEARTICLES — nice use of an audio welcome
http://www.facebook.com/stevespangler — great value proposition
http://www.facebook.com/johnassarafpage — innovative email capture with free giveaway
2. Content and Links
In the world of fast clicks and short attention span, I believe that a clean, straightforward, informative landing page is the best welcome for new visitors. I recommend including the following information:
- Links to other locations you can be found – include both a social media directory AND key links to your web site content (blog, what’s hot, etc)
- Attractive picture – this is an opportunity to show off more than your avatar or logo.
- Facebook Page value proposition statement – in other words, what do fans get by becoming your fan
- Short business description for people who have just stumbled across your page
3. Design it
When you’ve figured out what copy you need, get your designer/developer involved with laying out the page. Depending on your design & developer team, you may or may not skip this step and go directly to the development step.
4. Build It
Landing pages are build in a Facebook application called Static FBML. If you have a basic understanding of HTML you can use an application like Dreamweaver of Microsoft FrontPage to design your landing page and then copy the HTML using the Static FBML application.
Here are a few instructional links on the technical specifics of the steps to building your page that you can pass on to your developer if they are doing it for the first time:
And this one from Mari Smith offers content ideas and insights as well as solid how to instructions.
The Facebook Static FBML Application your developer will need to use: FBML
Claim Your User Name
Last of all, don’t forget to customize your user name. Just visit http://www.facebook.com/newuser and claim yours!
Do you have an example of a Facebook welcome inspiration page? I hope you’ll leave yours in the comments below.