Facebook: the behemoth of the Internet that looms over just about everything connected to the web. It’s changing the way people stay in touch, how the connect to begin with, how vacation photos are shared, how events are planned, and even how revolutions are fought. It’s much more than the website where college kids could share drunken photos and tell everyone about the tests they’re studying for. Now, Facebook is a powerful tool for organization and mobilization. This includes customer bases. Not everyone checks their email every day, and it’s pretty easy to not bother opening an email that comes from a company instead of a friend. Facebook, on the other hand, is often checked with a disturbingly high frequency, and EVERYONE is your friend on Facebook.
You can start a page on Facebook for your business, but that’s only the starting point. You need to make the customer feel that your company is actually their friend on Facebook. That includes regular updates, news, photos, events, and more. However, you also have your website: a fully featured digital face for your company. Facebook is powerful, but it can’t do everything that your website can, and your website doesn’t have the networking power that Facebook does. The solution? Integrate!
Facebook has a powerful cluster of functions called Facebook Connect. There’s an incredible range of tools that can be used, but for now, let’s start with the basics. Let’s let people “Like” your website on Facebook with the mere click of a button that you’ve placed on the website (plus, this shows that your company is web savvy.) The more people that “Like” your business on Facebook, the more visible it becomes. Each time this happens, all of that individual’s Facebook friends can see that they liked your business’ page.
Here’s how you go about putting a like button on your website.
- Go to http://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/ and find the “Like Button” plugin.
- This IS going to require a little bit of copy-paste into the actual code of your webpage. The code itself is quite small, but the placement of the button might be tricky. If you have a designer for your website, this will take about fifteen seconds for them to do, so you can ask them as well.
- Click on the “Like Button” link.
- On the page that comes up, you should see this form:
- In “URL to Like,” enter in your website’s address (http://www.yourcompany.com)
- The “Layout Style” changes the way the button looks. A preview is displayed on the right of the form. The standard style looks like this:
- The “Show Faces” determines whether or not the profile pictures (the image the person using Facebook has given as a picture to represent them) appear below the button.
- Width is the total width of the button in pixels. The example given in point five is 450.
- In “Font” you can determine what font you want to appear in the button.
- “Color Scheme” changes the color of the button. Play with this to see what blends in best with your website.
Once you’ve entered in this information, click “Get Code,” and this window should pop up.
For now, only worry about the stuff in the “iframe” part. Copy-paste all of that into your website’s code wherever you’d like it to be displayed. If you aren’t sure, placing it right above the line that reads “</body>” should put it at the bottom of the page; a very nice, out of the way spot where it is still visible, but out of the way.
With that, let your Facebook adventure begin!