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Facebook Updates: Page Insights, FBML, Negative Feedback and More

I wanted to send along some of the latest Facebook updates shared by one of our reps.

An interesting development (or least news to me) is the Negative Feedback Stat for Insights. This is not a sentiment analysis, as is stated below, but appears to be a 2.0 version of unsubscribes and unLikes for individual posts. I am not seeing this in the Insights dashboard or exported file for any pages yet – please leave a comment below if you have, otherwise, this is likely in a beta rollout.

With that said, here are some of the more interesting and upcoming Facebook updates.

  • FBML Apps and non-HTTPS will stop working on January 1, 2012
    • As previously messaged, Facebook will be fully transitioning to iFrames and secure browsing via HTTPS. iFrames are Facebook’s new framework for serving content on canvas pages and Page tabs
  • Facebook Page Insights
    • A new Page Insights eLearning module can be found here: http://www.learnpageinsights.com/
    • With the launch of the new Page Insights, we’ll slowly be deprecating the old PI. Page admins will see warnings in the old Insights informing them of this upcoming change. Data will continue to be available through the old Insights for 1 month, with all data deleted and access to the old Insights removed on February 15, 2012
  • Negative Feedback Stat
    • Facebook now show admins the number of unique users that gave negative feedback on a Page post so that they better understand which posts resonate with their audience. Please note this is not sentiment analysis.
    • Negative feedback is a unique count of people who hid the post or reported it as spam in their News Feed.
  • IO Advertisers can now boost any post from any Page
    • IO clients can now create Facebook ads from any post made on any Page, even if they don’t own the Page. The ability to boost any post creates new opportunities for a advertisers, especially those who use celebrity or athlete endorsements. It can be used to support product/ movie launches, product promotions or events, and general brand awareness campaigns. (example, a film studio can boost Page posts by a featured actor who posts a trailer for an upcoming film)
    • This feature is only availabie through IO for Premium and Marketplace, and not in self serve or the API
  • Facebook Studio Awards: December 31st deadline approaching
    • Enter your best campaigns by clicking the “Submit Your Work” button at: http://facebook-studio.com

Have you come across any Facebook or Page updates that I missed above? Please share them in the comments!

Creating a Facebook Page – Step 5: Create a Username

Now that you’ve selected the most appropriate category for your Facebook page, filled out your info section and began adding content to your Facebook page and updated your settings to prevent comment spam hopefully all of that has translated into an increase in ‘likes’.

The last step in finalizing your Facebook Page is creating a username. This is key for a number of reasons:

  • Prevent someone from squatting on your brand name
  • Improve search engine optimization by including your ‘keywords’ in your URL
  • A specific, short URL is much easier for your users to remember
  • Helps establish an ‘identify’ for your brand
  • Eases promotional efforts when publishing your Facebook Page URL

In short, you should definitely take advantage of the ability to assign a unique username for your Facebook page.

To get started, follow the steps below:

  1. Login to Facebook and go to your Facebook page.
  2. Click “Edit Info” and then select “Basic Information”.
  3. Click on the link: “Create a username for this page?”
  4. In some cases, it may require you to verify your account. Additionally, it requires you to have at least 25 fans on your Facebook page.

Tips on Selecting a Username

You’ll need to assign a username that should be the same as your official business name, domain name, or brand. With over 750 million users on Facebook, its quite possible the username you are hoping for will be taken. In such as a case use “dots” or “dashes” to isolate each word. For example, if you are the owner of Blue Widgets, then you can assign the username as “blue-widgets” or “blue.widgets”.

After configuring this, your official Facebook page URL should now be one of the following options:

  1. http://www.facebook.com/bluewidgets
  2. http://www.facebook.com/blue-widgets
  3. http://www.facebook.com/blue.widgets

Its looks professional, clean, and search engine friendly. Now you have officially completed all 5 steps required to set up your Facebook Page! Feel free to leave a link to your Facebook Page in the comments section!

Creating a Facebook Page – Step 4: Prevent Comment Abuse


Now that you are populating your Facebook Page with content, you’ll likely encounter spam comments as well as the occasional use of profanity. Obviously this is not great for any brand page. With that in mind, its time to configure your landing page settings to prevent as much comment abuse as possible.

Preventing Facebook Page Comment Abuse

  1. Click “Edit Info” on your dashboard
  2. Click “Manage permissions’
  3. Next, configure the following important aspects
  4. Default landing tab – you can set this to either wall or info. This is the first thing the user will see when they land on your Facebook page
    • Elect whether or not you can decide if users can add photos or videos
    • To control the use of profane words in comments, under “moderation blocklist” copy and paste this list of words
    • Lastly, make sure “profanity blocklist” is set to “strong”

Now, after these settings are updated, you should be well on your way to preventing a lot of common Facebook comment abuse. Note, you should still manually check your followers comments to ensure nothing slipped through the cracks!

Next up, the final step 5 – creating a username.

Creating a Facebook Page – Step 3: Add Posts to Your Wall

Now that you have selected the appropriate category for your Facebook page and updated the Info section, now you’re ready to begin providing some seed content to your Facebook wall. One of the easiest ways to get some content on your wall immediately is to share your latest blog posts.

To share a newly posted blog post or content from your website, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to Wall.
  2. Click “Link”
  3. Copy and paste the newly posted blog link from your website
  4. Click “Attach”
  5. Under “Say something about this link”, be sure to type an enticing description to increase click through rates to your site
  6. Finally, click “Share”

An example is below:

Share Blog Posts on Facebook

As you increase Facebook fans and followers, your regular news updates will appear in their news feeds. If your fans likes or shares the story, the rest of their contacts will be exposed to the content in their news feeds as well – hopefully increasing your traffic even further.

This is short and sweet but definitely one of the easiest ways to begin populating your Facebook Page with useful content until a full editorial calendar can be developed.

Next up, step 4 of your Facebook Page creation – preventing comment abuse.

Creating a Facebook Page – Step 2: Completing The Info Section

So after step 1, you’ve set up your Facebook page in the most appropriate category. Step 2 involves building out the “info” section of your Facebook page. Think of this section as the foundational content of your Facebook Page. The simplest way to configure your Facebook page is to follow the steps in the “Get Started” page. While this section will vary slightly depending on the chosen category, an example screenshot is below:

Facebook Info Section Template

At minimum, be sure your Facebook page has at least one photo and a few sentences listed in the “Info” section. For more of an impact, follow these step 2 tips for the strongest impact on social media optimization.

Facebook Page Info Section

Your “Info” – This section is vital in providing your Facebook users a place to visit should they want to know more about you, your website, or your company. Think of the info section as your “online Facebook resume”. With that in mind, it should list the following important details:

Artist, Band or Public Figure

  • Address – what area are your serving? Are you local or national? If you have a valid address, users will be able to check into your location.
  • Affiliation – List any appropriate affiliations such as a band, organization or team.
  • Birthday – Update your birth date to enjoy a plethora of well wishers congratulating your on your day of birth.
  • About – What are you about – why do you have your own Facebook page?
  • Biography – Fill in your biographic details
  • Awards – Everyone wants to work with a prestigious individual. Have any accolades or awards worth noting? Add them in this section.
  • Gender – this one should be pretty easy 🙂
  • Personal Information – If you are a public figure, most are probably familiar with your celebrity life but what about some personal information folks might not know – that can be added here.
  • Personal Interests – What do you enjoy for fun or perhaps hobbies can be added here.
  • E-mail Address – Supply your official email address. This is vital for press inquiries as well as interested fans or clients. Note* I would advise against supplying your personal e-mail address, rather opt for something like ‘info@yourwebsite.com’ or ‘contact@yourwebsite.com’.
  • Website Address – What is your official website URL? This will be important as one of the first opportunities to drive Facebook traffic to your website.
  • Phone Number – If you have a toll free number or phone lines for incoming customers, then provide them in this section of your Facebook page.

Company, Organization or Institution

  • Founded – Established companies can carry a little bit more ‘trust’ for users. Be sure to add in your foundation date.
  • Address – what area are your serving? Are you local or national? If you have a valid address, users will be able to check into your location.
  • About – What are you or your business all about?
  • Company Overview – Provide a quick synopsis of your company or website.
  • Description – This area provides an opportunity to describe in detail your content and services offered.
  • Mission – What is the company or website’s mission statement? Add it here.
  • Awards – Everyone wants to work with a prestigious company or individual. Have any accolades or awards worth noting? Add them in this section.
  • Products – If you are selling something, what products are you selling? If you are offering services instead of selling products, you can list your services in detail. At the end of this list. add a link to your site where they can contact you and discuss project proposals in detail.
  • E-mail Address – Supply your official email address of your company. This is vital for press inquiries as well as interested clients. Note* I would advise against supplying your personal e-mail address, rather opt for something like ‘info@yourwebsite.com’ or ‘contact@yourwebsite.com’.
  • Website Address – What is your official website URL? This will be important as one of the first opportunities to drive Facebook traffic to your website.
  • Phone Number – If you have a toll free number or phone lines for incoming customers, then provide them in this section of your Facebook page.

Local Business or Place

  • Address – what area are your serving? Are you local or national? If you have a valid address, users will be able to check into your location.
  • Hours – For local business, feel free to update your hours of operation.
  • About – What are you or your business all about?
  • General Information – This area provides an opportunity to describe in detail your content and services offered as well as a quick synopsis of your company or website.
  • Price Range – For those selling products, this option allows for a notation of product price points.
  • Parking – Also specific to local business profiles is the option to supply details on parking options.
  • Public Transit – Add any local public transit details here.
  • E-mail Address – Supply your official email address of your company. This is vital for press inquiries as well as interested clients. Note* I would advise against supplying your personal e-mail address, rather opt for something like ‘info@yourwebsite.com’ or ‘contact@yourwebsite.com’.
  • Website Address – What is your official website URL? This will be important as one of the first opportunities to drive Facebook traffic to your website.
  • Phone Number – If you have a toll free number or phone lines for incoming customers, then provide them in this section of your Facebook page.

Brands and Products

  • Founded – Established companies can carry a little bit more ‘trust’ for users. Be sure to add in your foundation date.
  • Release Date – for products specifically, add in your products original release date
  • Address – what area are your serving? Are you local or national? If you have a valid address, users will be able to check into your location.
  • Hours – For local business, feel free to update your hours of operation.
  • About – What are you or your business all about?
  • Company Overview – Provide a quick synopsis of your company or website.
  • Description – This area provides an opportunity to describe in detail your content and services offered.
  • Mission – What is the company or website’s mission statement? Add it here.
  • Awards – Everyone wants to work with a prestigious company or individual. Have any accolades or awards worth noting? Add them in this section.
  • Products – If you are selling something, what products are you selling? If you are offering services instead of selling products, you can list your services in detail. At the end of this list. add a link to your site where they can contact you and discuss project proposals in detail.
  • E-mail Address – Supply your official email address of your company. This is vital for press inquiries as well as interested clients. Note* I would advise against supplying your personal e-mail address, rather opt for something like ‘info@yourwebsite.com’ or ‘contact@yourwebsite.com’.
  • Website Address – What is your official website URL? This will be important as one of the first opportunities to drive Facebook traffic to your website.
  • Phone Number – If you have a toll free number or phone lines for incoming customers, then provide them in this section of your Facebook page.

While you probably noticed a number of similarities across all of these profiles, there are some slight nuances that help customize each category. Be sure to take advantage of these options to provide the best overview for your followers! Stay tuned for Part 3 – Adding the first posts to your wall.

Creating a Facebook Page – Step 1: Choosing a Category

With the incredible growth of Facebook, if you own a business or website, it makes sense to create a Facebook page in order to take advantage of the potential traffic. At this point, don’t worry if you are just getting started or do not have any fans or likes. If you are confident you can create quality content and present it properly, the number of people that will like your site and join the community will naturally increase.

To get started, visit this page. Note that there are a handful of options to choose from depending on what type of page you are looking to create. This is step 1 in creating a Facebook Page – be sure to select the most appropriate category to avoid future mistakes and confusion on the part of your Facebook fans.

Follow these tips to properly select your Facebook page type:

Company, Organization or Institution

If the Facebook page is being created for business purposes and you have a need to establish reputation and identity with the rest of your friends or visitors on Facebook you need to select “Company, Organization or Institution”. This will allow you to list your own company or business directly in your personal Facebook profile. To do so, log into your Facebook account, then click “Profile”. Once there, click “Edit Profile” then go to “Education and Work”. You can then list your company under “Employer”. The good thing about this method is that after saving the changes, your friends and visitors can see this link in your profile. When this link is clicked, the visitor will land on your Facebook page. Mercedes is a great example of a Company Facebook Profile.

Company or Organization Facebook Page Example

Artist, Band or Public Figure

Perhaps, Myspace is better known for their affinity for band pages and music in general, however, if you are looking to grow fans and community for a musical artist or band, then select “Artist, Band or Public Figure”. This Facebook page option allows the musical artist or band to upload music as well as the ability for fans to share music with their network of friends, etc. This feature is not available in other types of Facebook Pages. Eminem has grown quite a community on Facebook with over 46 million likes.

Band, Public Figure Facebook Page Example

Cause or Community

For non-profit websites created for charity and community, you can select “Cause or Community”. These pages were especially helpful during some of the recent tragedies such as the Haiti Earthquake. The American Red Cross pops to mind as one such Cause or Community page that is doing a great job.

Cause or Community Facebook Page Example

Entertainment

Looking to increase fans for a TV show, TV channel, concert or sporting event? The Entertainment Facebook Page is your ideal choice. One of my favorite examples is HBO:

Entertainment Facebook Page Example

Brand or Product

If you are looking to market a specific brand or product such as clothing, appliances, food or beverages than the Brand or Product Facebook page is the ideal choice. While there are a lot of choices to choose from in this category, I like how Skittles has really embraced the Facebook community growing fans to over 19 million and consistently engaging with comments and creating content on their wall.

Brand or Product Facebook Page Example

Local Business or Place

Does your business serve a localized cliental? This option is ideal for local bars/restaurants, hotels, religious institutions, local monuments, etc. You will have the option to add your address and local phone number. The example below, shows how 24 Hour Fitness utilizes individual Local Business pages to market to members of each of their localized fitness clubs.

Local Business Facebook Page Example

Look for an overview of step 2 coming soon! By the way, what are some of your favorite Facebook pages?

Upcoming Facebook Page Commenting Changes

Facebook CommentsA heads up on upcoming Facebook policy changes that will impact “commenting” on pharmaceutical and financial services brand pages.

Facebook will be changing their policy when it comes to disabling comments. At some point, possibly as early as mid-June, Facebook will be opening up comments on all pharma Pages with the exceptions of the following:

  • Pages that promote, talk about, or support prescription drugs or devices
  • Pages that focus on a disease state where there is only one prescribed treatment (even if the Page doesn’t mention the treatment)
  • Disease-state/therapeutic area Pages that have the PI/ISI on the Page

Currently, Page administrators have the ability to disable comments to Wall posts, photos, and videos which is vital for pharma and financial services brand pages as they work in highly regulated industries. It would be very difficult to deal with open comments from the Facebook community in these particular verticals.

There will be more information on this in the coming weeks…although only pharma is discussed, we believe financial services will also be impacted by this Facebook Page commenting change.

1-1000 Facebook Fans in 35 Days

One of my favorite blogs, Freelance Folder, created a Facebook fan page on October 6th, 2009. On November 10th,approximately 35 days later, they reached the one thousand fan milestone. How did they do it? I’ll show you how they accomplished it and how you can to!

First things first, we’ll run through a quick guide to creating fan pages. From there we’ll move into some of the fan growth strategies.

Getting Started With a Facebook Fan Page

To create a Facebook fan page you can simply visit the public page that allows you to create ads and pages. Click on Create a Page. You will be given three options:

  1. Local
  2. Brand
  3. Artist, Band, or Public Figure

Creating a Facebook Fangpage

Simply choose the category that suits your business the most and follow the instructions. As you can see, creating a fan page on Facebook takes about five minutes max. That said, building it and growing a community within that page can take months.

Now that you’ve created a fan page for your business or site, let’s start growing it.

Get Your Friends Involved

The first thing you want to do to grow your fan page is utilize close friends on Facebook. Let your friends know that you have created a fan page and ask them to be a fan. It’s almost guaranteed that they will become a fan without hesitating.

Save the first few days for the close-knit group and then extend invites to a larger group.

Now it’s Time to Send Some Invitations

Suggest your fanpage to friendsNow that you have asked your close friends to become fans, it’s time to send out invites to your acquaintances.

If you have a few hundred friends, do not send out invites all at once. You don’t want a spike of fans one day and be dead in the water the next day. A great ‘rule’ to follow is to send out invites in sets by first letter.

 For example, you can send out invites to those folks with names thta begin with the letters A, B and C on day 1. On the second day, send out invites to people whose name begin with the letters D, E, F and G and so on.

This way you don’t end up getting fifty fans one day and nothing the rest of the days. The Suggest to Friends feature is on the left right under your fan page profile picture as seen in the image above.

Now that you’ve sent out your invites, you need to decide whether to run an ad campaign to promote your fan page.

Run a Facebook Ad Campaign (optional)

Being a freelancer myself I know that budget are extremely tight. That said, if you can spare $5.00 to $20.00 I highly recommend running an ad campaign. Facebook allows you to target your ads and gives you the option to pinpoint who sees the ad. You can target ads based on age, gender, location, profession, etc.

Facebook ad campaign

You can either pay for impressions or for clicks. I recommend the impressions model because the main goal is to get the page seen by as many people as possible. Even if they don’t click and sign up when they see the ad, there is a possibility that they might come back later.

To create an ad, go to public page that allows you to create ads and pages.

At this point, you can start promoting your fan page through your website.

Cross-Promote Your Fan Page

Now that you are done asking for help from your close group of friends and sending out invites, it’s time to start promoting on your web properties.

Talk about your fan page on your blog or your site – and don’t forget about Twitter! Grab a fan page box and embed it on your blog.

Promote with a Fanpage box

After you are done implementing the above tips, be sure you are engaging with your fans. Above all, make sure your fans are interacting. There is no point in having a fan page with thousands of fans where no one really interacts. So let’s see some of the ways to pull in people without really having to ask them to become fans.

You should follow the tips outlined below as soon as you get your fan page up and running.

Your Updates Should “Call For Action”

Ask questions to draw participation

One of the best ways to “call for action” through your updates is by asking a question – something that Freelance Folder does extremely well. People love to voice their opinion and share their expertise. Make sure your updates ask them to do that. Simply linking to each article you publish on your blog won’t help you much as far as growing your fan page goes.

Two of the best ways for your fans to interact are through the Like and Comment features.

Like and Comment Are Your Best Friends

Facebook "like" feature

These Like and Comment features are extremely important to growing your fan page. Every time someone comments on your update or clicks the like button it shows on their feeds. Your fans’ friends see their profile or feed on the main page. They also see that one of your fans have been commenting on or using the like feature on your fan page. This can creates a viral effect.

If the update is good enough and really thought-provoking, those users who didn’t know about your fan page might join because they saw someone they knew on Facebook actively using it.

The key is to make sure your fans are participating and using those Like and Comment features so that it shows on their feeds. This is one of the best ways to get your fan page exposed to as many people as possible.

Now onto third party apps…

Utilize Third Party Apps

Blog and Twitter Tab on Facebook page

One of the reason Facebook is so popular is because of all the third party Facebook apps that are out there. I am talking about the apps that actually add value to your fan page.

If you look at Freelance Folder’s fan page, you will notice two tabs at the top that are not default tabs for fan pages — News and Twitter. If you click on the News tab you will see our recent posts. If you click on the Twitter tab you will see our Twitter updates.

These apps allow for a single stop information source for their fan base. (you can find these apps at involver.com for free). Now fans can quickly check Facebook updates, see what’s new on the blog, and even see what is being tweeted.

I personally think one of the best Facebook apps is the FBML application, also known as FaceBook Markup Language. You can use this app to create customized tabs, etc.

Here is a good example of a custom welcome page created by AllFacebook for their fan page using FBML.

Using FBML app to create a custom page for your fanpage

We’d love to hear your experience growing your Facebook fan page! Do you have any additional tips to share?

How To: Customize Your Facebook Page & Attract More Fans

Facebook Fan Pages are gaining popularity due to their high adoption rates among Facebook’s 300+ million users. Currently more than 10 million users become fans of Pages each day. However, the basic fan page layout is quite, well, basic. Adding some simple modifications can really make a Fan Page standout and  attract those valuable fans. By doing so, you’ll benefit not only improved appearance, but it is easy and cost effective as well.

The average Facebook Page lacks the ability to modify a page so that the visual appearance can match that of your website, promotional material or landing page. One simple application can add this functionality to your pages and pull in Facebook statistics as well.

The application Static FBML will allow you to create a new tab on your Facebook Page that can be completely customized to mimic your web presence and branding by displaying HTML and FBML so that you can render a truly customized section for your fans. Here is a step-by-step look at how you can implement this tactic.

First, you must have an active Facebook Page that you have admin access to. Then, head over to the Static FMBL Page and choose the “Add To My Page” link:

Static FBML

Once clicked, you will have the ability to choose a page (or pages) that you can add this application to. The application will then be added to the chosen Page(s) and will be labeled “FBML.”

Next, you will want to click “edit your page” then choose to edit the “FBML – FBML” application.

Change Name of Box

This is where the magic happens and the customization occurs. You can use simple HTML to fill this page and really have it stand out from your competition. Important: javascript is not supported, so stick with plain old HTML for best results.

There is also a good deal of helpful conversations which can enhance your troubleshooting within the “Discussions”  box of the FBML Page if you get stuck.  Coca-Cola and Gap both offer a great example of a customized FBML Page if you are looking for a few creative ideas.

Now, you should have your customized look in the newly named box … but you are not done yet! If your newly created page is really important for your brand (timely promotion, special savings or just an all around improvement from your wall) set this new box as your default location that users will arrive on when they visit your site. You can accomplish this by simply editing your “Wall Settings”. Select your new box in the “Default Landing Tab for Everyone Else:” drop down tab.

Default Boxes

So there you go! With these simple steps, hopefully you can step up the presence of your Facebook Page and differentiate yourself from your competitors!

How To: Send Facebook Fan Page Updates

Over the weekend Facebook removed the sidebar action link that sends Fan page updates to your Facebook fans directly. You will now need to go through an extra click to get your updates sent. According to All Facebook, since the new Facebook inbox launched the click through rates on Fan page updates has increased significantly! We highly recommend Page administrators take advantage of this increased visibility.
So how do you send the updates? Simply click on the “Edit Page” link on the sidebar. On the right hand side under “Promote Your Page” you will see a link which says “Send an Update to Fans”. Despite the decreased visibility page updates are extremely useful for reaching those Fans who’s feeds your stories may not be displayed in.

As Fan Page updates continue to be implemented we’ll be sure to keep you up to date!