Using Facebook For Your Small Business – Part 4

UPDATE: Facebook has announced the it's phasing out FBML for Custom Tabs in Favor of iFrames

Welcome back for Part 4 of my ‘Using Facebook For Your Small Business’ series. If you haven’t read my previous 3 posts, here are some links that will probably help give some background:

Part 1 – Data on facebook demographics (Unless you sell to babies or dead people, your customers ARE on facebook)

Part 2 – Creating Your Business Page (what you need and consideration on using facebook personally)

Part 3 - Getting Likes The Easy Way (some low hanging fruit for getting likes)

As promised, today I want to talk about an advanced feature of Facebook pages:

Facebook Custom Tabs

We've all seen the various applications available on facebook. Some of them are Ok, and some of them (ahem, Farmville) can be a bit annoying. Applications can be just about anything, including a custom informational or functional Tab to show on a page.

So, why in the world would you want to add yet another tab to your small business facebook page? Well, lets look at some examples.

Which Small Business Facebook Page Would "Like" First?

Custom Like Tab By A Non-Profit

OR

If I had to guess, I'd say we all agree that the first example is much more effective at getting you to Like their brand. Why would you want to simply show your wall if you can send the user to a page that specifically asks them to do what you want them to do? Especially since "Liking" a brand doesn't take anything more than click one button.

Once They Like You, Add Value & Keep Them Coming Back

It doesn't have to end with the custom "Like Us" tab. Why not provide custom functions that add value for existing customers and folks that already like you? For example, Starbucks does a great job of providing added value for users through their 'Starbucks Card' tab. With this custom tab, you can reload a friends card for them or check the balance on your card. You can even setup auto-reloads to your card.

This functionality benefits the users, and most certainly benefits Starbucks. What's more, they aren't giving anything away to do it. We often hear that small businesses are discouraged with social media because they think you have to give something away to succeed. While it can certainly help to grow "Likes" by giving something away on occasion, it's not something that is essential to have a strong social media presence.

Other Options

In our area, many Oil and Gas companies are hiring like crazy. Why wouldn't you want a custom tab on your Facebook page to announce open positions and get the application process started?

Using Starbucks as an example again, you can see that they have done just that:

Mercedes Benz uses a custom tab to highlight their products and share the media they are generating elsewhere:

Not Just For Big Companies

While I've shown examples from larger companies in this post, they are most certainly NOT the only organizations able to do or afford this type of functionality. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of small businesses doing custom tabs. We can help!

What's Next?

In my next post, I will cover a case study of a business' effective use of Facebook. Check back next week!

VIEW MORE STORIES IN Facebook, Social Media, Attract

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