November 30, 2012 by marceladevivo
It’s Facebook Friday — each week we’ll offer one tip for leveraging Facebook to increase customer awareness of and engagement with your brand or business.
One of the best ways to manage your social media accounts is to keep them connected. It has become more and more common for companies to display their Twitter feeds, Instagram photos, and Tumblr posts across multiple networks. But don’t forget that even though sometimes your social media accounts can be the most useful resources for customers, your brand’s website can also be a logical hub for centralizing updates from those different channels.
Since Facebook is the most popular social network, it makes sense to have connections between your website and your brand’s Page. Fortunately, Facebook has anticipated this need and has some tools for companies or individuals to easily share information from their profiles. Here’s a walkthrough of how to implement those Facebook features on your website.
The first way to share Facebook Page information on your website is with Badges. There are four types of these widgets — Profile Badges, Like Badges, Photo Badges, and Page Badges — that the network created to make it easy for your company to share key information online.
For a business, the most logical choice is the Page Badge. This tool can be customized to show the name, profile photo, and number of fans for any given Page. It can also display the Page’s latest status update. You can customize the orientation of the widget to be vertical, horizontal, or two columns, in order to have the best fit for your website. Facebook has special code for displaying the badge either on Blogger or TypePad, but it also offers a simple block of code that a web-savvy developer can place into any website.
The Photo Badge is another great tool for connecting recent Facebook activity with your brand’s website. Like the Page Badge, you can select a vertical, horizontal, or two-column layout for the widget. The tool can display up to eight of your company’s latest photos. If your brand has a strong collection of regularly updated visual content on social media, (and we’ve mentioned before why this is a good strategy), then this is another good way to encourage your website visitors to migrate over to your Facebook Page.
The other two options are designed for individuals. The Like Badge simply proclaims the name of a specific Page that you’ve Liked with a personal account, which is not as helpful for a business. However, the Profile Badge can display any of the biographical information or account updates for a personal page. This could be relevant if your brand has a well-known, visible representative who regularly interacts with customers and fans. Top executives may want to consider including that information on their personal websites or on their company’s sites.
There are other ways to customize how you showcase your Page’s happenings on other sites. Facebook has internal social plugins for this purpose. The most comprehensive one is the Activity Feed, which displays stories when any Facebook members interact with your Page. This is a great choice for a brand Page that sees lots of stories created on a daily basis, or for a company that has good website traffic and wants to encourage more visitors to its Facebook account.
The network has about a dozen other plugins that can be used on a company website. The most common ones are the Like Button, Like Box, Comments, and Subscribe, but there are also more unusual choices such as a box and bar for recommendations, a login button, and shared activity.
The different social plugins offer many customizeable options in terms of layout, size, and whether or not the profile photos of a visitor’s friends appear. Some knowledge of code is helpful if you want to have a highly customized plugin, but most of them can be specialized with selections from drop-down menus on Facebook’s social plugins website.
Do you connect your Facebook content to your brand’s website? Let us know in the comments!