21 Apr Creating a Custom Tab on your Business Facebook Page

You’ve probably seen some really cool custom Facebook pages like Macy’s or Coca-Cola and wondered “how do they do that? How can I get a page for my business that has all the great features of a website on my business page? In fact, how can I add my own shopping cart to Facebook?

This article describes the process of creating a custom tab or application on your Business Facebook page, as of March 30, 2012. With the changes to the “Timeline” rather than a “wall”, default landing pages have disappeared – you can no longer direct non-fans to a different page than people who have already liked your page. This practice, known as “fan-gating” has become obsolete. You must now engage all visitors to your page in a similar way.

However, you can still provide incentives to your fans that non-fans do not receive. This article describes how you can display different content to “Fans” as opposed to non-fan visitors to your page by building a custom “app”. While it contains technical information, if you follow these steps, you should be able to create a dynamic tab that you can update from your own website whenever you want. This gives you the flexibility to simply update your fan page on your website and have it displayed on your Facebook page as a way of providing new incentives in an ongoing fashion, without having to build a new app each time.

Step 1: Build the “App”

Go to: https://developers.facebook.com/apps
Click on “Create New App”


 
Give your “app” a name, such as “Fans Only”, then press “Continue”.
 

 
Verify the Captcha text that is presented.
 

You will now see a page that look like this. There are 2 sections you will want to fill out.
 

 
Fill out the information as shown. Use your own website domain for both the URL and the secure URL (you MUST have a secure URL using either a private or shared SSL). The last part of each of these should be “Facebook_tab.php?fb=1”. You will need to upload the file “Facebook_tab.php” to your server.
 
Change the tab width from 520px to 810px as Facebook no longer limits you to a narrow format. Click on “Change” to upload a custom page Tab Image.
 
Click on “Save changes”

Note your App ID and App secret. You will be needing these.
 

Step 2: Edit Files

You will need the following files. These must be edited and then uploaded to your server: (Here is a zip of all these – right click and “save as” to download these files).

Facebook_tab.php
Fb_like.htm
Fb_nolike.htm
Facebook.php (this one does not require editing)

Edit Facebook_app.php to include the app id and app secret you previously noted.
 

Create pages in your content management system such as WordPress displaying information you want fans to see, and a page asking people to become your fans.

Note: If using WordPress, you may want to use a special “popup” template that does not include any menus or widget areas, and also “exclude page” so it doesn’t appear on your website’s menu.

Edit fb_like.htm and fb_nolike.htm files to re-direct to the pages you want.
 
These can be any page you want, such as one you created inside of your Content management system or blogging software. And of course these pages can include links, videos, or anything else you want them to include. Since you are going to update these files regularly, your Facebook tabs will change accordingly.
 
Step 3: Add the App Tab to your page

Go to:
http://www.facebook.com/dialog/pagetab?app_id=YOUR_APP_ID&next=YOUR_URL

Insert the App ID created in the previous step where it says “YOUR_APP_ID” and the URL from the page Tab URL you specified previously. For example:

http://www.facebook.com/dialog/pagetab?app_id=417927034902655&next= http://216.197.104.12/facebook_tab.php?fb=1

Now go to your Facebook Page.
Click on Admin panel
 
Then click on “Manage -> Edit page”
 

Click on “Apps”. You should see your new Tab “app” in the list on the right.
 

Return to “View Page”. The app should be visible. If it isn’t, then it is “hidden” behind the drop down arrow and you will need to move it to the front.
 
Click on the icon and make sure it works. If you have “Liked” the page, you should get a different page than if you have not “Liked” the page.

To view a working example, please visit: http://www.facebook.com/WebStoresLtd

Sound like Greek? Call WebStores Ltd at 877-924-1414 and we can build one for you!

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