How to enhance the visual clarity and effectiveness of your company profile page.
Facebook recently announced that they will be gradually phasing out the “Share” button. The “Like” button will takeover as the primary call to action for all content sharing on Facebook. Sure enough you’re starting to see it everywhere. You’ll notice that it’s even at the top and bottom of this very blog post.
Love it or hate it, Facebook is here to stay. If it hasn’t happened already, there is certainly a good chance that sometime soon a prospective client or customer will get their very first impression of your company by arriving at your company Facebook page rather than your primary website. If you’re like many businesses this might be a scary thought. It doesn’t have to be. With some fairly simple graphic design work I can extend your established visual identity to your Facebook page.
I’ve recently made some modifications to my Facebook page that will serve as examples of some changes that can enhance the visual clarity and effectiveness of your own company profile page.
Let’s take a closer look.
Facebook already makes it easy for you to add a logo and basic description of your business. You can also add photos and posts but this means that all of your content is presented as just a collection of image folders and a stream of status updates. That’s fine for dynamic content but it’s not the most elegant way to summarize your business. However, by adding a simple app to your page called Static FBML, we can customize content using standard HTML and CSS. This method gives us the freedom to approach page design much as we would when developing from scratch for your primary web site. Granted we don’t have quite as much real estate to work with but a 520px wide column is sufficient for creating something along the lines of a mini-landing page. I tend to think that on a Facebook page we need to engage your visitor and summarize your services in a more streamlined fashion. I can work with you to develop graphic content that is true to your company identity while also working seamlessly with in the surrounding Facebook page design. If a goal of your Facebook page is to drive traffic to your primary site we can include a prominent call to action or a collection of quick links that will send visitors to target channels.
The new Facebook company profile design organizes page content in to categories that can be navigated with tabs in the left column of your page. Here you’ll find default Facebook items such as Wall, Info, Photos, etc. We can turn on or off most of these categories. The Static FBML app allows us to go one step further and add additional tabs of your choice.(see fig1 below)
In the case of my own page I’ve opted to add just a single new category to the left column. However, with in this new page I’ve built my own custom navigation tabs using HTML.(see fig2 below).
Contact Form: We can easily incorporate your email address or phone number as a prominent call to action but we could also go one step further and include a contact form that will direct messages to your Facebook account.
Slideshow: If you’re interested in serving a collection of images we can integrate a slideshow that pulls images from your Flickr account or other popular photo hosts.
RevealTab: I have not implemented this feature myself but if you have some type of applicable promotional content a reveal tab is a great way to entice visitors to learn a bit more about you. We would a tab to your page with content that is initially hidden from first time visitors. This hidden page becomes visible only after one has clicked on the “Like” button and opted to follow your company posts. Imagine language that says something like “Become a fan and get access to our recently published newsletter”.
I don’t think a great looking Facebook page is going to make or break your business. However, it is undeniable that social networking platforms such as Facebook offer a great way for you to connect with existing and prospective customers. If you have already established or are thinking about creating a Facebook page, it only makes sense to approach the visual design of such a page with the same care that you would apply to any other marketing channel.
You can view my Facebook page here. Feel free to poke around and click the “Like” button.