Have you ever seen those custom Facebook fan pages that businesses and public figures have? They are called landing pages because they are the first page that people looking at them “land” on. The landing page can serve several purposes. It can be informative, telling people who you are and what you offer. It can also be an advertisement. It can also be a “squeeze” page that encourages people to “like” your page, becoming a fan so they can receive updates and other content from you in the future.
Since I am an author, this how-to guide will be author specific but the information found here can be easily adapted for other types of landing pages. I’m figuring all this stuff out just as you are, so this is going to be very basic information just to get your feet wet.
Let’s take a look at the landing page for popular, traditionally published author, Vince Flynn.
What are the elements in this landing page that we want to single out? First, notice how the bulk of, and most important parts of the information is “above the fold”. Its all right there when you land on the page without having to scroll down. You see the author, his name, and what he is, a best-selling author. There is also a “call to action”. Without a call to action, the reader sees the information but thinks, “Okay, so what?”. You want to tell the viewer what you want them to do. You want them to like your page so you can tell them more about your product, in our case a book.
Scrolling down you find some more detailed information. You find out why you might want to become a fan and also see pictures of the products being offered. I used Flynn’s landing page as a template when I went and built my own:
In retrospect, what would I do differently? Make that call to action stand out a little bit more. Highlight the text, make the arrow bright red, do something to better get the reader’s attention. Same goes for my cover photo down below. What did I do a better than Flynn? I posted a picture of myself engaging in the type of activity I write about. I write military fiction so here is a picture of me clearing a alleyway in Iraq with an Iraqi soldier. If possible, do the same with your landing page, establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Again, this is the landing page that people first see when they come to your fan page. After they click the “like” button you can set it so that they see another image. If you are making an offer or something you want to include that offer on this second page. On mine I give some more information about my short story and instructions on how to navigate my fan site for more information.
Another interesting image that gets people’s attention and some book blurbs. Now to get into the nitty gritty of how all of this is done. You need to make the images yourself in photoshop or an equivalent program. How to use photoshop is outside the purview of this guide, but if you get into trouble just consult youtube where you can find all kinds of tutorials. Facebook recently changed its code from fbml to html but this tutorial video is up to date and explains everything you need to know.
A few pointers before you bang your head off the wall the way I did.
1. Remember, to set your landing page as your default page that Facebook users first see you need to go into your “manage permissions” tab when you log in as an administrator. Go down to “Default Landing Tab” and click the drop down menu. Select which page you want non-fans to see when they first visit.
2. As an administrator you will NOT see your landing page when you visit your fan page. Only non-administrators and non-fans will see your landing page image. Facebook does this on the rationale that as an administrator you don’t need to see your own advertisement every time you check your own site. To see if your landing page is working correctly, copy your fan page URL, log out of Facebook, paste the URL into your browser, and hit enter. If you have set everything up right you will now see your landing page.
3. When you go onto your editor function of your new Welcome Tab (as mentioned in the video above) make sure you check the no scroll bars option so that your image shows up in one piece and takes up the entire field of your landing page, otherwise it looks pretty ugly.
If you have any advanced tips, or run into problems and have questions please say something in the comments box and I will try to help. Also, if you use this guide to make a landing site please post a link so the rest of us can take a look! Thanks and good luck.
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