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Last week, I talked about social media integration as a means of SEO improvement. With Facebook topping the ranks of most visited websites, it is a clear first choice for social media for businesses. Most people are pretty familiar with Facebook profiles and pages, so here are a few lesser-known functionalities for Facebook and Facebook integration:

  1. Facebook Page Insights
    Facebook offers statistics for every page, including number of active users, new ‘likes’ (fans), page views, etc. Each of these are available shown daily, monthly, or if you enter the detailed view, in graph format. Also available in graph format are statistics about demographics of your users (age, gender, location), and activity on your page (page views, photo views, video views, etc.)

    To get to Insights, you simply go to your business page, click “Edit Page” (A), then click “Insights” (B). From there you can see past statistics (C) or see a detailed view, as mentioned above (D).

  2. Page Applications
    Most users know about the basic applications like Events, Photos, Notes, and Video, but Facebook offers a wealth of applications that can be embedded and customized within your page as tabs or boxes. Some of these include:

    • Reviews (allows customers to share reviews of your business that are then displayed on your page)
    • Promotions (allows you to run branded, interactive promotions on your fan page)
    • Flash (allows you to upload your own Adobe Flash files to be displayed on your page)
    • FBML (my personal favorite; allows you to embed HTML and CSS to be displayed on your page – can be used for e-newsletter signups, welcome pages, etc.)

    There are thousands of Facebook applications available, so it’s more than likely that if you want to display something on your Facebook page (music, graphics, videos, etc.), there will be an application available! To search Applications, or see which applications your page is currently using, just go to your page, click “Edit Page”, then click “Applications” on the left.

  3. Page Usernames
    Once you’ve created your page, you can visit www.facebook.com/username/ to choose a user name for your page. This allows you to link to your page with a more simple URL, that doesn’t’ have to include your page ID number. For example, you can visit Voila! Media Group’s Facebook page by going to www.facebook.com/voilamediagroup

  4. Social Plug-ins – Like Box
    Facebook also offers several social plug-ins via Facebook Developers that you can use to embed Facebook content and functionality into your website. My favorite of these is the “Like Box”, which you can setup here:

    developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like-box

    The Like Box displays your page’s name and profile picture, along with a stream of recent posts, a list of fans with profile pictures, and most importantly, a link to “Like” your page. The best part about this plugin, is that it’s customizable. You can choose to add/remove separate pieces. Only want a stream of recent posts? Just want the list of fans? Want to list less fans? Don’t like the header? No problem! It’s easy to edit, and when you’re ready, just click “Get Code” and have your web developer paste the code into your website where you want the box to appear.

Facebook offers a lot of different ways to promote and integrate your business with social media. New services are being added every day, and those that are there already are being improved upon. You sometimes run into the occasional glitch or error, bust they usually are worked out fairly quickly.

The main thing, though, is that you have to keep searching for new functionality. Whether you scope out other businesses to see what they’re doing with social media, or you search for new applications or plug-ins, new functionalities are always in development and old ones are often being improved upon. Keep your eyes and ears open, or you can always ask your local marketing company for ideas to improve your business’s social media presence on the web!

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