How ubiquitous has Facebook become?
For starters, my father is now on Facebook. This might not sound incredible. But if you saw my father, a retired high school English teacher who still has an aol.com email address and uses his laptop primarily for printing out New York Times crossword puzzzles, tapping away at the keyboard with just his pointer fingers, you’d understand this is a modern oddity.
But the second and more telling factor involves Vitamin Water, a sports drink company with a massive marketing budget that includes celebrity endorsements from 50 Cent and Steve Nash. What’s the big deal?
Vitaminwater.com, the company’s homepage, now routes directly to its Facebook page. That’s right, a gi-normous company now uses Facebook as its homepage, a tactic typically reserved for tiny businesses with a nonexistent marketing budget. Talk about a leveled playing field.
So what does it mean when a sports drink company that’s owned by a behemoth beverage corporation moves all its online content to Facebook?
For you, it means you have an unprecedented opportunity to leverage the same huge consumer crowd with the same media outlet. With a little self-education and exploration, you can build a homepage that rivals Vitamin Water’s.
Customize, Accessorize, Professionalize
You’ll notice that Vitaminwater.com does not take you to its “wall,” the default landing page for any Facebook account. Instead, you end up on it customized landing page. You can do the same thing. How? By downloading and installing apps. Here’s how you can change your landing page to anything you want:
Step 1: Logged into your Facebook account, search for the application “Static FBML” in your search box at the very top of the page. Once on the Static FBML Facebook page, click “Add to My Page” under the profile photo.
Select your Facebook page and click “Add to Page”.
Step 2: Go to your Facebook page and, under your profile photo, click “Edit Page”. Scroll down to the list of applications and you will see Static FBML at the bottom. Click “Application Settings”. Because you’ll be using this application for a landing page, “Add” the Tab setting.
Step 3: As mentioned in step 2, click “Edit Page” again. Find the FBML app and click “Edit”. Change the Box Title to something relateable to the content you plan to insert. In the FBML box, insert html code that calls up the graphic you want to include (note: graphic most be hosted on an external server – say, on your wordpress blog or company site).
Step 4: Return to your Wall. Click “settings”, located under the Share button in your “What’s on your mind?” update box. Under “Default Landing Tab for Everyone Else,” select your newly named tab. Voila, you now have a customized landing page with the graphics of your creation, just like Vitamin Water. Don’t be surprised if Fifty Cent calls tomorrow.
It doesn’t have to end there. There are countless fun and engaging modifications you can make to your page. Peruse the apps and see if anything fits your mission. Good luck, have fun.