As time goes on, it's becoming pretty apparent to most business owners that they're missing out if they don't have a profile on Facebook. And with the social network's new vision for Internet search in general, you can't afford not to have Facebook on your radar screen.

Like SEO and content development for your site, you can't simply create a generic Facebook profile and leave it alone. Doing so will only lead to frustration as it will seem you're not receiving enough benefit to warrant the cost.

Besides consistently creating new content for your site to share on Facebook, you should also customize your Facebook profile to give your business its unique space on the world's largest social network.

So how do I use these powerful tools to get more out of having a Facebook profile?

Customizing Facebook is different than your regular website in that it uses a different coding language. Facebook Markup Language (FBML) is a subset of HTML that's used for standard websites. You can add this coding by first making sure you're listed as an administrator on your company's Facebook account. Once you're listed as an admin, go to the static FBML application and click the "add to my page" link. Next, a window containing a list of pages you're an administrator for will appear where you click the "add to page" link to add the application to your particular business' page.

Once you have FBML added to your profile, you will then need to first decide if you want your FBML box as a tab or displayed on your wall before you can start customizing. You also need to give the FBML box a name. Do this by clicking the "edit page" link underneath your page's logo and go to the "Applications" section. Name your FBML box by finding your FBML application on this page and clicking edit.

Now you can start customizing!

One way you can customize your profile is to add some pictures. Photobucket is a good utility that many consider the best but you can also keep pictures on Facebook itself or on Flickr. Just keep width in mind - the maximum for a FBML box is 520 pixels.

There's no official maximum height but you shouldn't have pictures so big that visitors will have to scroll a lot to get past it. In fact, you want to minimize the amount of scrolling visitors have to do to see your main message.

Use the following code when uploading images to your FBML box:

<a href="http://xxxxx" mce_href="http://xxxxx" target="_blank"><img src="http://yyyyy" mce_src="http://yyyyy" width="##px" height="##px" border="0 alt=" "></a>

Place the target URL where you see the "xxxx" and the direct link to your uploaded Photobucket image where you see the "yyyy." Place your images' pixel height and width where you see the "##" symbol.

Videos are another great way you can easily customize your Facebook profile using static FBML language. Like images, there is a maximum width of 520 pixels.

<fb:swf swfbgcolor="000000" imgstyle="border-width:##px; border-color:white;" swfsrc="http://www.youtube.com/v/xxxxx" imgsrc="http://img.youtube.com/vi/xxxxx/2.jpg" width="520 height="400 />

The 'xxxx' you see is the video ID on YouTube, or the code you see after the equal sign in the following YouTube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtFUX4ynYac

You can also customize your "swfbgcolor" and "imgstyle" settings to your preferences. And as you can see, you can also adjust how tall and wide the video will display on your page. Like images, there is a maximum width of 520 pixels.

Last but not least, you can also set your FBML box to be your profile's default landing page. Do this by going to the "edit page" link underneath your logo and go down to the "Wall Settings" area. When you click on that link, you will see a section titled "Default Landing Page for Everyone Else." What this does is direct visitors who are not currently fans of your business to go to your FBML page and direct your current fans to your Wall page.

Like the web in general, success on Facebook requires some level of customization. Static FBML is a powerful tool that helps you do this.
October 4, 2010





Stone Reuning is president and founder of SEO Advantage, Inc., an online marketing firm and website optimization company that helps businesses turn their websites into powerful lead and revenue generation tools.

Beginning with a focus on search engine optimization in 1999, SEO Advantage now brings a full multi-disciplinary approach to each client website. Clients enjoy dominance on Google, Yahoo and Bing through a suite of unique pay-for-performance search engine optimization and online marketing services. Experts in SEO, social media optimization, online reputation management, and website conversions work hand-in-hand with small business owners and client marketing departments providing complete copywriting and creative web design support.

You'll find SEO Advantage referenced in books such as Writing Web-Based Advertising Copy to Get the Sale and the BusinessWeek bestseller The New Rules of Marketing & PR, as well as popular ebooks like The Small Business Blogging Blueprint.






Comments(4)

Stone, thank you for so much info on FBML. However, keep in mind that Facebook will completely stop supporting FBML this coming January. They are already starting to phase it out in the "box" tab at the top of a profile. In January, Facebook will be moving to iframes to take the place of FBML. Just thought I would share so people don't go making up all of these FBML pages on Facebook only to have them disappear in a couple of months.

I have heard so much of FBML but I still dont know how to use it. My FB page is still the same the first time I use FB. thanks for this post.

Thanks for sharing. I've been looking up info on FBML and it's helpful to finally find a post with info/code that's actually useful.

Hey thanks for the great post! It's hard to keep up with such a fast changing topic, but I give all my credit to you (and blog posts like yours) and The Fan Page Factory (http://www.facebook.com/thefanpagefactory). You guys keep me on my toes with your up to date, helpful and innovative info! Thanks again! Enjoy.

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Search Engine Guide > Stone Reuning > How you Can Use Static FBML Language to Customize your Facebook Page and Drive More Leads