Facing Up to Facebook

by | Aug 3, 2011 | Archives

Bringing the Power of Facebook to your Website

Michelle Toole

Facebook is a phenomenon unto itself and one that creates limitless opportunities for the savvy entrepreneur.  Facebook not only allows you to set up a page for your business, they have also put together an incredible array of tools to help you bring the ENTIRE Facebook community to your website.

Yup, incredibly enough Facebook, in its infinite wisdom and desire to conquer the world, has pulled together what they call Developer’s tools for webmasters to develop a following or community on their site’s using Facebook technology.

The tools are quite comprehensive, but for my business, and likely for yours, the only tools you will need initially are the ‘Social Plugins’ and the ‘Apps available on Facebook’.

So what are Social Plugins?  Social Plugins are embeddable social features that can be integrated in your site with a line of HTML code. Because they are hosted by Facebook, the plugins are personalized for all users who are currently logged into Facebook, even if they are visiting your site for the first time. The list of plugins include a Like Button, Send Button, Comments, Activity Feed, Recommendations, Like Box, Login Button, Registration, Facepile and Live Stream.

And what do all these plugins do? The list is quite impressive, check it out below:

  • The Like button lets users share pages from your site back to their Facebook Send Button.
  • The Send Button allows your users to easily send your content to their friends profile with one click.
  • The Comments plugin lets users comment on any piece of content on your site.
  • The Activity Feed plugin shows users what their friends are doing on your site through likes and comments.
  • The Recommendations plugin gives users personalized suggestions for pages on your site they might like.
  • The Like Box enables users to like your Facebook Page and view its stream directly from your website.
  • The Login Button shows profile pictures of the user’s friends who have already signed up for your site in addition to a login button.
  • The Registration plugin allows users to easily sign up for your website with their Facebook account.
  • The Facepile plugin displays the Facebook profile pictures of users who have liked your page or have signed up for your site.
  • The Live Stream plugin lets your users share activity and comments in real-time as they interact during a live event.

The second Developer’s tool that I use is the Apps tool.  If you plan on utilizing the Comment plugin above and you have a large website, you will need to create a Facebook Comment Moderation App to help you manage the comments.  This process can be a bit lengthy so I will cover this in my follow up article.

To use any of the Developers tools you first have to become a ‘developer’.  In reality by becoming a Developer, you are asking Facebook to create a Developer app for you, which automatically makes you a developer.  I know it’s a bit confusing but, in reality, once you go through the process you will find it is much easier than you think.

Follow these steps to create your developer account (you must have a Facebook account first)…

  1. Go to https://developers.facebook.com/ and click on Apps in the blue bar at the top of the page. You’ll need to provide your Facebook password for access.
  2. You’ll see a Request for Permission. Click Allow. This will create the Developer app for your Facebook account.
  3. Click on the Set Up New App button or the Create one link (top right corner). You’ll see a new page with a message that your account must be verified before you can create your app.
  4. You’ll see New App box.  Complete the required fields and select Continue.
  5. You’ll see a Security Check box.  Complete required fields and select Submit.
  6. Your original New App box will reappear letting you know that you cannot create a new App until your account is verified.  You have two options to verify your account either using your mobile phone or credit card.
  7. Click on mobile phone or credit card to verify. If you select mobile phone Facebook will send you a text message with a confirmation code, simply follow the directions.  If you select credit card follow the directions outlined.
  8. Once your account is verified you will need to recheck the Facebook Terms box in the New App box and click Continue.
  9. Once again, you’ll see a Security Check box.  Complete required fields and select Submit.
  10. Once the above app has been created you should have been redirected to your Basic Information page.  I suggest that you take the time now to load your Icon and Logo.  Also, Facebook requires that you have both a Privacy Policy as well as Terms of Use for your website. If you do not currently have this information you will need to create a page on your site that provides that information to your visitors.  Place the URL for your Terms of Use and Privacy Policy in the appropriate fields and select Submit.
  11. In the left hand column you will see navigation options, select Web. Under Website Settings put your site’s URL and select Save.
  12. Go to https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/.  You should now be on the Social Plugin page, which will allow you to start adding any of the plugins that you feel will best suit your website.  The directions from this point are pretty straight forward; it is simply a matter of selecting your options and placing the code on your website.

Congratulations, you are now officially a Facebook Developer with access to an amazing array of tools that will allow you to form relationships with your readers that may not have been possible in the past.

Bottom Line…

A successful business comes down to building relationships with people. Remember, people, your visitors, are your “bread and butter”.  If you are not communicating with them then you can bet your bottom dollar you are not getting the most out of your visitors. Translation, you are losing opportunities to make money!

You can check out Michelle’s web sites at http://healthy-holistic-living.com and http://home-remedies-and-natural-cures.com.  If you are interested in Kindle conversion , Michelle can help with that too go to http://kindle.michelletoole.com.