Sunday, April 10, 2011

Facebook has moved to IFrames from FBML

Facebook has begun the move to IFrames from FBML. Why would you as a non technical business owner care? Quite simply, it's because Business Pages (previously known as "fan" or "like" pages) are SO important to the communication between your business and your niche market. Facebook Pages (as opposed to Personal Profiles) are the means that businesses, political organizations, social / religious movements .... whatever entity is attempting to communicate with the masses.  Personal profiles are what each person has that is on Facebook. They are NOT the same thing.  Personal profiles have very strict limits such as the 5,000 friend limit ... Pages do not. When someone visits a Page they can see all of the important postings that are on there as well as the comments/discussions ... they cannot post on the page or receive updates from the page in their news feed until they click the "like" button at the top of the page.  The Like button is only visible until it is clicked, then it disappears. 

Market studies have shown that the vast majority of people visiting a page won't click on the "like" button. Yet, for pages that have a "Welcome" tab the chances a visitor will click "like" increase by 71%! Now that is valuable information - here's why.  You want to be like "E F Hutton" when you speak - you want others to listen, thus the more people that have "liked" your page the more people that can hear when you speak. When on Facebook, speaking is done when you post on the page.  Make sense? So back to our original point ... why does a business owner care about the switch from FBML to IFrame? 

Welcome tabs were previously written in FBML the computer language that Facebook used for developers.  With the big switch comes changes such as no new Welcome tabs in FBML and those that are in FBML will have limited ability to make changes on what is currently there.  For companies with large marketing budgets and/or in-house tech gurus - no big deal.  For small business owners that were doing it themselves or outsourced the task using precious resources ... it's challenge time! Well, the good news here is that there will be several months of phasing out the editing and support that Facebook will provide for FBML.  Necessity is the mother of invention, As has been the trend thus far in both Facebook and Twitter there are so many brilliant techy businesses that will immediately jump to provide for the millions of users on either of these platforms.  IFrame applications are popping up already! 

Here's our tip: On Facebook, be sure that you have a "Page" for your business or organization. DON'T try to use a profile using the business or organization's name ... it not only looks amateur and tacky, but also very unprofessional. Not to mention the reach of your activity is SERIOUSLY limited. All in all - not a good idea.  If you already have a Facebook page, get a welcome tab.  Either use IFrames yourself to get that done or hire someone that will use IFrames.  If you already have a welcome tab and don't need to make any changes for awhile - you are fine.  If you have a welcome tab and it needs changes - consider switching now to Iframes and save yourself the headache later! 

Until next week ... peace, harmony, laughter and love!