Today we’ll address a question that I get a lot, “How can you create a custom tab on your Facebook Official Business page?” I think it might be more helpful to you if you can see a step-by-step screenshot of the process – which is what I’ve done (using a work Facebook account).
As a pre-cursor to this article, you must actually have a Facebook Business Page. If you haven’t already created one, then go back and check out my article entitled “Creating a Facebook Business Page & Promoting It Step by Step.”
If you’ve already got an Official Business Page, let’s jump right into getting that custom tab built out using the Static FBML application.
Step #1: Selecting Page to Manage
Sign in to your Facebook account, then find the “manage pages” link under your “Account” tab. One thing to keep in mind – you must be an administrator of a page in order to add a custom tab to it.
Then, select the page from the “Pages You Manage” pop-up that you’d like to add a Custom Tab to.
Step #2: Finding & Adding Static FBML App
Once you arrived at your page, use Facebook’s search box to search for the Static FBML app. This application will add a tab/box to your Official Facebook page which will allow you to render HTML or FBML (Facebook Markup Language) for enhanced Page customization.
Once you’ve arrived at the Static FBML Application page, click “Add to my Page” and then you’ll be prompted to select the page you’d like to add the application to.
Once you’ve added it to your page, you should be able to see it in place.
Step #3: Managing FBML App
Once you added the app and check to see if it’s in place, you’ll want to venture back to your Official Facebook page and click the “Edit Page” link in the left-navigation. After that, you’ll want to click “Applications” from the left-menu of the ‘Edit Page’ section.
Find the FBML application, and click the “Go to Application” link.
You’ll now be taken to the area where you can edit your FBML tab.
Step #4: Editing FBML App
You can now add your HTML or FBML code to the tab. Below is a test example of what I added. You can see that I’ve renamed the tab and added some HTML text.
Let’s go ahead and re-visit our Official Facebook page to see if anything has changed. You should see (if you’ve made the edits I made) that your custom tab’s heading has changed, and when you click the tab you should be able to see the HTML that you’ve entered.
And success! Our test code has been added to the tab.
Step #5: Removing Tabs
In order to make room on your Official Facebook page, you may have to remove some existing tabs. To do this, go back to the “Edit Page” section, click “Applications,” find the application you’d like to remove, click “Edit Settings” under that application, and from there you should be able to remove it as a tab (if it is on your tabbed menu already).
Step #6: Adding Multiple FBML Tabs
In addition, if you’d like to add multiple FBML tabs, simply click “Add another FBML Box” in your Edit FBML administration area.
Step #7: Customize Away!
From here, you’re only limited by your imagination! I’ve provided an example of the custom tab on the page I’ve created for the SEO Department at People To My Site. I didn’t get too dynamic (although you can), but just stuck with simple HTML and added some images (hosted elsewhere).
Important Things to Remember
Here are some important things that you’ll need to remember about the Static FBML application – or else you may run into problems with getting it to work like you want.
- The Static FBML is only for Official Pages, and not personal profiles.
- All styles, scripts, images, fonts are anything else you wish to add or customize should be hosted another server,
- Stick to using an external style sheet (CSS) at the top of your FBML code to avoid any rendering issues with Internet Explorer.
- Facebook allows a maximum of 6 tabs on Pages. You can re-order the tabs to display your preferred 4 tabs (the Wall and Info tabs can’t be moved or removed), but a total of 6 is all you are allowed.
- The max width for your tab is 520 pixels. I also tested height and was able to upload and view a document as large as 2500px (although I’m not sure what the exact height restrictions are, if any).
Here are some resources that I found particularly helpful when research how to add an FBML tab, as well as problems and restrictions:
- How to add a custom tab to your Facebook fan page
- Custom Facebook Fan Pages with FBML
- Facebook Static FBML Application FAQ / Tutorial
- The Most Common Static FBML Problems & Their Solutions
- Comprehensive Static FBML Troubleshooting Guide
I hope this article helps you, and please feel free to add something to the discussion from your experiences in creating a custom tab with the FBML application. I’ve surely not quite covered everything, and I always love added more content based on insightful visitor comments!