So I hit my 5000 friend max a while ago, which meant it was time to take advantage of the relatively new feature in Facebook that allows you to turn your personal profile into a Facebook page, making it more of a functional business tool by taking the cap off the number of friends and adding some cool functionality to customize your pages.
Now I am by no means a “techie”. Sure I can hack my way through Dreamweaver, setup WordPress and create mediocre graphics in Photoshop but anytime I need to do something serious, I immediately contact my secret design ninja. But since it’s a long weekend, he was no where to be found. So I figured I would take a stab at it by myself.
Here is what I learned along the way…
– When you convert your personal profile to a page you lose everything. All of your posts. All of your comments. Everything. Gone. So make sure you have something to put up cuz there ain’t no turning back when you hit the button.
– Your friends are automatically converted to fans and that is really the only thing you get to keep.
– Now there was a myth that you lost your Facebook vanity URL. Historically ‘page’ URL’s on Facebook have been quite long (unlike personal profiles) but when I converted my profile to a page I retained my URL which is still Facebook.com/derekgehl. Yay!
There are some cool services out there that you can use to really customize your Facebook Profile and pages (in no particular order)…
Service #1: FBSkins.com
The first is FBSkins.com which looks pretty cool and has some decent designs (albeit not really business oriented) and a custom design builder. It looks very cool and they seem to be dominant in Google but to be honest, it never really worked for me (could have been a user error) and the plugin required to use it sticks advertising on your page.
Service #2: PageModo.com
The other one I came across is PageModo.com and I signed up to check out their service. If you have NO design skills, then this is a great way to add cool designs to your Facebook page. My only complaint was how limited their designs/layouts are but the ones they do have, look great. But you also need to pay a monthly subscription for the good stuff and it is not too cheap.
Service #4: TradableBits.com
This one was probably my favorite ‘app’ resource. They have a low monthly fee and without any tech knowledge, I was able to add cool stuff like news feeds from my blog, twitter feeds, advanced welcome pages etc. So if you are technically challenged, this company is worth checking out for sure.
That said, with a handy little app called “Static HTML: iframe tabs” you have the flexibility to do lots of cool stuff like adding custom pages and opt-in forms.
Even with my pitiful technical skills, I was able to change my landing page and put up a basic opt-in with some custom graphics. You can check out my handy work at…
So in summary, Facebook is definitely building out a powerful system for businesses but it’s definitely not a simple platform, and at the rate it’s evolving, most of the help videos and posts are all out of date and useless, leaving most users to figure it out on their own.
Do you have any handy Facebook tools, tricks or Apps that you want to share? Post them below… I would love to hear about them!