So for the last few years I’ve been looking at Internet Marketing strictly from an organic SEO perspective – basically meaning: the best way to get traffic to your site is by tarteting the right keywords, optimizing your site for them, and building links until you rank where you want to be. For the most part, this has been an EXTREMELY successful strategy for me – to the point where I haevn’t even had a desire at all to use social media, other than to talk to friends.
Well for the last 6 months or so, I have been observing a lot of changes in Marketing online and the Internet as well. One of my top New Year’s resolutions this year was to step up my social game online, and learn it as well as I have learned SEO. I started out extremely slow with it. In fact, I haven’t really done much at all until just recently.
Last week, I was chatting witha gal I do some contracting for and she mentioned the fact that Facebook and WordPress can be integrated now. I was so out of touch that I thought she was referring to putting a RSS feed on a Facebook page to display blog posts, but actually, she was talking about the recent changes Facebook implemented in February in regards to pages. (I was so out of touch, I hadn’t even heard about it).
Anyway, after talking to her for a little while, I realized that Facebook and WordPress really can be integrated now via iframes – meaning, you can literally create and manage your facebook pages from within your WordPress dashboard. Pretty amazing, and helpful too – for those who have built and managed Facebook pages, you know there is a bit of a learning curve there.
So immediately looking into this new technology went right on to my list and within a day I had identified several plugins that work for the integration. The first one I tried was Facebook Tab Manager. This is actually a really cool plugin. Basically it adds a whole new section to your wp dashboard for Facebook pages. You go in and create them just like you would a regular page, save it, and then it will spit out instructions on how to register it with Facebook. Do that, and your page will be up and running. It looks like this:
The second plugin I found that I like is called Fanpage Connect. This plugin has a similar function but works slightly different. With Fanpage Connect, you go into your Pages menu and create a Page like you normally would. Then, use a drop down box in the editor to choose to make it a Facebook page. From there, it gives details on how to register it with Facebook and provides more options like this:
So that should give you a really rough idea about how they work. It’s also important to note that as of right now, both plugins are completely free.
Now I started out using the Facebook Tab Manager first.
It is extremely easy to use
Keeps fan pages and wordpress pages separate
Gives very detailed instructons on setting up your page in Facebook
I don’t like the URLs it generates for the pages
There seems to be pre-built CSS into the plugin
I had problems using custom CSS with this plugin
As I mention right above – I had problems using the custom CSS. I’m not sure if it was my fault or the plugins fault, but for whatever reason it wasn’t working for me so I switched to Fanpage Connect instead. Here are the pros and cons for Fanpage Connect:
Generates Clean URLs
Custom CSS is a breeze
Option to have it generate a menu for you based on a custom WP menu
Doesn’t keep Fan Pages and WordPress Pages separate
Less instruction on registering page with WordPress
Requires registration (it is still free, though)
So overall I really like both plugins. In fact, I wouldn’t necessarily choose one over the other. My plan is to try the Facebook Tab Manager again first on my next project and see if I can get the custom CSS to work.
The thing that is great about this functionality is that it vastly increases the power of facebook – to the point where you can basically build out a full website using only facebook pages. In fact, I have a plan for a new service that is actually going to be done completely via Facebook. I probably won’t detail it here until I have already started, but I’m hoping to get going on that soon.
You can see the page I created here:
Be sure to help me out and Like the page as well – and friend me while you’re at it.
I think this stuff is really cool and definitely on the cutting edge, so I would highly recommend learning it. I have had a lot of fun working with it so far. I plan to hopefully post a lot more tutorials and strategy here in the near future.