Facebook is known for uniformity, no matter what content you post. But you can make a Facebook Fan Page that's different from others. With an array of apps to plug in, you can customize what people see when they land on your Page.
These pages are often used to promote deals, call attention to new products or simply welcome visitors with an attractive branded splash page. Anyone with a Fan Page can create one, but it takes a little effort. Here's how to do it.
Add the Static FBML App
The tabs at the top of your Facebook Fan Page are apps. Some, like your Wall and photos are built into Facebook. Others are essentially plug-ins where fans can view external content, like YouTube videos and Flickr photos.
The app you need for your custom page is called Static FBML. If you're logged into Facebook, you can add it to your Page. It is essentially a blank canvas where you can add whatever content you want, including custom graphics and links using standard HTML.
Set Up Your Tab
Once you've added the Static FBML app, click Edit Page below your company's profile image. This brings up all your settings and apps. Look for the FBML app and click the Application Settings link.
The app can function in two ways: As a set of boxes or as one dedicated Profile tab. If you're building a splash page, you'll probably want to use it as a tab, so make sure to remove the Box setting, and add the Tab setting. You can always experiment with boxes later if you find them more useful.
Add Your Content
Once you're in Tab mode, go back to your settings and click the Edit link under the Static FBML app. This opens a standard text field where you can add your content.
Box Title holds the name of your tab. Change it to something appropriate, like This Week's Deals, Special Offers or simply Welcome, depending on how you plan to use your Page.
The main text field is where your content goes, and you can add standard HTML to the page as you would any website. You can post images, text, links and other formatting. No need for HTML, body, or head tags.
Note that you must host your images elsewhere (on your company's website, for example) and only referred to in your HTML code.
Make It the Default Landing Page
If you want this new tab to be the "face” of your business Fan Page, go to your page settings and edit your Wall settings. There is an option for Default Landing Tab for Everyone Else. From that menu, select your new tab. From now on, it will be the first thing visitors see when they arrive.
Engage Further With FBML
FBML stands for Facebook Markup Language, and it is the code used in Facebook applications to refer to items on the social network, like user profiles, groups, feeds and other data. If you're really looking to integrate your landing page and get interactive with visitors, it might be worthwhile to learn this language.
A great primer on FBML and a resource for optimizing your Facebook landing page in general can be found in my colleague Tamar Weinberg's Techipedia article on the subject.