If you have a Facebook page, you can create custom tabs to turn your page into a powerful marketing tool that generates real leads and revenue. For example, you can promote giveaways and include a form on your custom tabs so you can quickly grow your email list.
You can then create Facebook ads that link directly to this custom tab, and encourage users both to like your Facebook page AND subscribe to your email list. Since each of your Facebook posts will only be able to reach a limited percentage of fans organically, email is a great way to reliably keep in touch with your fans.
For example, here’s what my custom tab looks like on U Stand Out’s Facebook page.
The easiest way to create custom tabs for your Facebook page is by using the Static HTML application, and you will host any images you use in Dropbox.
Technically, you could create a Facebook tab without using a third-party application and without using Dropbox by logging into Facebook as a developer and creating an application that pulls in a page on your website. However, if you use this method, Facebook’s requires you to provide a secure URL in addition to the regular URL of your website. A secure URL starts with https:// instead of http://.
Setting up a secure URL requires purchasing an SSL certificate for your website, an annual expense that can be quite pricey. By using the Static HTML application instead, and by hosting your images on Dropbox instead of your own server, you don’t need to purchase any SSLs.
This way, you can use your budget for things like boosting posts and testing Facebook ads instead of wasting money on Facebook’s strange technical requirements. 🙂
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Add the Static HTML application to your Facebook page
Go to the Static HTML application Then click Add Static HTML to a Page.
Select your page from the drop-down menu, then click Add Static HTML to a Page.
Step 2: Edit the “Welcome” tab
Head over to your Facebook page and click on the Welcome tab on the top of the screen.
Click Edit tab.
You will then land on the edit screen for the Content tab. You must use HTML to create your content. If you’re not familiar with HTML and CSS, I’ve created easy-to-tweak code snippets in the ebook 20 Day Facebook Fix that include a form on the right-hand side for getting people to subscribe to your email lists. But you can do something as simple as including an 840px wide image and hyperlinking it to a page on your website, like this:
<a href="http://YOURSITE.com/a-page-on-your-site"><img src="http://DROPBOX-IMAGE-URL.png" style="width:100%; height:auto;"></a>
Step 3: Add any image you’re using on your custom tab to Dropbox
Once you’ve decided on a design and created your images, you will need to host them on a Dropbox public folder. It costs money to host images on the Static HTML application, and also to create an SSL certificate for your website if you wanted to host your images on your own server. DropBox makes it easy to host your images for free, and they will provide a secure link for your image (https:// instead of http://).
Once you’ve set up your account, navigate to the Public folder. Anything you upload to this folder will be visible to anyone or on any website page you with which you share the link.
Then click the upload icon to upload your picture file.
Right-click on the image and click Copy public link to copy the image URL. As you can see, Dropbox provides you with a secure https:// link. Paste this link into your HTML code wherever you want to include an image.
When you’re done making changes to your Static HTML tab, click the blue save & publish button.
Step 4: Troubleshoot any errors Static HTML shows
For most people this works seamlessly. If you don’t see any errors, jump down to Step 5. However, there are a few errors you may see:
- If you see an error message that says you should change URLs to begin with https:// instead of http://, you’ve probably linked to an image on your website’s sever instead of Dropbox. Upload your image to Dropbox instead by following the instructions in Step 2.
- If you see an error message that says Insecure URLs found, you can ignore it.
- If you see an error message that says Broken URLs found, it’s because it doesn’t like the quotes you pasted in from another source, such as this book. To fix this error, delete and re-add the quotation marks.
Step 5: Create the app image
There’s one more image that you need to create; it’s the image that appears in the Apps section, below your About section. Viewers can click on this icon to see your custom tab. Create a 111 x 74 pixel image to use in this space.
Ideally this image will include a call to action (CTA) so that it’s very clear what the benefit of visiting the tab is. This CTA should appeal to non-fans, as well as fans, as they are the ones you want to entice to click that like button! You do not need to upload this image to Dropbox.
Step 6: Edit the tab image and name
Remember clicking on the Welcome tab? That star icon probably doesn’t fit into your branding very well. Fortunately, you have control over the images that appear as your tab links. Click here to read instructions on how to change your custom tab image and name.
Congratulations! You’ve created a custom tab for your Facebook page, without having to fork over cash for creating an SSL certificate or hosting images somewhere.