How To Create A Unique Facebook Tab
If your organization is using Facebook in any way, you need to learn how to create and utilize Facebook tabs. Unique Facebook tabs are extremely helpful, both for general Facebook engagement as well as Facebook Advertising. Facebook users don't want to leave Facebook. They're not on Facebook looking to donate to a cause or send an email to their congressperson; they're there to get updates on their friends and family or stalk old high school flames (let's be honest). So if they click on a link that takes them off of Facebook, they often immediately click the back button. One way to get around this problem is to create a unique Facebook tab. This allows you to create any content you want (such as email collection, a donation page, or an action alert) but insert it directly into Facebook.
You're probably already familiar with tabs – they're the extra pages you can create and highlight just under your timeline cover photo. There's often a photos tab, or a tab showing how many likes your page has, but you can adjust what shows as you add different tabs.
How to Create a Facebook Tab
Step 1: Become a Facebook Developer
It's super easy to become a Facebook Developer; you just need to sign up using the same login as your Facebook profile. As a Facebook Developer, you will be able to create apps as well as get alerts when Facebook discovers problems or updates anything.
Step 2: Create a New App
First we need to create a new app, and then tell Facebook that this app will function as a new tab. In the top right corner of the Facebook Developer Apps page, you'll see a +Create New App button. Clicking it will pull up a pop-up where you can enter your app's name and category.
Step 3: Enter All the Basic Info
Enter your contact email address (it will auto-populate the default email for your Facebook account, which is probably not your work address). Right now your app will be in Sandbox Mode, which means that only Admins, Developers, and Testers can see the page. In Sandbox Mode you can play around with your page and make edits before anyone actually sees it. Lastly, select how your app will integrate with Facebook. In this example, we're creating a new Page Tab (the last option at the bottom).
Step 4: Enter the Tab Specific Info
Here's where you actually enter the information for the Tab itself. The Page Tab Name is what will display underneath your tab (like "Photos" or "Newsletter Sign Up"), so make it something relevant. The Page Tab Image is the image that will display on your Facebook page's home. This image will be the face of your tab, so be sure to choose something eye-catching. The Page Tab URL is where Facebook will pull the content of the tab from. All you need to do is create a page outside of Facebook with the content you want to display on the tab, and tell Facebook the URL of that page.
Step 5: Creating the Tab's Content
Create a new external webpage with all the content you want on your tab, making it 810px wide to ensure that it displays correctly on Facebook. (There is an option in Facebook to make the tab only 520px wide, but that is an older version that is much narrower. The 810px width gives you more room to work with, making more of your content above the fold.) Remember that everything that you place on this external page will show on Facebook. In many cases, this means you should scrape off your site's normal header and other distractions. This also means that anything fancy that you want to put on this page will work fine in Facebook, as long as it works on the external page itself. For example, if you use Convio and want the Facebook tab to send information back to Convio, just create a Convio page or embed a survey, and it will work!
Step 6: Tell Facebook the URL
Go back to the new app within Facebook Developers and enter the URL of the new page you just created into the Page Tab URL field.
Step 7: Add the Tab to Your Organization's Facebook Page
In order to actually connect your new tab to the correct Facebook page, you need to go to a specific URL:
Where it says "AppID" you want to enter the unique App ID of the page you just created. If you navigate to the app page, it should be a string of numbers at the very top (labeled App ID). Where it says "PageTabURL" in the URL above, enter the Page Tab URL you just entered into the app itself (the URL of the external page you created). That will pull up a page allowing you to select the Facebook page that you want to add this new tab to (you do need to be an admin of the page itself in order to be able to add the new tab). Once you hit enter, your new tab will be added to your page!
Step 8: Launch the App!
Go to your Facebook page and make sure everything looks alright with the new tab. At this point, the app is still in Sandbox Mode, so you are the only one who can see it. If everything looks alright, go back into the app within Facebook Developers, disable Sandbox Mode, and save the changes. Congratulations, your tab is now launched to the world!
Note: If you go to your page but can't see the tab on your Facebook page's home, you might have more than four tabs. If you click the down arrow just to the right of the last tab displaying, it will pull up your additional tabs and allow you to change the order of the tabs. If you want your new tab to be displayed prominently, move it to one of the first three or four tabs.