How To Set Up a Custom Facebook Landing Page
This post is outdated, please use Shortstack for page creation:
A lot of businesses advertise their Facebook pages — whether it is in-store, on their website, on the business cards, or in an email signature. The goal of this type of promotion is to get people to “Like” their pages — so the next time business posts an update, it has a wider reach and can engage more people in the conversation.
As a Facebook Page, you should have a clear strategy for your communications — just getting “likes” won’t cut it, it simply supports your strategy. Priit Kallas wrote a great post about creating a social media strategy — read it, if you don’t yet have one!
In this post, you’ll learn how you can simply create a custom landing page and serve different messages to people, depending if they’ve “liked” you page or not. Something like the Redbull does (you can see other great examples of Facebook landing pages here):
Redbull’s Facebook page: Difference between landing pages when person doesn’t “Like” it and does.
I order to setup your landing pages, you’ll need:
- Access to a PHP hosting
- SSL certificate so your content can be accessed via “https”
- Design pages for two states (Like and not)
- Facebook Page Admin rights
Before we get started, let’s get some terminology straight. Before Facebook did several rounds of redesign, it used to have Tabs on top of the Facebook Pages, which served as a primary navigation for pages. Today, these tabs have moved to the side as became links, BUT the naming has stayed the same — Facebook still calls them “Page Tabs” and that’s what’s I’ll use thruout the post.
Here’s a screenshot of what is considered to be “page tabs”:
Now when we have this straight, let’s get started!
1. Grant Access to the Facebook’s Developer App & Do a Basic Setup
Go to https://developers.facebook.com/apps and click on “+ Create New App”.
You’ll be asked to give access to the Developer app, click “Allow”:
Now you can type in your future App’s name (it will have limited visibility for users, but it’s a good idea to put your page’s name in there, e.g. “Amsterdam Printing Welcome”) and a namespace (a unique identifier for your app within Facebook):
When you press “Continue,” it might ask you to verify your Facebook account, which you can do by either adding a phone number or a credit card. Example below shows verification via phone number (it just texted a code which I had to enter):
With this basic setup, you now have the App Id and a App Secret code you’ll need to use on the pages you’ll show to users:
2. Set-up the Pages on Your Own Site.
Now when you have the App Id and App Secret, you can create two pages: first you’ll show to those who don’t “Like” your page and the other one to those who do.
In the code shown below, we are using latest version of Facebook SDK in PHP and a simple index.php file which determines if person likes the page he or she is currently on.
In the index.php, make sure to change values for App Id and App Secret.
After publishing the page, test if everything works and if you go directly to it, it shows default content (state when don’t “Like” the page).
This URL becomes you “Page Tab URL” which you’ll need in the next step. (For Amsterdam Printing, this URL is http://apps.amsterdamprinting.com/apl-facebook/welcome/).
3. Complete Setup of Your Facebook App.
Go back to https://developers.facebook.com/apps, click on “Edit App” and scroll down until you see “Select how your app integrates with Facebook”.
Check “Website” and a “Page Tab”, copy-paste direct URLs, decide of the Page Tab Name — this is what users will see on the left side as a link and hit “Save Changes”:
Note that as of October, you’re required to provide a Secure URLs for Page Tabs. Make sure that your hosting has an SSL certificate issued to it, or otherwise, you page tab won’t show up for users who chose to always use encrypted connection with Facebook.
I also highly recommend adding an icon to your app — it adds to the visual appeal!
To add the icon, simply go to your app, click on “Edit” and then or “Edit Icon”. Icons are 16×16 pixels, but if you upload a bigger (square) image — Facebook will scale it down to the right size. Icons will display to the left of your Page Tab Name and can be used to capture users’ attention.
4. Add “Page Tab” to your Facebook Page.
This is the trickiest step — there’s actually no button to add your new app to the page. Instead, you need to manually populate the following URL:
For example: https://www.facebook.com/dialog/pagetab?app_id=199092376851759&next=http://apps.amsterdamprinting.com/apl-facebook/newappwelcome/
It will ask you to select a Page you want this to add to, and you’re almost done!
Few final adjustments: reposition newly created Page Tab to the desired spot by going to the Facebook page and clicking “Edit” on the bottom:
And then drag the tab and click “Done.”
In case you want to rename the Page Tab — go back to the developers.facebook.com/apps and click on “Edit App.” Scroll down until you see the “Page Tab” settings and adjust the name:
The last step it to make your newly created Page Tab to be a default landing page for your Page.
Go to your Page, click on “Edit Page” and select your new Page Tab as “Default Landing Tab”. This will be the first tab users will be shown when going to your page, motivating them to Like it!
Posted on: January 3, 2012