This post is for authors who have Facebook fan or brand pages. (Not sure what you have? Check out my previous post wherein I explain why authors need a Facebook fan/brand page in addition to your personal page.)
Lately I’ve been obsessing over my Facebook tabs. There are so many cool, free tabs available to authors and bloggers, so I wanted to tell you guys all about them. As a starting place, Facebook “tabs” are the boxes circled below.
Facebook allows you to display up to 4 tabs–and if you click the down arrow at the end of the row, you’ll see the rest of the tabs. The “Photos” tab is required by Facebook. Not only must you have it on your page but it must be in the far left spot. You must also have a Likes tab, but you are able to move that to the hidden section if you’d prefer, as I have done. You can have a maximum of 12 tabs but the first four are the most important. Why? Well, people very rarely click to expand this section and explore the other tabs.
For a sense of what more tabs looks like, check out the Facebook brand page for Figment, an online writing community.
So we’ve established that you have 12 total tabs to work with, but the first four are the most important. And you now know that the first tab will be your Photos tab so that really just leaves us three to play with.
What many people don’t realize is that there are wealth of free tabs out there that you can use to optimize your page. Even cooler, after adding these tabs, you can change the default photo and name for them, allowing you to truly customize your Facebook brand page.
The Twitter Tab from Woobox: Are you already on Twitter? Why not connect your Facebook fans to your Twitter feed and hopefully encourage them to connect with you there too? Woobox makes a Twitter tab for Facebook brand pages that is both free and easy to install. In fact, the default picture was so clean and bold, I didn’t even bother changing it. So if you add this to your Facebook page, it’ll look exactly like mine does. Though, feel free to change the photo and tab name if you prefer.
Pinterest and Instagram Tabs: Maybe you’re not really a Twitter fan but you love to pin DIY crafts on Pinterest? Or perhaps you’re an iPhone shutterbug who loves Instagram? There are a wealth of free tabs for both sites that you can add to the site. Just search “Instagram tab” or “Pinterest tab” on Facebook and they’ll pop right up. But in terms of a quick recommendation, Woobox makes a good Pinterest app and Instatab and Statigram both offer free Instagram tabs.
The Blog Tab from Networked Blogs: As I mentioned in my previous post, I discovered this tab on Oh Joy!’s Facebook page and I thought, Genius!If you already have a blog, you should consider adding this free tab to your Facebook brand page. It pulls in the feed from your blog in a Facebook-friendly format. I also kept the default photo and name for this tab. As a warning, it doesn’t update the moment you hit “publish” on your blog post. It seems to update once a week so you have to be a little patient. But it’s still a great way to connect your Facebook fans to your blog.
If you think of your online marketing efforts as a wheel, each social network is a spoke on that wheel reaching out to a different community. In the center is your author site, where, hopefully, your blog lives. Whenever you can convince someone to move down a spoke and connect directly with the hub, you’ve helped them move from a casual fan to a devoted fan.
The BookPulse Tab: This brings us to my last tab, which is easily my best. I’ve briefly blogged about BookPulse about a month ago but I didn’t get into details at the time because my tab wasn’t set up yet. BookPulse is a Facebook tab for authors, which is currently free to anyone who signs up before October 1st! (After that, there will be a fee so hurry and sign up!)
This tab allows you to create an entire custom showplace for your books including: a synopsis, a book trailer, an About the Author section, an excerpt, a reviews section, and even a quiz function. Let’s check out how I have mine set up for an example of how it works. Bear in mind that I don’t have a book trailer for my books and I haven’t employed the quiz function. We’ll look at another BookPulse page for those examples.
There’s a big image at the top. For that I simply made a single image with my last 4 book covers. (You might remember that I’ve published a total of 8 books but I decided to focus on the most recent 4, which are a series.) In the “Meet the Author” section I uploaded the official bios for me and my cowriter–as well as our author photo. And in the synopsis section I wrote a quick intro to the whole series, plus each book featured in the series. You could just as easily focus on one or two books. Beneath there is a small red header that says “Read An Excerpt.” I just grabbed a key chapter from the first book. And I uploaded the blurbs for the series in the “Reviews” section. Additionally, fans of my page have the ability to leave their own reviews. Feel free to try it!
But the best is the “Order Now” section. There, an author can choose buttons for all the different retailers that carry her book and ebook and put the links right in. So cool!
All in all, it was incredibly easy and I think the page looks fabulous. And if you check out this fun BookPulse page for Twilight, you’ll see how the page looks when you have a video and a quiz set up. Unlike the other tabs, I did change the default name and picture for this tab so that it looks like this.
How to Change a Facebook Tab’s Name, Image, and Position: As I’ve mentioned throughout this post, it is possible to change the image displayed on the tab and the name of the tab. To change both, you click on the little downward arrow at the end of your first row of tabs. You can see this arrow in all of the screenshots of my page pasted above, right next to the “My Books” tab. Clicking this arrow expands your tabs section so that you can see all of your current tabs–including the available empty spots.To update the name for any tab, hover your cursor over the tab until a little pencil appears in the upper right-hand corner. Click the little pencil and an editing menu will appear, which looks like this:
From here, you can choose the “Edit Settings” option. Then another pop-up will appear. Type in the blank what you’d like the tab’s name to be and then hit save. This is also the same method for updating the tab’s display image. Just click on “Change” next to “Custom Tab Image” and it’ll walk you through a basic image upload.
Bear in mind that you don’t get much space for your tab name–and I recommend you don’t choose something so long that your tab’s name spills over into a second line once displayed. Also the tab image should be 111 x 74 pixels.
That should be enough info to get you started on your big Facebook tab adventure. But just leave a comment below if you need more help from me!