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My last post was about how to put a news feed (RSS) onto your organization’s Facebook fan page. You can also very easily put a box on your website that shows the posts from your Facebook Fan page. It’s called a “Facebook Like Box”.
To install this box, you will need to be an administrator on your FB page, as well as have access to the “backend” of your website.
To generate the code you will need, go to your FB page, and under the picture in the upper left corner, click on “edit page”. On the page that pops up, in the left side menu, choose “Marketing”, and then “Add a Like Box to your Website”. (You can also just click here.) In the dialogue boxes, put the required information. As you enter the info, the application changes to show how your box will look.
To get the URL (web address) of your FB Fan Page, go to your page, then refresh the page once to remove leftover tracking code, then copy the entire URL (including “http://www.”).
You might not know exactly how wide you want your box to be, so pick a ballpark number, knowing that you might have to come back a couple of times to refine the size. Just for reference, the post box in this blog is 490 pixels wide. Start small (say 300) and work your way up.
There are a few other choices there– click and unclick them to see what they will look like. When you have your box looking like you’d like it, click on “Get Code”. A box pops up with two sets of codes– use the “iframe” code.
Copy this code to your clipboard. Then navigate to the edit function of the page you’d like it to appear on. You will embed this code differently depending on what content management system or website builder you are using. You may have to search in the support area to see how to do this. Hint: Google calendars use the same iframe ebedding, so you might search for “Google calendar embed”.
I use mostly WordPress sites with my clients. In WordPress, you’ll need to enter the code in the HTML editor in the placement on the page that you want it. It may take a little guesswork, but you can usually figure this out. WARNING: iframe codes do not “like” switching between the HTML & the Visual editors in WordPress and this will cause errors, so make sure that you don’t need to go back to visual editor before you embed the iframe. (If you accidentally go back to the Visual editor, don’t panic. When errors display, go back to HTML editor, remove the iframe code, save the page/post again, fix any problems in visual if needed, then generate the iframe code and start again.
You won’t want to create a round-robin of updates between FB & your site, so decide if it makes more sense for your organization to put news feed posts from your site onto FB, OR your FB updates in a Like Box on your website. I’d love to hear from you in the comments: does your organization send FB posts to your site? Or a news feed from your website to your FB Page?
Listening to your community remains a core social media principle.
The classic community mistake is to use a network to drive information out into the public as opposed to creating a compelling experience for members.This is SO important! I find that organizations that are just getting started in social media tend to think of their Facebook page or Twitter account as a bulletin board “driving information out into the public.” Social media is about relationships, and relationships involve two-way communication. Listen more often to what people are saying, both about their questions and concerns, and what they are saying about your organization. And, did you catch the last half of that second quote: “creating a compelling experience for members.” That’s what you want to be thinking about in creating an online community: connecting your online members in a compelling way. What can they experience in your online community that they cannot experience anywhere else– even when they are face-to-face? I also appreciated Geoff’s last tip, which has to do with inter-connecting all your various communication platforms. This kind of interconnection is not a one-way connection, but moves communication in both directions. Facebook can serve as a “beachhead” to steer folks toward your online community, but you also want to have your members communicating about your organization’s activities back in the wider online community. What do you think? Might some kind of private online community become a part of your organization? I’d love to hear about your thoughts! .
Christian churches may be interested in the resource Spiritual Formation Newsletter Content, and online resource that makes available short articles on spiritual formation appropriate for email newsletters.