Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > Digital and Social

It's Not “Your” Fan Page

November 11, 2010
at 8:22 am PST

So act like it!

My friend LaSandra Brill once put it this way:

“You’re hosting a party, and you do everything a good host would do. Greet guests as they arrive. Introduce them to each other. Facilitate thoughtful discussions. And make sure the chip ‘n dip stays full.”

Okay, so I added the part about the chip ‘n dip, but it’s the truth. Come for the food, stay for the conversation. So how do you do this with a Facebook fan page?

Step one: Greet people as they arrive. Set up a custom tab for new visitors, and set their expectations. Is this a page that I like one time, and then never return, or is this somewhere I should frequent, like my local coffee house or pub?

Add the Static FBML application to your fan page, but don’t over use it. Go into your page settings and make this tab your default-landing page. Don’t worry, once someone is a fan, the wall becomes their default landing page.

Here’s one of the most powerful pieces of code I can give you for custom tabs:

<fb:fbml version="1.1">
<a href="{link to your wall}"><img src="{link to fan image}" width="" height="" /></a>
<p style="margin-top:{negative the height the above image};"><img src="{link to non-fan image}" width="" height="" /></p>

Okay, so what does this do? The first bit of code fb:visible-to-connection, checks to see if the user is already a fan of your page. If they are, they see this image. I’ve also made it a hyperlink to my wall, which is not necessary.

The second part of this code is the most important bit. If the person is not a fan of your page, they will see this image. This is usually a good time to remind them that they need to “like” the page first. Set the stage, explain to them why they should like you. Earn their like, don’t demand it.

As soon as the user likes your page, it will refresh and they will now see the first bit of code. You can put anything in place of these images, html, plain text, etc. The tricky part is the marin-top code might need to be adjusted  to get the right effect. You'll also need a non-admin account to review how it looks, because you can't hide content from admins. It will look like it's broken to you even though it's not.

Here's the experience on one of our pages:


In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. Thanks Charlie. This is great advice. I have a lot to learn and I'm glad I found your blog.


  2. "you’ll also need a non-admin account to review how it looks, because you can’t hide content from admins. It will look like it’s broken to you even though it’s not."

    that is the most important statement in there, I finally used the wife's account to figure it out (DOH!)