Putting a badge for a Facebook Page into your Blog

This article describes making a Facebook badge to promote your page, and putting it onto your blog.

How Facebook is organised:

Facebook logoThis article is about how to make a badge to promote a Facebook Page

This is an example of the "follow me" approach to linking your blog and the social networks, although for Facebook pages your reader becomes a Fan rather than a Friend.

Many people are confused about when they should use each of the types of "thing" in Facebook - so it's worth remembering that:

Facebook has
  • Profiles - accounts for flesh-and-blood, living, breathing, individual people
  • Pages - for websites, brands, and organisations that don't want to approve all their Facebook members
  • Groups -  for organisations that want to approve individual members who join (and in return, group-owners can send private messages to individual members.
The tools that Facebook provides for promoting the each of these are slightly different. 

Making a badge to promote a Facebook Page:

Log into Facebook with a profile (ie personal account) that has administrator rights for the page you want to promote.

View all your Pages from the Pages link in the left sidebar

Select the Page you want to promote, by clicking on its name.

Click Edit Info:  this shows you the basic information stored in Facebook about the thing that the page is for (you may like to edit it while you're here).

Click the Edit button (on the right side of the screen)

Choose the Resources tab from the left-hand menu bar

Choose Social Plugins, from the Connect with People category.  
(This takes you to the Developers / Documentation page - I could have just linked directly to it - but Facebook change things around sometimes, so I think it's helpful to understand how to get things based on their thinking.)

Choose Like Box.  

Set the options for the item  
  • Facebook Page URL - this needs to be changed to the URL of your page.  
    You may need to open Facebook again in another tab to see this
    If you have less than 25 Fans already, then your page's URL will be something like http://www.facebook.com/pages/Blogger-Hints-and-Tips/144194435594821 and you can get it by copying the link from the list of Pages for your account.
    Once you have more than 25 fans, you can choose a  page-url on the Edit Info > Username screen.
  • Width - choose a value that suits the space on your template where you want to put the box.
  • Show faces, show header:  choose options that suit your purpose and blog template
  • Show stream:  this controls whether you show posting from the Page inside your blog
As you choose options, the preview on the right updates to show what the button will look like:

When you are happy with the selections, choose Get Code.
  • Currently, there are options for an iframe based button, or XFBML which uses Javascript - only use it if you are sure that all your visitors will have it enabled. 

Copy the code provided

Install the code into your blog - there several options for installing the HTML, depending on where you want to put the badge or button.

What your visitors will see

People who visit your blog through a web-browser will see a Facebook area, including a Like button and whatever other options you have chosen.

This can be quite a powerful tool:  you can easily use two or three different combinations on different parts of your blog:  one that has no border, no faces and no header but does show a Stream can effectively look like a "live" feed from your Facebook page to your blog, while another one with different options can show off the size of your fan-base.

Be aware that the Like button shown in this button gives people the option to Like your Page in facebook  - not your blog directly, and not the current post that they are reading.   If you want them to be able to Like your blog or blog-posts, you need to provide this option separately (and many of your visitors are likely to be confused by the different).

As always, people who read your blog via a feed reader (Bloglines, Google Reader, etc), or by email subscription (eg having used follow-by-email) may not see the Facebook item, depending on where is places and what options their email program has.

Customizing the code:

You can change the characteristics of the box without having to generate the code from Facebook again.   For example you can later the width and/or height - just remember to do it in both of the places required if you are using the iframe option:
<iframe src="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/likebox.php?href=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpages%2FBlogger-Hints-and-Tips%2F144194435594821&amp;width=160&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;show_faces=false&amp;border_color=purple&amp;stream=true&amp;header=false&amp;height=395" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" style="border:none; overflow:hidden; width:160px; height:395px;" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>

fyi, I could have just quoted this code, and said to use it on your blog.  But I don't usually do this when I'm describing how to link Blogger and any third party product, because it's likely that Facebook (or whoever) will change their code in the future:  it's always safest to get the most up-to-date copy of the code from the source-site when you need it.

The facebook page where you get the code from also has more information about controls you can set in the code, too.   Check it out for more information.

Related Articles: 

Putting HTML from a third-party into your blog

How the data in Blogger blogs is organised

Linking Blogs and Websites

Tools for linking Blogger and the Social Networking sites

Putting a Facebook "share this" button on your blog

Copyright, Blogs and Bloggers

Why RSS / Subscribe to Posts is important for bloggers


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