Facebook Fan pages can be a useful way of communicating with your stakeholders, particularly if you have an audience who are likely to use this particular social medium. For instance, staying within the realms of technical PR, anyone whose end users are Web designers or marketers or any company that has a core group of distributors or long standing customers who would be willing to become ‘fans’ could benefit.

However, social media is at its most effective when all of your outbound platforms are closely integrated. By this I mean, your status updates are simultaneous and themed (or identical) and every platform provides links to every other platform.

The perception is that this is difficult with Facebook, because it isn’t easy to integrate custom HTML into your page. You might, for instance, want to offer ‘fans’ the opportunity to subscribe to your newsletter or Blog. Or you might just want to include a custom piece of code that you’ve written, which integrates the Facebook page more closely with your Web site.

In fact, it’s a lot easier to add this kind of content than Facebook likes you to think. First navigate to your Facebook pages. (Or create one if you don’t have one. The easiest way to do this is to go to any other fan page and click the link in the bottom left that says 'create a page for my business'. Or just click here.)

Next, click on the ‘edit page’ link in the top right hand corner of your new ‘fan’ page. Scroll to the bottom and click the little pencil icon where it says ‘more applications’ and click ‘browse more’. Up in the ‘search applications’ box, search for ‘My Profile Box’. Click ‘Add to Page’ and follow the prompts to allow this application to install. This will install a box into which you can paste your custom HTML.

Return to the ‘edit pages’ section on your fan page and scroll down to the ‘My Profile Box’ entry. Click the pencil icon for the ‘My Profile Box’ tab and then click on ‘Application Settings’. Here you will have two choices; ‘box’ and ‘tab’. Set ‘box’ to say ‘added’ and ‘tab’ to say ‘available’, then click OK.

This makes the application show up in the ‘box’ tab on your Facebook fan Page. Now we go to the page itself. Scroll up and click ‘view page’ under the title of the page. Click the ‘boxes’ tab at the top. Here you should see the ‘My Profile Box’ application listed. Click the pencil icon next to it and select the ‘move to wall’ tab. Wait for it to take you to the wall tab. Once it transfers you to the wall tab, you will see that it has added the ‘My Profile Box’ application to the side bar. Now you can click and drag it to wherever you want it to show up. The process is complete.

If you want to see examples of this in action, take a look at the Stone Junction Facebook fan page. You will see the ‘My Info’ box in the left hand column at the bottom of the list – I’ve used it to add a sign up function so that fans can receive updates from this Blog. While you are there of course, you are more than welcome to become a fan and if you haven't already, to subscribe to this Blog!

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