I have been figuring some things out. One, I know a lot of stuff and other people don’t know what I know. With that in mind, I think I have to share the love so people understand this cool little thing I have done.
I work at Games.com, a casual game site with hundreds of games. We do very well on SEO and have the luxury of being linked to aol.com. As you can imagine that’s a ton of traffic. That worked for us for many, many years. However, the times’ they are a’ changing. Facebook and social have turned the web on it’s ear. Online games have been revolutionized by Facebook and the social game phenomenon. Sadly we missed the boat on that and have had to scramble to get a piece of that action. Our short term answer has been the Facebook like button.
1. Installing the Facebook like button.
We’ve got Facebook like buttons on everyone one of our game pages. We worked hard to make sure that they work the way they are designed to.
What does that mean? Every like should create an open graph page on Facebook.
How do you do that? Make sure the Facebook open graph API information on your site.
What do these look like?
<meta property="fb:app_id" content="YOUR_APP_ID"/>
<meta property="og:url" content="PAGE_URL"/>
<meta property="og:email" content="CONTACT_EMAIL"/>
<meta property="fb:admins" content="ADMIN_ID"/>
<meta property="og:description" content="CONTENT_DESCRIPTION_APPEARS_AS_SHARE_TEXT"/>
<meta property="og:title" content="TITLE_OF_SHARED_CONTENT"/>
<meta property="og:site_name" content="TOP_LEVEL_SITE_NAME"/>
<meta property="og:type" content="TYPE_OF_CONTENT"/>
There is a bit more to it than just the graph info.
For more information on installing like buttons check out:
2. Once you have the like button installed with all your graph info check if it works. Facebook provides a tool called a linter. Simply enter the link you want to check and see if all your open graph info is in there. If it isn’t go back and check your work!
3. Check if it actually works on your site. First rule? Never trust Facebook tools! Check your like buttons yourself and then check your feeds. All the information you entered in your open graph tags should appear in the feed. If they don’t something is wrong.
One thing I learned (through trial and error) is that Facebook wants it’s tags in the very beginning of a page loading. If you think you are going to bury their info and have the like button work, you are mistaken.
4. Step back and see if everything is working.
If everything is going smoothly, when you click like the following should appear within the like button area:
The name you used to like the page. This id MUST be the admin of these pages. Admin status is entered in the open graph tags.
Link to admin page. This link should take you to Facebook! An entity page for the page that was just ‘iked should have been created. The entity page should be populated with all the information you passed to it from the open graph tags (see VERY important!)
Link to insights page. Again, takes you to the metrics page on Facebook for your like button.
You are now half way to managing hundreds of pages. Let’s sum up. You should now have:
A simple app to create all your like buttons (see developers.facebook.com for the how to do that.
Like buttons on all your pages.
Open graph information completed filled out, with your app and admin ID’s entered.
Like pages with Facebook admin and insights pages created.
Now comes the syndication portion of our program. You’ll need a couple of things:
An RSS feed you want to try and use.
Tweetdeck (or similar social accounts manager software)
First step is to check out your newly minted Facebook page of your liked product. There’s tons of stuff to do with it. Its a platform for broadcasting information you your likers. I’m only going to focus on getting you up and running on syndication.
1. Install a Facebook app to handle RSS.
I am using RSS Graffiti but you can use others. In fact some social presense software may be able to do this. I’m using this RSS Graffit because it’s free, it scales and it works.
So, from your Facebook entity page that was created when your website page was like:
Click edit your page.
Go to applications
Search for RSS graffiti
Add it ot your page.
Accept all permissions.
You should now be able to go the RSS Graffiti app and manage your pages. It should be located on the left rail.
Important note: Make sure you are not broadcasting from your personal account! Be sure that this is turned off,
Adding a feed to your page should be very straight forward and RSS Graffiti does a nice job of walking you through your options.
What’s nice is you can add multiple feeds and there are lots of settings for the management of your feeds. You can even add your own tracking or tweeting! Nothing better than a good, free product!
So now you’ve got your feed installed and your page is ready!
All that’s needed is to publish some content to your feed and watch it broadcast to your fan page! Woo hoo!
Right now I know you are saying? “What the hell? I can do this for one page with tons of things? Facebook has a feed system. Why is this a big deal?" I’ll tell you why? Because this scales to many, many pages and you can manage it from one place. The tools provide by RSS Graffiti allow you to broadcast quickly, accurately and with confidence. That cannot be said for Facebook.
If you have multiple page like I do, you can now use one feed to broadcast to all those fan pages. Additionally, this really took no development work that you shouldn’t be able to do and allows you to distribute content across the Facebook.
Now, for Tweetdeck, thankfully a much easier process. All you need to do is:
1. Install tweet deck.
2. Authorize your Facebook account that all your pages are attached to.
3. Add all those pages to your tweetdeck account.
It can be unwieldy but again, you know can broadcast to your pages on individual basis rather than by an RSS. This will allow you to tailor your posts to the individual pages rather that through broadcast. Again, this is free and anyone can do this.
You now have a system that was FREE, that you can broadcast updates on a feed or individual basis to hundred of facebook fan pages (if you needed to)
There are more development heavy ways to complete this project but I did this as one person, using the tools and skills he had. There are always answers if you try, research, fail and try again!