How to Hide Content on Facebook pages

How to Hide Content on Facebook pages

Over the last few months, I’ve been experimenting a lot with Facebook, in particular finding ways to monetise Facebook Pages. However, there’s no point have a monetisation plan in place if you don’t have a large number of fans to connect with. So, this post will show you a simple trick you can use to maximise the number of users who “like” your facebook fan page, therefore subscribing to any updates you post on its wall. If you already use Facebook, you’ll know there are hundreds of fb pages that require you to become a fan (or these days, now known as “liking” the page) to view the content. As annoying as this is for the user, its an extremely effective marketing tool for the page owner. The natural curiosity of the user means they are quite likely to “like” the page, even if its just to see what they’re missing. If they then choose not to unlike it, it will show up on all their friends feeds that they’ve liked it, and the snowball effect begins. Not only that, but anything you post to that facebook page’s feed will also show up in all of your fan’s feeds, so if you can get a large number of fans, you’re onto a winner.

So, how do we go about setting up the page so that the user must become a fan/like it before they can view the content? Well, just follow these simple steps…

1. Setup the Facebook Page
If you have not already got a page setup, simply goto Facebook.com/Pages and hit the “Create Page” button. I’d suggest taking some time to consider the best name for the page, because once its chosen, you cannot change it at a later date (I’ve found this out the hard way, gaining hundreds of fans for a page, then realising I’d have been better off with a different name!). Once you’ve chosen the best name, do the usual stuff, such as adding a nice juicy image and adding a welcome spiel to the page.

2. Add Static FBML Application
Facebook Markup Language (FBML) is basically a language very similar to HTML, but for, you guessed it… Facebook! It allows you to do all sorts of funky things on additional tabs for your Facebook page and a great example of how it could be used is the BUCS page. In order to use FBML on your page, I’d suggest installing the Static FBML app. To do this, either search for “static fbml” on facebook, or go straight to the app page here. Then just select “Add to my page” below the app’s logo and choose the page you’d like to add it to. Now, browse back to your page, and you’ll see that a tab called “Boxes” has appeared. What I tend to do is hit the “+” button to the right of that and select”FBML” from the dropdown list.

fbmldropdown

Once you’ve added the application, you can remove all the tabs you don’t really need. I remove all of them (apart from the info tab as that’s not removable). To remove a tab, select it, then select the pencil next to the title, then select “Delete Tab”

remove-tab

3. Spruce up the FBML Tab
First things first, you want to rename the tab to something relevant. To do this, goto the page’s wall (or homepage I guess) and select “Edit Page” under the page’s image. Then scroll down to find the FBML tab, and click “Edit”.

edit-fbml

You will then be confronted with two fields; the tab’s title and the actual FBML. Rename the tab by simply changing the title. Now you can get onto the actual FBML’ing that makes your content hidden. What I tend to do is create a quick blurb explaining why the user wants to become a fan/like the page, it could be that they receive a discount for my service, or it could be that they simply get access to the funniest image in the history of the internet, whatever your reason is, make it clear at this stage. So begin the FBMl with the quick blurb (this content will be visible to everyone). Follow this by telling the visitor that they must hit “Like” to view the content. You then need to use the <fb:visible-to-connection> tag to hide any content you wish hidden. Below is an image of a very simple example of how it could be done.

facebook-hidden-content

4. Make it the default tab
The final step is to make the tab the default tab. To do this, browse to the page’s wall and hit “Settings”, then just choose your new tab as the page’s default tab. Now whenever a non-fan visits your page they will see this tab first, prompting them to “Like” the page.

default-tab

So, if you have a Facebook Page for your website or business, why not have a think about how you could increase your fan numbers by hiding some content? In the run up to the grand national, I created around 30 locally targeted pages (such as “You know you live in Aberdeen when…”) and managed to achieve just shy of 900,000 fans, I then promoted various Bookmaker deals to these fans and did very well in terms of commission! Good Luck with your pages, and I’d love to hear if this tip helped increase your fan numbers.

Comments

Jonathan Cannovan

I found out about FBML last week and quickly set up a “Welcome” page and added an large image to encourage people to click on the “Like” button…

I had set up a Facebook page about a year ago for a website I run, but hadn’t really done much with it. However, in the last few months I’ve decided to start promoting/building it.

A few weeks ago i set up a “Like” page for it and it’s doing quite well with 10 times more fans than friends – so it’s definitely been worth doing. Thanks to getting over 25 “fans” I secured my vanity URL for my Facebook page.

However, when people click on my Facebook “vanity” URL, instead of displaying the Welcome page with my FBML setup, it shows the Facebook sign in page. So people have to sign into Facebook before they can see my FBML set up……

Yet when I clicked on the link for http://www.facebook.com/BUCS I was taken straight to their FBML page, rather than a Facebook sign up page…..any idea how to fix this?

…….I have already selected my FBML Welcome page as the default landing……

That’s a very good question JC… I know someone who worked for BUCS very recently, so I’ll see if he knows anything!

Mark, brilliant post – this is just what I have been looking for. I will try it very soon.

Regarding Jonathan’s question, I have a feeling that it may be something to do with who you allow access to your page. I had a similar problem which seemed to go away when I altered the age restriction of the chart. Jonathan, although my scenario was not with a vanity URL, you may like to experiment with your permissions to see if this makes a difference.

Hope that helps,

Roger

Oops ! Obviously, I meant “page”, not “chart” …

I am just implementing changes now for my caricature page (the place where your caricature was done Mark).

Fingers crossed it will help increase the likes out of it.

Hi Mark,

I just tried to set one of these up and followed your instructions.

All went well until I wanted to edit the page and it won’t let me. Any ideas?

It’s OK I figured it out – you have to use “Edit Page” again under the page profile pic. I was clicking on the edit “pencil” by the tab which doesn’t edit it!

Another mystery explained – but some of these pages are very annoying so how long the fad lasts is anyone’s guess.

Oskar

Hi Mark, nice post, but uhm, just a prob… When i choose the “ad to my page” button, it just says “no results” Have you tried this, and if so, please helt me =D

Oskar

*Help

Thanks!

Oskar,

It sounds as though you’ve not created a page yet. Just goto “Ads and Pages” in the left hand menu when you login and then “Create Page”.

Let me know how you get on :-)

Mark

this all worked really well for me. But I wanted to see what happens if I “Unlike” the page and see the stuff I want hidden to go away. However, it didn’t. So is the not right? or is it because I’m the adminstator I’m going to see it no matter what?

Sorry, not looked into hiding tabs…

yeah, if you’re an admin, you’ll see the content regardless. setup a seperate account so you can be sure what others see and dont see :-)

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