Case Study: Utilizing Static FBML Facebook Fan Page

By Ian Fernando

Guest Post: Mike Chiasson runs the IT department for a publicly traded company by day and manages his affiliate campaigns at night. When he was 12 years old he was black hatting his way to $12,000 a month affiliate checks. Now at the age of 26 he's back into the affiliate scene. You can follow his ongoing work at, or hit him up on Twitter @lucidpsimc.

Last month Ian did a really good post on how to use FBML to make your facebook pages viral. If you haven’t read that yet be sure to do so here.

I wanted to expand on what he was sharing to help you make your pages even more viral. Ian referenced several shortcomings of FBML, like the inability to customize your calls to action. However many of these do have some sneaky work arounds. By leveraging the Facebook social graph we are able to take advantage of some of their intended external codes to benefit us directly on their site.

Forgive me for being somewhat unoriginal, but like Ian, I’m also going to talk about a page I was running during Halloween. I’m also going to share the results of it at the end of the post.

I actually saw a few different pages for the ‘Vampire Me’ offers so I decided to go an alternate route with the ‘Zombie Me’ offer. Naturally I figured it wouldn’t quite have the buzz appeal that the vampires have with the current twilight craze, but there was significantly less competition and I thought I might be able to leverage some eye catching graphics to make it pop. I was actually promoting the offer on PPV as well so I already had a few images and a creative from the offer to use on the Facebook page.

The first thing I saw on some of the ‘Vampire Me’ pages was like Ian’s, they were being compliant with Facebook’s rules about not being able to FORCE users to ‘Share’, ‘Invite Friends’, etc. However looking at those I thought to myself “That probably works but how can I make it better”. I specifically remember seeing some really good examples of ways to force users to do things (see post Sneaky Facebook Tactics) and really wanted to leverage those. I found a few sites that offered tutorials, one even had some images I could use, so in ultimate laziness I went with them.

As you can see we really want the users to do a few things with the pages. First like the page, secondly to share the page, and lastly to click through to the offer. So your page sales funnel will look something like this:

Ian had a great tactics for getting people to like your page. Where you use the FMBL code to basically say ‘If someone likes this page display this, otherwise show them is’. This should definitely be your first step on a page, get them to Click the like button. You can see the image I used for this below.

Once they click the like button they would then be revealed the ‘next’ button.

So you can see they were FORCED to like the page to move on. However after this step we can ask them to share but not force them. So watch what I did. On clicking the next area, it will hide the current page and reveal a 2nd page.

This 3rd page now asks them to share the page and it has a slightly customized ‘Share’ call to action. I was super lazy so it was just a larger share button with some arrows pointing to it. They don’t actually HAVE to share it, as you can see the ‘next’ button is already available and functional. We simply want them to think they have to.

The FBML Code

So a couple things went on during this page. We made it appear like the user was clicking through to multiple pages, requested a lot of user action, and had a few custom call to actions (ie: the share button). Lets look at how we can do this.

The multi-page effect is created by using FBML Click to Toggle markup. You basically give each one of these mini pages a standard CSS div styling and tell it to hide it and then display another one. If you had just two pages you wanted the user to see/click through to. You would assign them each a div id of ‘Step1? and ‘Step2? and then at the bottom of the first page FMBL/HTML place the below code.

<a clicktotoggle=”step2? clicktohide=”step1? onclick=’FBML.clickToHide(“step1?);FBML.clickToToggle(“step2?);return false;’>CLICK HERE TO GO TO NEXT PAGE

Where it says Click here to go to next page, you can leave standard text or use an image like I did (ie: the Next images).

Next lets look at the ‘Share’ button. If you remember with Ian’s example, he would’ve loved to have had a better share button, a customized one could’ve increased Shares dramatically. The secret here is to take a look at Facebook’s social graph plugins that everyone already uses on their blogs and websites. You basically already have an area that will let a user ‘like’ or ’share’ your page. So its basically just stealing the quick HTML code there and using your own custom text or images to be the share call to action.

<a href=”” target=”_blank”>SHARE THIS</a>

So you just go get the actual URL to your Facebook page and place it there and use your customize share text or images.

That Wasn’t That Hard Was It?

I hope you all liked this post and it answers some of your dreams and wishes. There is really a TON you can do with FB pages and I am just starting out and already drooling at the possibilities. You can check out this page on my blog to see the FULL results of the campaign. I show you how I advertised it, how I split tested it, and how much cash I made from it.

You can also download the full FMBL code of the page on my site, so check out the full campaign here.

Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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