The new Facebook Timeline for Pages has a lot of great benefits for a much richer visitor experience. One the things I like with the change especially is the more prominent “tabs” display at the top and some really good apps that have been coming out. For example, as I was recently ramping up our parish page with the new format I started looking at those boxes at top and started really thinking about the things I wanted to provide to visitors. Why shouldn’t they be able to get the weekly bulletin, daily readings, Catholic news, ministry info, etc. similar to a website visit? Now I just had to figure out how to do it, and here’s the app list I came up with:
- Bulletins – Scribd is a great app that allows you to provide PDF’s to your visitors for viewing, sharing, and/or downloading. I also like the ability to post elsewhere in an HTML5 display which is really nice control display on other places such as websites. The only thing I don’t care for is the inability to change the order of your uploads. For bulletins and it’s always displaying the older uploads first causing the need to scroll down for the newest. The “work around” is to obviously keep a minimal amount of bulletins uploaded (i.e. one or two weeks).
- Daily Readings and News– Tradeablebits provides a number of apps under the one main app. I like their RSS app over some others that I tried. The only issue I ran into here was having to use Catholic Online’s feed of the readings. When I tried to use the USCCB.org’s feed the date comes through one day off and is delayed each day. The nice thing is that I could add two RSS tabs under this one app and have the other displaying a Catholic News feed from the USCCB.org site.
- Ministry Contact List – For this I used a Static HTML iFrame Tab from Woobox. What I really like about this app is that it also provides for a visual editor in addition to adding HTML code similar to what you see in a blog editor. Far easier to work with and allowed me to embed a parish video at the top of the page that enhanced the tab page a bit. Very easy to update as well over time. The only downfall to this app right now is their handling of a custom tab image which is basically “broken” right now.
Since the “tabs” themselves are a larger box, changing the default image can really call them out. Plus it’s very simple to change their order. This is very easy to do by just following these steps:
- Click the down arrow on the tabs to display all of your tabs:
- Hover your mouse over the app you would like to edit or move and you see a little edit pencil appear in upper right corner of the tab. Click that for the drop down menu of options and select “edit Settings” to change the image:
- Once you click on the “Edit Settings” you’ll see a pop-up window with a line that says “Custom Tab Image”. Click on the word “Change”. A window pops up for you to upload a new image. Once you do that, simply close that window and click “Okay” on the original pop-up window.
And there you go, your Facebook Page is really coming to life and offering far more to your visitors than simple announcements and interactions. It’s operating like a mini-website itself. Some may be asking the question of whether you need a website or not now. The answer is, “Yes! You still need a website.” Websites are far richer in regards to the information you can provide and this is merely another avenue that still is focused on the interaction and engagement piece. Plus, not all of your parishioners are going to be Facebook users.
The examples above are from https://www.facebook.com/SantaMariaDelMarCatholicChurchFlaglerBeach. What have you added to your parish FB Page that is different with the Timeline?