We have had lots of interest in the Facebook tab that we have released recently around how we did it. So I thought I would share the simple way that we have dont this for everyone else.
The thought process for this has really come from my research into social CRM and how we can best move forward in an area that for local government hasnt any real forerunners in the UK(that I am aware of), however in the US it is an accepted norm in some states. For example, colleagues at 311 in San Francisco utilise Twitter feeds direcly into their CRM, when asked "Whats the ROI on this?" I received one of the best responses..."We do this because our customers expect us too!"
So from this I looked at both our Councils increasing usage of Social Media and over the last 2 years the growth and type of interactions. Whilst we have concentrated heavily on Twitter as a method of communications what we have found is that our majority of traffic(Source: Google Analytics) within social-sphere(excuse the new word please!) was coming from Facebook. Its not a massive amount of traffic but its another channel that allows people to interact and therefore cuts out the face to face or the telephone calls.
So how did we do it! its quite simple really all we have created is a HTML laid out page and utilised the iframe application within Facebook itself. So the steps to take are:
- Log in under appropriate username (normal facebook not apps center)
- Search for "Static HTML Iframe Tab: Custom Icons"
- Install Page tab and then apply it to the correct page - you will need to be admin
- On the settings page ensure that you have the right width etc (810px wide)
- Change tab image and choose HTML
- Copy and paste your prepared HTML code within this area (we used embedded CSS etc, not the best way but the best way for us to get it to work)
- Name your tabs - i.e. report it
- Save your settings
- Skip and thats it!!!
The HTML is simply pointing to the relevant pages on the website but using simple icons help users identify what they want to report in a faux user centric signposting. These links have been generated by our usage from the website and interactions via our contact centre. As yet we don’t have much data in terms of how much they are being used but from the enquiries we have had from other authorities and social media commentary then it seems to have been a positive step forward for a really simple piece of work. It is the first step I a longer journey of offering lots more alternative interaction with much more end to end processes but the core of all of this is a strong centre, our website.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS ONE FLAW TO THE CUNNING PLAN! Facebook currently does not allow for custom tabs to be displayed on mobile devices/apps so these will not appear on mobile devices. If anyone knows of a way around this or if we can get everyone in the LGov UK building pages like this then maybe the lovely people at Facebook will get this changed! Hope this helps people(apologies to the wordsmiths out there shaking their heads! but in my defence I wrote code for too long!) and any questions then feel free to contact me here or via @_jasonwilliams