Adding a Salsa signup box to FacebookSubmitted Thu Dec 03 2009 15:15:00 GMT-0500 (EST) by Jason Z.
The Salsa Labs Facebook page -- you are a fan already, yes? -- just incorporated an email signup form, and you might be interested in knowing the trick for your own page.
Though the example here incorporates a regular signup page into Facebook, the same technique could be used to embed event registrations, petition signatures, or other forms of action (but passing donations is a different matter, and this kind of form won't dialogue with the Salsa data warehouse for a congressional district lookup without much more intensive spadework than I've described here).
1. Get the Static FBML app
This extremely handy application lets you build a box or a tab with straight HTML (or, with Facebook's own Facebook Markup Language syntax). No programming skills needed.
Just search it up, and add it to your organization's page.
2. Get the form code of a Salsa signup page
Now that you're able to add some HTML to your Facebook page, all you have to do is get your mitts on some usable HTML.
There are a couple of ways to do this, depending on your coding skills. While developers can dig as deep as they dare, the best choices for duffers like myself are:
- Build a signup page (or other type of page) in Salsa. (In this case, I just used one of our standard signup pages.) View the end-user page, hit "View Source" to see its HTML, and copy the
/formtags and everything between them.
- Alternatively, hit the "Developer Resources" link at the bottom of any page in your Salsa headquarters to find some generic ready-for-copy-and-paste code for an external signup form, as shown below. Then, copy and paste that code.
3. Create an email signup form in Facebook
Now that we've got the code on the clipboard, back to Facebook.
Open up your organization's Facebook page -- we're assuming here that you have admin privileges -- and click "Edit Page". In the screen that follows, find FBML, as shown:
Then, just click the "Edit" button (highlighted) to go to work.
Title your box whatever you'd like (unimaginately, I went with "Email Signup"), then paste all that signup form text into the "FBML" box.
4. Add the form to your Facebook page
Now, it's just a matter of adding the tab to your Facebook page, which you can do the same way you customize that page with any other new tab.
You'll also find your new Static FBML creation under the "Boxes" tab, where you can select it and optionally send it to the sidebar of your wall, as I've done. That makes the form visible to anyone who lands on your page.
5. Tweaks and Troubleshooting
You should be ready to go! Test the form out and see how it works, then fine-tune accordingly. People who use it should land (immediately) in your Salsa headquarters; the form will have no effect on their Facebook profile, your Facebook page, or anything else within Facebook itself.
Here are a few things you might want to take notice of:
- Make sure the form action is right. Depending on where you copy the code, you might have a relative url, which won't work in Facebook. You'll want a full url, and you can find the right one for your organization by checking the Developer Resources section discussed above. Put it right at the start of the form.
form action="http://YOUR NODE ADDRESS/dia/api/process.jsp" method="post"
- Especially if you're going to place it on your wall, make sure it's reasonably succinct. Space is at a premium.
- If you're fussy about your graphic design, you can crib Facebook's styling colors here, which I did on mine to make the "Join these email list(s)" header look Zuckerberg-blue.
- Consider your redirect path (I used none, so that list joiners just stay on the Facebook page; you might have other ideas) and acknowledgment triggers.
- If you want to be rigorous about tracking, you might also consider passing a Source_Details value, tag values, group affiliations, or other elements. You should be able to crib code for this sort of thing by building it in a normal signup page in Salsa; ask at Salsa Commons if you're stuck.
(Note: this is not the Facebook Connect integration recently mentioned in these pages. But that integration is still coming!)
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