Facebook And Your Joomla! Website
“I want my website to integrate with Facebook.” It might sound specific, but it’s not. Facebook is a huge website and Joomla is an ever evolving CMS so the ways the two can work together are varied and interesting. Being clear with what you want (and don’t want) will help you get the Facebook integration you want on your website.
Scenario 1: I want people who get to my website to find my Facebook page and like it.
You need a way to showcase Facebook on your website, having it link to your page.
Option A: Most people put all their social media icons in this same location, including some variation of the ‘F’ in Facebook.
You can change how these icons look and where they appear on your site, but the idea is the same: here’s how to keep in touch with you other than your website.
Option B: I want to link to my Facebook page in a more interactive way.
Another way you can go is not to use a specific Joomla social icons extension but to use Facebook to create a special box. You can create the HTML code for this box right on Facebook and stick it on your website. FMI: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/like-button/
Because this box is connected with Facebook, it can display the faces of people who like you, the number of fans, etc.
Scenario 2: I want people to be able to interact with my website like they do on Facebook.
If you have a website where you want people to leave comments, you know what a pain it can be getting people to register. Extensions exist, however, that mean people can log into your site with the same info they use on Facebook and do things like leave comments:
Allowing people to comment as their Facebook (or Twitter) self means you are more likely to get comments/interactions than websites that require a separate login. In my own experience, after implementing the comment solution Disqus on my blog, comments almost doubled.
Scenario 3: I want people to share my website on Facebook.
These buttons are ubiquitous and allow people visiting your website to share a specific bit of content to their Facebook profile:
After clicking the ‘Like’ button, the user continues to browse your site but in the meantime, Facebook has shared the link to their personal profile.
Aside: If you want a more seamless integration, you can have your Joomla site communicate with Facebook’s API and have things automatically shared when they are read, downloaded, commented on, etc. on your website. I will say right here that I think this is creepy, especially after seeing this go by from a friend’s husband who clearly didn’t know this was automatically shared with the world:
Understanding how you want your website and Facebook to work together will help you make decisions about what Joomla extensions to use; how you are going to design your website; and how you plan to use social media. Whether it’s thinking of your own website, or helping someone think about theirs, social media integration is something everyone is thinking more about… and now you’ll know how to get them closer the Joomla/Facebook integration they are asking for.