facebook-wordpress-twitterMost guys (and girls) who love Facebook like I do probably have a Facebook Page where those wanting to get a scoop of the latest in our professional lives can come learn, chat, and converse with each other.  I consider a Facebook Page (some call them “Fan Pages”) the equivalent on Facebook to a Twitter Profile, as it enables a public, anonymous way to express yourself without limit to the number of people that “follow” you.  Pages are powerful, and can build strong engagement for you and your brand in ways Twitter or even a regular Facebook Profile can’t.  I was surprised that with all the little “chicklets” out there displaying anywhere from the number of readers on your blog to the number of followers you have on Twitter that there wasn’t anything for blog owners to display the number of Fans they have on Facebook. That’s why I created the FBFoundations Facebook Chicklet for WordPress blogs.

The premise of the chicklet is simple.  It uses Facebook Connect (something I argue is even more powerful than a Facebook Page, but requires someone with at least HTML and Javascript knowledge to implement) to go out and get the number of fans for a Facebook Page you specify, and share the number of those fans right on your blog.  In addition, it hyperlinks the chicklet back to your Facebook Page.  Displaying this chicklet on your blog can be a great way to encourage readers to click through and become fans on Facebook as well, where more conversations can take place and your blog can spread even further.  You can see the Facebook Chicklet for this blog up above this article next to the subscribers and twitter followers chicklets.  Go ahead and click on it and become a fan and I’ll send you more updates!

Implementation

To implement the chicklet, you’ll first need to download the FBFoundations plugin (download here) that I wrote and can be downloaded here.  This just makes it so that it can access Facebook to get the number of Fans for your Page.  It will also add an additional meta tag or two to make sharing your blog a little prettier when it’s shared on Facebook.

Once you’ve downloaded and activated FBFoundations on your blog, just download the FBFoundations Facebook Chicklet plugin, extract it into your WordPress plugins directory, and activate it.  You’ll then want to configure it to point to your Facebook Page in your blog’s admin (if not, it will point to mine!).  Now, go to either the sidebar widgets section in your administration if your blog is widgets-enabled, or go into your Blog’s theme files, and place the following code anywhere you want the chicklet to show up:

Once that’s in and the plugin is activated, the chicklet should start showing with the number of Fans on your Facebook Page.  It’s that simple.

Again, be sure to enable the FBFoundations plugin on your blog for this to work.  Also, if you want to also enable sharing for each blog post on your blog to Facebook, along with the number of people that have shared the post, be sure to also check out my FBShare plugin for WordPress!

I guess this is kind of my Christmas present to you all.  Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy Chanukah this season!

You can download the plugin straight from WordPress right here.  Here is the WordPress plugin page: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/fbfoundations-facebook-chicklet/

Image Courtesy Robb Sutton from http://robbsutton.com/micro-blogging-are-facebook-and-twitter-replacing-personal-blogs/