town hall event on Facebook. What if you want to conduct your event digitally as well? This is the first in a series of posts covering different methods and components of a good online Town Hall. I'll presume basic knowledge of HTML/CSS, or the ability to Google.
The simplest and most basic (yet effective) method is to embed the facebook comments plugin on a custom tab of your facebook page. You can also create a "like-gate" so only your fans can participate; this will increase your numbers. See an example like-gated town hall page here. Cool, huh?
When you get to the app page, select "Add to My Page" on the left, underneath the profile picture. Add the app to your page. Now go to your page, select "edit page", and go to the apps tab. Find the static HTML app and "edit settings".
This app allows you to create two pages: one that fans see, and one that non-fans see. When non-fans click like, the page automatically reveals the "hidden" content. My example page says "Welcome to my virtual town hall meeting. Please click "Like" to join the conversation." I also added an image to the page that hints at what fans get. Once becoming a fan, users see the Facebook comments plugin I have installed.
The default settings for the comments plugin work well, but you have to change the URL. When a person comments, their friends see a story in their news feed. Clicking this story redirects them to the URL you have entered in the settings. When you are looking at your custom tab, that is the URL to use. For my page it is: http://www.facebook.com/NewMediaCongress?sk=app_128953167177144
Now you have a tab that encourages people to become fans, promotes feedback, and increases social sharing. Now you just have to start asking questions!
There are more cool things you can with with a custom tab, like installing remarketing cookies that allow you to frank your visitors with ads months later. I'll write about that soon.