Social media is all the rage, and Facebook is the place to be. Connecting your blog to Facebook allows your friends and followers to get updates from you in their newsfeed whenever you publish a new post. For example, see the Facebook page for BuildYourBlog.net.
Here's how to set your blog up so your Facebook wall updates automatically when you post:
Create a Facebook Page For Your Blog
This first step is optional, depending on how you want your Facebook account to be structured. If the blog you're building is your personal home site, you're not a celebrity and don't plan to become one, you can post your blog updates to your personal wall. That's how my personal blog is configured to publish to my personal Facebook account's wall. If you want to do this, you should skip to the next step.
On the other hand, if you plan on hitting the big time or your new blog is for a specific niche, like BuildYourBlog.net is, you should create a Facebook page for it if you don't already have one. If you're a celebrity, or plan to become one, you may also want a separate page so your fans can Like you, while you maintain a little privacy with your personal account for friends and family. You'll want your blog updates going to your public page, since your blog is publicly available on the web.
Click here to create a Facebook page. Choose a type according to whether your blog represents a local business or place; company, organization or institution; brand or product; artist, band or public figure; entertainment; cause or community. If you're not sure, choose brand or product, and select website on the drop-down menu. But if possible, you should categorize your page according to the purpose of your blog, rather than just saying it's a website.
Upload a logo or picture of something relevant to your blog, such as yourself. Invite all your friends to like it; or at least the ones who you think would be interested.
Create a Facebook Application
This is the slightly tricky step. You need a Facebook application for your blog to connect to in order to publish on your (or your page's) wall. You can avoid this if you use the Network Publisher plugin, which is particularly handy if you want to update a lot of other social networks in addition to Facebook. But all it's updates on your wall will include a link to their application, instead of yours. I prefer to keep as many links back to my stuff as I can, which is why I use Simple Facebook Connect to publish to Facebook instead even though it's harder to configure.
Leave off the http:// business when you enter the Site Domain, like:
If a setting doesn't make sense to you, just leave it blank. All you need is a skeleton application; it's not like you're writing your own Farmville here. Add your logo or picture to your application too, in case anyone happens to stumble upon it.
Applications have walls, just like people and pages do on Facebook, but it turns out that trying to use your application's wall to update your followers doesn't work very well. For one thing, nobody is likely to find it. For another, automatic wall updates don't work. That's why your blog either needs to update your own personal wall, or the wall of a page you create related to your blog.
Configure Simple Facebook Connect
If you haven't already installed it, install the Simple Facebook Connect plugin.
On the WordPress Dashboard, go to Settings -> Simple Facebook Connect.
Activate the Publish module.
Select your Facebook application and copy the App ID, API Key and App Secret into the Simple Facebook Connect Main Settings: Facebook Application ID, Facebook API Key and Facebook Application Secret respectively, taking care to notice that the fields are shown in a different order.
If you created a Facebook page for your blog, enter the page ID under Facebook Fan Page. The ID is the 15-digit number at the end of your page address. It should not include the full Facebook URL; just the number. For example, the full address of the BuildYourBlog.net page is:
So the Page ID for this page is:
Under Publish Settings, enable Automatically Publish to Facebook Profile. This will publish your posts to your personal wall if you haven't set a Facebook Fan Page, or to that page if you have. Don't bother with Automatically Publish to Facebook Application; it's useless and doesn't work.
Under Extended Permissions, click on Grant Offline Permission, and enter your Facebook login credentials to authorise your blog to connect to your application. Do the same with Grant Publish Permission, and Grant Fan Page Publish Permissions if you're using a page.
Make sure you press Save to save your settings.
Any new blog posts should now appear magically on your Facebook wall. Create a new post from the WordPress dashboard. After you hit the Publish button, manual Facebook publishing buttons should appear in the editor sidebar under Facebook Publisher. If they don't, or you see some sort of error message instead, check the settings on your Facebook application and in Settings -> Simple Facebook Connect on the WordPress dashboard.
Unfortunately comments made on Facebook about your posts don't appear by magic on your blog, unless you use the Facebook Comments plugin; but it doesn't really integrate with the WordPress comment system, it replaces it.
If your blog already has some content, note that your old posts won't appear magically on your wall. You can publish them to Facebook manually though, by editing each one in the WordPress dashboard, and going to the article editor sidebar Facebook Publisher, and pressing the blue Publish To Facebook button.
Adding a Facebook Icon to the Sidebar
If you want visitors to your blog to be able to find your Facebook page so that they can Like it and follow all your updates on Facebook, you need to add an icon to your sidebar like the one you see on the left hand side of this site under Connect With Me.
I use the Social Media Widget plugin to create these icons. Install the plugin, and go to Appearance -> Widgets on the dashboard. Drag the widget into your sidebar, open it, and enter the full address of the page under Facebook. For example, for the page for this blog, I enter:
Adding a Like button on Your Posts
Finally, it's nice to allow people to Like your blog posts easily via the traditional blue Facebook Like button, as you see at the top of this post. This shares the post on your reader's wall, where other people can find them too. There are a plethora of plugins for generating the Facebook Like button, but I've had problems with most of them.
I recommend Facebook Like. Ignore what it says about the default height: Set the Height explicitly to 35 pixels or you'll end up with a huge gap between the button and the article.
Since you've already got Simple Facebook Connect installed, you could also just activate and configure the SFC – Like Button plugin, but it's not as flexible.