As we all know, Facebook deployed the new Timeline Pages last month and, as expected, the first public reaction was a waterfall of rants about the new approach for Tabs.
Marketers have been in a period of adaptation for the last couple of weeks, creating new strategies to improve their communications, adapting to a new marketing approach through more visual content and storytelling, and why not, what to do with Tabs.
One of the most significant changes that came with Timelines for Pages is that we no longer have the possibility to set up a Tab as default landing for first-time visitors. A Tab that was mostly used to improve on Like Conversion and gave you the possibility to welcome visitors with a customized message.
Why Custom Tabs didn’t work before
If you are used to spending some time looking at your Page Insights, you’ve probably noticed that Tabs other than the “Landing Tab” get much lower traffic if any at all. The reason is that we were forcing new visitors to hit the “Landing Tab” before they could get to the wall. It will be as saying the most visited page on your website is the homepage.
Additional Tabs were receiving fewer hits mostly because their links were hidden below the profile photo on the left sidebar, when the eye automatically goes to the right of the screen, exactly were Facebook Ads are located.
This is the reason why Facebook marketers exploded when they saw the “Landing Tab” go away. We immediately assumed that without the “Landing Tab”, the whole Tab concept is dead… or is it?
Why Tabs are more relevant than ever
Tabs are more important than ever because:
- They were moved to prime real estate in the page right below the Cover Photo, what we now know as the “Favorites” section, making them more prominent
- They got a lot more visual with the 111x74px graphic rather than the small favicon-like icon
These 2 points turn Facebook Pages almost into a brand minisite, think of the “Favorites” section as the navigation bar on your website.
This is the Social Media Examiner Facebook page already making great use of the “Favorites” section to promote products and events.
810 pixel Tab
Let’s point out the obvious here, you have more space since the width was changed from 520px to 810px. What you’re not looking at is the fact that everything else on the screen has been eliminated for you, turning a Tab into the perfect Sales Page, all sidebars and distractions are gone so your prospect can focus specifically on your content.
Here is a great example of a product sales page from Amy Porterfield
The Landing Tab is still Alive
Sure, the new default landing for Pages is now the Timeline and there is no way around it, however, the “Landing Tab” is not dead yet. Let me explain…
Fan Gates, Reveal Tabs…
The functionality has not changed, you are still able to build things like Reveal Tabs because nothing has really changed on the actual tab, other than its size. The possibilities in terms of programming are still the same.
Chances are you link to your Facebook Page from external properties such as your website/blog and even from other social profiles. Here are a couple of examples:
Here is how I’m linking to the SocialMouths’ Facebook Page from LinkedIn
And from my Digg profile
We usually use the main Page link, which looks a little like this https://www.facebook.com/socialmouths.
All you have to do is replace this “main” address with the URL of the actual Page Tab on every single place where you promote your Facebook Page.
If you run Facebook Ad campaigns that point to your Page, you can do the same thing here, instead of using the main address, you can direct visitors to any specific Tab on your page.
The Like Box
The Facebook Page Like Box, like the one I display on my sidebar here, does NOT allow you to direct visitors to Tabs, they will land on the Timeline no matter what.
In other words, with this technique you can send all the traffic coming from external sources like your website and other social profiles and from your Ad campaigns to your Landing Tab, the only traffic that will still go directly to the Timeline is the one that comes from the Like Box and people coming from inside Facebook.
In that case, the only thing you can do is have a compelling call-to-action in your “Favorite” icon to hopefully drive people to click through. I named my Tab “Start Here” to see if that helps a bit. I’ll tell you later how it goes…
How to build Facebook Tabs DIY style
This week I launched a FREE online Mini-course on how to build Facebook Custom Tab on your own. The course is a massive 28-page tutorial that covers the entire process from becoming a Facebook Verified Developer to different ways of creating the actual content for your tab and types of media you can use to how to install your Tab on the Page.
Did I mention the course is FREE?
If you’re up to the challenge, sign up below to receive free updates from SocialMouths and get full access to the course: