Facebook Custom Tabs Are Not Dead, They’re More Alive Than Ever

Facebook Tabs are not dead 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.

Facebook Total Tabs Views

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.

Facebook Page Favorites section

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

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.

Using URL’s

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

Link to your Facebook Landing Tab from your LinkedIn Profile

And from my Digg profile

Link to your Facebook landing tab from social profiles

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.

Facebook Tab address

Facebook Ads

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…

Facebook Start Here Tab

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:

Get Free Email Updates

How About You?

So tell me, what are you planning to do with your Tabs? What are you doing with your old “Landing Tab”? Share any ideas with me or feel free to ask any questions in the comments section.

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  • http://mysocialgameplan.com/ Jonathan Payne

    You always over-deliver in your posts and content…and I love it!  This is really a great post and your mini-course seems like an amazingly useful offer.  I think I’ll give it a try. 

    The new blog looks really good by the way.  Keep doing what you’re doing.

  • Wilsonleews

    Really sorry but I cannot access the free mini course, can you help to check?

  • http://www.emarky.nl/ Wilco

    Totally agree Francisco, they’re far from dead! With some creativity they can even be more powerful then they were before (IMHO) :) 

  • http://www.crossinginsurance.com/ Cathie Wren

    So tell me, what are you planning to do with your Tabs? What are you doing with your old “Landing Tab”?

  • http://www.marine-products.com/connelly-waterskis Marnie Troutman

    If you’re up to the challenge, sign up below to receive free updates from SocialMouths and get full access to the course:

  • http://www.graphicdesignblog.org/web-design/ Charles Trost

    Really interesting courses are provided here which brings to me as a fine opportunity to grab it. Thanks

  • Vestorach

    Hi Francisco! I love your posts! They are so useful! Thank you very much!

    BTW, I’ve try to get your FREE DIY Mini-Course but when I confirm the mail I get the following message:
    Error establishing a database connection

    What should I do?

    Thanks again :)

  • Sharon

    I tried to sign up for updates and access to the Tabs course, but got ”
    Error establishing a database connection” when I clicked on the link in the email you sent.

  • Dalealaweb.com

    Hola Francisco, great post as always. I’ll try this approach of linking Facebook Ads for pages directly to a specific tab, just to see if I get the same performance.

  • Kassandra Christenson

    Content and email marketing to generate traffic and convert to leads and sales.

    http://www.datacenterfix.com/

  • Kassandra Christenson

    Timeline is the one that comes from the Like Box and people coming from inside Facebook.

    http://www.perfectcanvases.com/
     

  • http://www.708media.com Chris Edwards

    Great article. Very insightful. Social Media Examinier did an awesome job on their layout. 

    I will be honest, when timeline was first forced on us, I was a little upset. After setting up a few Timeline pages for my employer, I came to love it. Being able to change out those the tab photos is one of the coolest things. I do wish that I could change out the Photos tab with my own custom tab or create a static cover image for it rather than the last photo uploaded. 

  • http://www.TrafficGenerationCafe.com/ Ana | Traffic Generation Cafe

    Nicely done, Francisco! And I like your new design; very clean and easy on the eye.

    I wonder how SME was able to get rid of the “Likes” tab; I thought it was default for the first 4 tabs…

  • http://www.weboptimizers.com.au/ Anil@weboptimizers

    Great post. While the new timeline layout is going to require some changes and tweaking, it is a worthwhile investment since Facebook marketing is an absolute necessity for businesses. On the above I recently read a report which states that brands are getting an average 46% more engagement with Timeline.

  • http://www.blake.co.za/blog Sarah

    Loving the new Time line, i think it offers so many opportunity’s for businesses to be creative.  And show their customers their potential. 

  • Ozio Media

    The new Facebook configuration gives brand pages more flexibility. The improved position and user friendliness of the tabs far outweighs anything that was lost. As people get used to the new layout for Facebook, they will develop better strategies for using it, like you have done. We will soon all forget about landing pages.

  • http://saajida.wordpress.com/ Lady_S

    Thanks for the insightful post! 

  • http://www.socialmouths.com/ Francisco Rosales

    I think the only tab you can’t move is “Photos”

  • http://www.resg.info/ Anton Stetner

    holy cow this is good but now it is just something else I need to go do on my never ending list of web marketing stuff

  • http://www.squidoo.com/seo-experts-the-best-in-the-world SEO Experts

    I think what you said about the Like Box shows how important the timeline function is.  Given the limitiations Facebook puts on linking abilities, you’ve got to have good stuff to show people upfront! Not taking advantge of the Timeline and custom tags is just throwing away money.

  • http://www.contentforconversions.com/article-writing-services-avoiding-the-pitfalls/ Article Writing Services

    I agree with Ozio on the increased flexibility.  Honestly, any business owner that doesn’t see the potential in this new format is just short-sighted.  I think the only legitimate complaints about the timeline are from average Facebook users with aesthetic concerns.

  • http://www.911locksmithservices.com/florida/miami.html Tucson Locksmith

    Here is how I’m linking to the SocialMouths’ Facebook Page from LinkedIn.

  • http://www.gooofull.com/ Elfriede

    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.

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    Tab that was mostly used to improve on Like Conversion and gave you the
    possibility to welcome visitors with a customized message.

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    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 Tab

  • http://www.drmilbourn.com/ dentist in boston

    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.

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    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.

  • http://www.simivalleyorthodontist.com/ braces

    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.

  • Nadia Boucher

    awesome article.
    Just struggling on how to link my ads to a specific tab on my 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. ”

    I get an invalid message from facebook. SOS….

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    A Tab that was mostly used to improve on Like Conversion and gave you
    the possibility to welcome visitors with a customized message.

  • Chris Balbo
  • Garry Lachman

    Awesome Tab – HTML / WYSIWYG tab for your facebook pages powered by Redactor powerful editor..,..

    http://awesometab.tumblr.com/