To Tab or Not To Tab? That’s the Question for Facebook Page Admins.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The (now-not-so) new updates to the layout of Facebook pages for brands, bringing them in line with the Timeline format, has brought about a lot of changes for marketers. And while the new larger photo and ease of advertising opportunities are major changes, it’s some of the smaller tweaks that brands really need to pay attention to. Namely, the shift away from Facebook tabs, and how this could impact pages down the line.

Likegating Content in Timeline

The Timeline layout for Facebook pages mandates that the Wall be the default landing page for anyone visiting a brand’s page, whether they are a current fan or have not yet “liked” the page. Previously, pages could set special landing pages to drive new fans with incentives to “like” the page or promote timely campaigns, whereas Wall posts could be overshadowed by fan comments.

The practice of “likegating” content to drive more fans has certainly taken a hit with this shift; however, there are still ways to “likegate” with reveal content in conjunction with email, advertising or cross-promotional social campaigns. However, new data has shown that Facebook tab engagement is down 53% since the switch to Timeline, leaving marketers to wonder if it’s still worth designing all these extra tabs. Look at Facebook’s own page; they only use 6 tabs, 2 of which are required for all pages. The other 4? All business-related.

Predicting the Future of Facebook Tabs

Coming on the heels of Facebook’s wider tab design (81o pixels across) it seems unlikely that Facebook will do away with tabs completely, but it’s clear that page admins need to think outside the box to make building and maintaining Facebook page tabs worth the effort. Once again, Facebook is making site adjustments to earn themselves more money, not more fans for pages. So while it’s easy to buy ad traffic to your Wall, it’s not quite as simple for tabs.

My advice? Build a few key Facebook tabs but don’t go overboard: historically, page tabs have been the business feature to get the most revisions on the site and the specs or functionality will likely change again.

2 Comments

  • [...] To Tab or Not To Tab? That’s the Question for Facebook Page Admins. Via Alison Zarrella [...]

  • I wish someone could predict the future of Facebook’s tabs… and if maybe (but doubtful) G+ will add tabs or apps, especially since they just bought WildFire. The specs change a lot and I have created a few apps but have only updated one of them for the wider area we get… the stat about tab engagement being down 53% doesn’t really put me in a rush to make updates to things no one will see or use.

    Comment by michael — July 31, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

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