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Build it and they won’t come: Why your new Facebook tabs fail

5 min read

Brands & Campaigns

This post is by Jim Belosic, CEO and co-founder of ShortStack, a Facebook platform-based application helping businesses build customized tabs for Facebook pages that maximize their social media presence and potential.

You’ve spent the time, effort and energy to build an informative and visually stunning custom Facebook tab for your business page. With such a great addition, the hits should start pouring in, right? If this has been your approach to custom Facebook tabs, you’ve destined them for failure.

Facebook is noisy. Between other businesses, organizations, celebrities and bands, many of your fans may have more than 200 “Likes.” Add in status updates from their friends, and there’s a lot of competition clamoring for each individual fan’s attention. If you want your new tabs to be a hit with your fans, it’s time for you to go out and intentionally grab their attention.

Take your content to your fans. If an author pens the next Great American Novel, but doesn’t go on a book tour, fails to interact with fans and never seeks the spotlight for himself or the book, there’s a good chance no one will ever know the piece exists. And instead receiving its deserved accolades, it’s laying sideways on a grimy library shelf. But if that same author goes on tour, does the signings and intentionally grabs that attention, the book will receive its due praise. So it is on Facebook. For your tabs — for your business — to get attention from your fans, you have to direct the traffic.

When a person visits your Facebook page for the first time, they are directed to the tab you have designated as the Default Landing Tab. If you haven’t set the Default Landing Tab, they’re automatically directed to your wall. But this is only the case for people who don’t “Like” your page. Once they do click that “Like” button, clicking on your company’s page will always send them directly to your wall.

To meet your fans where they are, take advantage of status updates, and remind fans of what you have going on. These status updates won’t only show up on your wall, but also on the news feeds of your fans. Use your updates as advertisements for your new custom tabs include links to the unique URLs of those tabs. But for your status updates to stand out from among the many that appear in your fans’ news feeds, they can’t merely contain URLs back to tabs. Include photos, videos and other enticing content, and drive your fans to your custom tabs that way.

Fans must submit their pictures to enter this contest.

Make the content engaging. Traffic to your custom tabs is now picking up, but to keep fans there, the content has to be interesting. Remember that there’s lots of competition on Facebook vying for your fan’s attention. Static, informative content won’t hold their attention the way interactive, fun content will. People are on Facebook for interactivity, and they will interact with your business if you get creative:

  • Videos: Instead of a wordy company bio, introduce people to your company with short videos.
  • Contests: Have your fans upload pictures of themselves wearing their favorite piece from your clothing line, and award prizes to the most popular entries. If you create a contest tab, include a prompt for your fans who enter to share that contest with their friends, and turn your fans into virtual marketing agents.
  • Polls and surveys: Give your fans the option to vote for their favorite of your products, and ask fans what they’d like your company to come out with next.
  • Galleries: Show off your products with an interactive slideshow.
  • Gifts: Virtual gifting is already hugely popular, and still on the rise. Allow your fans to give virtual gifts to their friends.

Provide a steady stream of content that keeps fans coming back. To get your fans in the habit of heading back to your page often, don’t let your tabs get stale. Rather, create daily or weekly offerings that are fresh, new and exciting, and can only be found on your custom tabs. The possibilities are endless, but here are a few ideas:

Creating a “Deal of the Week” as has done encourages fans to act before the offer ends.

  • Daily coupons
  • Weekly quizzes
  • Expert tips
  • Exclusive interviews

Enjoy the end result. The reward for presenting your fans with interactive, interesting, fresh content is a loyal fan base that wants and expects to engage with your company. After you have put in the work pursuing your fans and directing them back to your tabs, the effort you have to put into promoting these tabs will diminish, as your loyal fans become virtual service representatives, eager to endorse your brand, innovate your product, give you feedback, even help out new fans.