Just as we predicted, one of the biggest trends for Facebook in 2012 is trending towards Facebook customization. You’ve probably seen this, without putting your finger on what it actually is. The easiest way to explain it is that business pages can use software to create custom tabs on their brand pages including anything from nicely designed pages that feature YouTube videos, contests, giveaways and even shopping carts. While this technology has been out there, it has been limited by price tag, until now. There are finally a few options popping up that are great solutions for small to medium-sized companies.
We may sound like a broken record, but we can’t say it enough—it’s not enough to just be on social media and have people ‘Like’ your page. You need to have a dialogue, not a monologue. And Facebook customization is a great opportunity for a brand to be proactive and begin building relationships with their customers.
As self-proclaimed Mashable fanatics, we knew they could offer up a great little introductory piece on best practice for Facebook tabs. Much of what they have to say is in-line with what we recommend to our own clients:
- keep content relevant and fresh [our monthly toolbox for FUZION]
- set specific goals beyond simply increasing the number of fans [NHFPL ticket purchases]
One thing the article does not mention is the fangate tab trend. Depending on how you feel, these are the pesky default landing tabs that kindly request you to ‘Like’ the page in order to be privy to whatever exclusive goodies or giveaways that might lie behind the fangate. This is a great way to get ‘Likes” from people who are genuinely interested in your brand—but does require some incentive to get people in and keep them in. Our biggest concern with this is that you then need to have a blueprint in place to keep them interested and engaged once you get them there.
Which brings us to our next point—it’s clear that Facebook customization works best as part of a social media plan…it’s strategic. Too many tabs will just turn people away, the way too many clicks on a website might. Tabs needs to be relevant, layouts clean and easy to navigate and a great incentive never hurts. That’s why we create navigational charts for our clients on Facebook, similar to how we strategize their websites. It helps to visualize how and what you plan to communicate.
This trend is widely applicable to all types of businesses and organizations and we can’t wait to see how it transforms fan pages, especially when Facebook Timeline is introduced for brands. We have already begun exploring some great options for clients like FUZION and the New Haven Public Library below: