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What Happened to The Beautiful, Branded Tabs on my Facebook Page??

Oh Facebook how you toy with us.  Anyone who has a Facebook Business Page to manage has likely been notified (via pop ups on the site) that the streamlined appearance Facebook introduced earlier in the year is coming….now…as in your page will change whether you like it or not on June 20th. You can read the Facebook blog post about the changes here.

What does this mean?  Well for the most part, the changes are lovely.  The news feed will look cleaner.  Things are segmented out in a way that makes it easier to read/find.  But, many business owners may be very chagrined to find out that their tabs are no longer in site.

Correction, Facebook Tabs do still exist, but now they are faceless, unoriginal, unbrandable, unchangeable, very sad grey/blue buttons that sit directly underneath your Profile picture.  Hey, at least you can still rearrange the order that they fall in.  This is extra important now because the majority of tabs will be sub-tabs under the MORE… button, so if you have a lot of “Likes” or share a lot of “events” on your Facebook calendar, these are tabs that you likely want to feature.

Facebook Tabs?  What Tabs?

Facebook Tabs provided business page managers with valuable real estate on their Facebook page in order to direct people’s attention to special features, to other web sites, to email signups and a number of other cool ways to better increase interaction and engagement between businesses and their followers.  Personally, I loved Facebook Tabs.  What was so wonderful about them was with just a little bit of creativity and a lot of elbow grease you could really brand your entire Facebook page through creative use of buttons and entice people to interact with and appreciate all of your Facebook efforts (you can integrate Pinterest pages, Instagram feeds, etc on tabs).  One of my favorite sites developed candy colored tabs that popped right off the page and veritably begged Facebook followers to explore the Facebook Business Page extras – almost the way a good website leaves breadcrumbs for exploration.

Alas, Facebook is not in this business to make it easy for social media managers.  That much we have learned for sure.  Rolling this change out not only lessened a brands individualization of a Facebook page, it also put more focus on the Facebook feed (something that Facebook really wants people to be concentrating their marketing efforts on because that is where Facebook makes their coin).   Just yesterday Facebook VP Pof Ads Product Marketing tried to explain why Facebook’s manipulation of organic reach was not about making the company money, but rather about keeping the quality of newsfeeds up.  (Hint:  when someone is telling you they are NOT doing something for money, it’s a good bet that they are doing something for money).

Boland said:
“Rather than showing people all possible content, News Feed is designed to show each person on Facebook the content that’s most relevant to them. Of the 1,500+ stories a person might see whenever they log onto Facebook, News Feed displays approximately 300. To choose which stories to show, News Feed ranks each possible story (from more to less important) by looking at thousands of factors relative to each person.”

Why oh Why?  Blame Your Phone

Facebook may have had incentive on taking away brandable space on its pages (The MySpace way), they also had more practical reasons for doing away with branded buttons in favor of this sleeker (if more ordinary) design.  That reason?  Almost half of all clicks on Facebook come from mobile devices.  This growth is occurring at such a fast rate that those numbers are actually up 27% from SEPTEMBER 2013 (!).  And on the phone, branded Facebook tab buttons never existed anyway.

What Do I have To Change?

Mainly you will have to change the way you promote the areas of your Facebook page, or of your site that you previously enticed people to through candy coated branded tabs.  No longer will you be able to have a nice plump square calling out to people about the CONTEST you are running.

This means that when you do promote your contest on your Facebook site, you should do it with mobile in mind.  Don’t spend a lot of time or space with words.  Don’t list all of the things a person needs to join the contest.  Use a bright, splashy picture that catches people’s attention enough that they want to learn more and click through to get that further information.  Then promote that post.  Spend some money.  Take the time to really whittle down the targeted audience to your perfect customer.  And make the prizes worthwhile.  One thing that Facebook never wants a business to forget (and how could we when they keep banging us over the head with it), is that you are trying to get the attention of people who are Facebook for fun, personal use.  If you are annoying those people they will go elsewhere and Facebook is NOT about to let that happen.  So in the interim they will police/referee/do whatever they have to do to keep the balance of order necessary to engage Facebook users and the Businesses trying to reach them. For more information or help on any changes made to Facebook, feel free to call the experts at Premiere Creative at (973) 346-8100.