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5 Reasons why you should still use Facebook tab apps

Almost 2 years ago, Facebook rolled out their new Timeline for pages and with the introduction of those very attractive cover photos, the apps that sit just beneath it would be especially powerful. This has not proved to be the case and empirical evidence indicates that only 0.4% of organic visitors to the timeline visit a tab app. That goes rather counter to the topic of this blog, makes you think tab apps are best forgotten about. Not so; indeed very few people will naturally chose to view those apps but they are potentially very powerful when traffic is driven to them.

But what about the all-important mobile audience?

Tab aps are not viewable on a mobile device. This is a bit of a problem since more than half of Facebook users will be on mobile. The way around this problem is to have mobile friendly versions of your tab app content hosted on the web with code to identify what platform a visitor is using. This will redirect a visitor who is using a phone or tablet to the same content as is on the tab app but it will no longer be in Facebook. This is a bit of a compromise however all of the Facebook API functionality will be available and the experience will remain “full featured”. Here are some reasons why you should still use Facebook tab apps:

1. Look the Business

Of those that like your page, it’s likely that less than 5% will ever visit it again. That doesn't mean that it is not worth paying attention to the content and design of your page. Facebook tab apps form part of a considered approach to making your Facebook page a powerful brand communication tool. By making good use of tab apps in conjunction with the cover photo and accurate business description, you prove to a first time visitor that you are trustworthy, professional and worthy of liking. The appearance of the Facebook page, forms their opinions of the type of content they expect you to publish.

First impressions are important!

Some may say that given the low numbers of actual visitors to the tab apps, what’s inside tabs doesn’t matter in terms of fan acquisition. Consistent, professional design of the page is what matters most here.

2. Say Hello

First time visitors, who are not yet engaged with your social offer are not patient. There is a small window of opportunity to engage with them before they are gone forever.  A brand needs to convince visitors that they provide content of value and it is worth following. Vitally, in this cluttered market place a brand needs to offer differentiation. There needs to be a reason to believe that this page is more useful or interesting than so many others. Making effective use of an about us tab can be a huge benefit here. It enables you to create a single succinct customer proposition, use film and design well on this page and it will be a really useful asset. Contact forms and phone numbers should also be accessible but the content of the page needs to lead visitors to want to get in touch. Facebook tab apps have two goals: 1. Provide value and 2. Convert.

3. Subtly Push Your Products

It is not polite to sell products in the feed; fans will get put off by repeated commercial messages being posted to their timelines. However, a business page should make it possible for interested visitors to find out more about that companies products and services. It is beneficial to create a tab that communicates the product offer, just as the core website would. Additionally, it is great to promote one service or product using a promotions tab. As mentioned above, conversion is all important. Make sure there is as much information as possible to educate the visitor so that they can then click a button to purchase or get on the phone to make an enquiry.

4. Competitions are Fun

Facebook recently changed the rules on running competitions within the timeline. However competitions are still more suited to a tab app. Fast Fwd have developed a number of competitions for leading retail brands, the most exciting of them have had tab apps and a social element to the competition where the entrant can gain more entries based on the number of their friends that enter. This encourages viral spread. You can learn more about competitions here.

5. Marketing Data

Content marketing is the trendy buzzword these days. Put simply, if you have compelling stories and advice to give your clients, get them into a document or an infographics and get them out there as a means of growing your marketing data. Give a product away like an eBook, but under the condition that users first subscribe to your email list with information about their position and type of business if possible. Leads that come into the business through this route are usually high quality, nurture them and they should pay out well.

Insights by Matthew Jensen

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