Advertisers can still run Facebook campaigns that drive to third-party tab applications, even though pages lost the ability to designate a default landing tab in the latest redesign.
We confirmed with Facebook that ads do not have to lead to the main Timeline view. Advertisers can select a destination tab from a drop down menu in the self-serve ad dashboard as they did before. However, “Wall” has been renamed “Timeline” and “Info” is now called “About.” Currently, the system allows advertisers to select “Messages” or “All Activity” as destination tabs, even though these are only visible to page admins and should not be used as landing pages for ad campaigns.
As has always been the case, the destination tab feature is only available for traditional Facebook ads, not Sponsored Stories or ads from page posts. Advertisers can create ads that direct people to custom tabs by selecting “Facebook Ads” and “New ad message,” as seen below. These tab applications will continue to support fan-gating — hiding content from non-fans in order to encourage users to Like the page — however, there is currently a bug preventing pages from refreshing and revealing content after users click Like.
This type of ad can be used to drive traffic to promotions or commerce features within tab applications. Facebook, however, is making a push for advertisers to focus on “stories” — paying to promote page posts and fan activity rather than creating traditional ads with a headline, image and body copy. A 2011 study by TBG Digital found that Sponsored Stories had 46 percent higher click through rate than traditional Facebook ads. Marketers who want to develop and promote Facebook applications might want to consider testing “App Used” Sponsored Stories, as seen below.