Why Facebook Page Tabs Work Better As Timeline Apps

Timeline pages don't eliminate tabs. They've simply relocated, have more space and are now called apps.

You’re probably freaking out about default landing tabs being a thing of the past.

Remember when everyone thought custom tabs were dead or useless when Facebook moved them from the top of fan pages to the left side? Turns out, it wasn’t the end of the world.

Well, timeline pages don’t eliminate tabs. They’ve simply relocated and have more space allotted to them.

In addition, Facebook now calls tabs timeline apps — and that’s what we’re calling them in the rest of this article.

Following are the three changes to apps that most impact your business on Facebook.

Defaults

It’s true that timeline no longer lets you set up a default landing tab. However, you can buy ads that will lead to an app rather than your cover page.

And you can fan-gate your apps. That is, you can restrict content to only show to viewers who have liked your page.

One core reason many think Facebook made this change is so it can pump up ad revenues. Now, Facebook believes brands will be more inclined to run ads to these custom tabs.

That being said, timeline apps bring two extremely important benefits to the table that fan page tabs did not. If you want to know what they are, keep reading.

Horizontals

In my opinion, this is a major advantage for brands. With old tabs, you only have 520 pixels of horizontal space to work with. Now, with timeline apps, you have a full 810 pixels to work with.

Depending on which tools you use, you can utilize this space to collect emails, present videos, sell product, or import your content.

Establishing a clear value proposition and business return on investment on these tabs is important. This goal an simply be to capture emails to drop into an autoresponder campaign.

Defining the goal is important. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself trying to pack as many shiny objects as you can on one tab that has no clear call to action for the users.

Thumbnails

This is the change that will most drastically help businesses drive traffic to tabs: With old fan page tabs, you had a 16 pixels by 16 pixels icon you could use to capture someones eye. This was nothing near prime real estate.

Now, you can create 111 pixel by 74 pixel thumbnails for each tab.

Use this valuable space to create a strong call to action for your fans. Say something like “fan only webinars.” Including text in the graphic will help make the call to action more direct.

While folks continue to resist the changes Facebook has made, I encourage you to embrace them.

Put into practice these tips and gain an immediate competitive edge for your brand on Facebook.

As you do so, tell us how it goes in the comments below.

Guest writer Nathan Latka is chief community builder at Lujure.