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Facebook Landing Pages Gone on Business Pages Via the Timeline Update

Facebook today rolled out the Timeline update to business pages. While there are many positive changes associated with this update, I want to focus on a negative change that many of you should be aware of: Landing Pages are Gone. If you have a Facebook business page that take visitors first to a custom designed page and call to action, you will lose that once the Timeline update hits your page. Those of you who attended my social media seminars will know that landing tabs using apps, when designed correctly, have been proven to increase ROI and “likes” to a page by an astounding 70% or more. This update is a big dose of unwelcome news for small business owners trying hard to maximize conversion rates on small budgets.

 

For now, your business page will not be impacted unless you first manually update it. For example, the next time you log in to your business page you will be prompted to preview what the Timeline updates will do to your page layout. Here’s an example of what you will see:

 

You have until March 30, 2012 before the change will be forced on your page. During this time you can make changes to the look of your business Facebook page before you publish it publicly. That means you have time to work out a strategy to replace your custom landing page app. Or, if you’re adventurous, you can elect to update your page manually right now and just run with it. The timeline update is a positive change for the most part. It’s a lot cleaner, and definitely much easier to work with overall. But the removal of the landing tabs is a huge deal that I will definitely miss and you will want to avoid the page update until you develop a replacement solution. That replacement is called a cover image, see the end of this article for more details.

 

This is an example Facebook page using the old style custom static HTML landing page

 

The above default Facebook landing page is no longer possible once you update your page. A landing page like this was great, and made it possible to present new visitors with:

  • A detailed and customized page of business information
  • Layouts that didn’t change and didn’t need constant management
  • Interaction with elements such as branded video, links away to a company website, and storefront elements
  • A call to action such as “like my page” that prompted new users to ‘do something’ on their first visit – leading to amazingly higher conversion rates

 

With the new timeline update, tabs like the one above are still possible but they are hidden and cannot be made as the default page for a new visitor. That means your custom designed tab will rarely generate a click and people will probably never visit it unless you specifically send them to it via ads. This is a bummer.

 

There are many ways your page can interact on Facebook without using ads (for example, posting a question). In these instances, only the name of your business is shown and the link to your page is placed by Facebook automatically, taking visitors to your main Facebook landing page, and that functionality cannot be changed. It means that a lot of internal Facebook traffic will be diverted away from your custom tab making custom development on Facebook far less valuable. It also means that you can no longer generate the same level of SEO value from your default Facebook page. The links that had been custom crafted to website pages and YouTube pages will now be hidden under an extra layer.

 

Why Facebook decided to take away our ability to pick and choose which page we want as a default I don’t know, but I think it was a bad decision overall. Moving past all of this, you will find some big advantages to the new layout. Using the large cover image makes it possible to brand your wall in a way that looks cleaner with a clear message. Keep in mind, though, that it’s against the Facebook terms of service to use the cover image to encourage ‘likes’. You can also get in trouble for using any form of call to action on your cover image. How’s that for marketing 101? 🙂

 

seenBEST provides you with expert social media advertising services. We can help you overcome the loss of your landing page by providing you with a sharply designed cover image instead. Additionally, we can help you manage your individual posts and calls to action from within your page. In the new Facebook, social media management is more important than ever! Hire a company with the experience to help you produce results. Give us a call for a free consultation (480) 256-9010 and see how we can increase engagement for your brand today.

 

Click here for Social Network Arizona on Facebook to see an example of our design services on the new Facebook Timeline for Pages.

 

What do you think of these changes to the Facebook business page? Please leave your comments below.

 

 

 


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