Giving Social Purpose to Facebook Tabs

Facebook brand pages have been around for several years, and not too long after launching Facebook pages, tabs were implemented. This was exciting for marketers, and platforms like Vitrue, Buddy Media and Wildfire came out to help brands quickly bring additional functionality to their Facebook pages using tabs. The challenge is that many marketers created what are essentially micro sites on their pages, instead of creating social experiences.

The time has come (it has arguably passed) for brands to evaluate their tabs and either scrap them or give them social purpose. People don't interact with brand pages on Facebook hoping to have a website experience. They're two very different mindsets, and creating a microsite on a Facebook page benefits no one, the brand nor the consumer.

A Tab Gut Check

There are three basic questions to ask when evaluating an existing tab or considering the implementation of a new one:

  1. Does the tab create deeper social engagement? Sometimes content posted to a Facebook page timeline isn't enough, and tabs can be used to encourage people to create and share content. Most people interact with a brand through the news feed, so using a tab to encourage sharing is a viable approach to getting more content in user news feeds.
  2. Does it allow functionality that can't take place on the timeline? Tabs bring an increased level of functionality, and depending upon what you want users to do, a tab may be necessary. This might include securing user-generated video or photo submissions.
  3. Is it necessary to comply with Facebook Promotion Guidelines? The most common reason for a tab is that it's necessary to have for a Facebook contest or sweepstakes. Brands cannot use Facebook applications, such as comments, likes or shares, to enter a contest or sweepstakes. That must take place through a third-party experience on Facebook living within a tab.

People don't want a website experience on Facebook. They want a Facebook experience. Tabs that are essentially web pages and micro sites don't provide that kind of environment. Use tabs with social purpose.