How to Increase Facebook Engagement Using Custom Page Tabs
By Meaghan Edelstein
Meaghan Edelstein has gained national media attention through her blog, I Kicked Cancer’s Ass, which she started to document her battle with end stage cancer. She is an attorney, the founder of the non-profit organization Spirit Jump, and works for the Global Strategic Management Institute.
The year 2011 brought exciting changes to social media marketing, especially when it came to Facebook. One such change is the ability to build customized landing tabs using iFrames, social plugins and geotargeting. These custom tabs open a world of opportunity for brands to increase Facebook engagement.
Brands that invest in building the right types of tabs on their Facebook Pages are more likely to increase Likes and achieve real engagement growth. However, simply throwing a tab up will not suffice. There are certain considerations and important steps to take in order to significantly increase engagement through a Facebook tab.
1. Know Your Audience
Understanding your audience is key to building a tab that will increase both Likes and engagement. “You should think about your audience and what interests them, then figure out how to build a relationship around those things,” advises Victoria Ransom, founder and CEO of Wildfire, one of the most widely used tools to build and manage Facebook tabs.
Prior to building tabs, the Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) sought out audience input by launching a consumer survey on its primary website. The survey asked what types of information people would like to get from the MTB Facebook Page. “The over 15,000 responses contributed directly to the architecture of each of the four tabs: Highlights, Celebs, Attractions and Press,” says Lane Douglas, executive vice president of vantage strategy. MTB Page Likes increased from 6,000 to 70,000 within a three-week period, and its “People Talking About This” index raised to 14,000 daily.
Audience-relevant tabs allow for delivery of on-point content and rich engagement. The great part about social media is that it eliminates the middle man. Each company can directly target and communicate with its customer base for inspiration.
2. Define Your Goals
Not to overwhelm you, but there are limitless possibilities with tabs. With that in mind, it’s not recommended to have just one goal per tab. According to Stephanie Chaparro, senior account strategist for Wildfire, “Brands don’t want to use simple goals like ‘increase likes’ or ‘engage fans.’ Instead look into the strategy of the tabs and consider what audience to target and what end action is wanted, for example, Like the page, watch a video, share stories or leave a comment. Be as specific as possible in the goals you are setting.”
Wildfire contracted Webroot Software to help build and monitor tabs for the company’s Facebook Page. Their goal was to deliver personalized content, build brand awareness and increase engagement on a Page that was, for the most part, stagnant and passive. Five months after launching Wildfire’s tabs, Webroot Software saw Likes increase by 40,906, a 523% improvement.
3. Build a Cool Tab
Once you’ve done the research and determined the optimal strategy, it’s time to build an effective tab. Focus on including these features: a hook, fresh content and a rich experience. “The best tabs are the ones that have a hook to get people to come back to the page on regular basis, but at the same time, provides a real opportunity for them to engage with the product and share,” says Ransom.
Blowfish Shoes implemented a Shoe-A-Day Giveaway tab, a year-long campaign in which the company gives away a different pair of shoes daily. At the end of the year, Blowfish found its Facebook Page Likes had increased by 2,488%. The giveaway tab was so successful, in part, because it contained all the key aspects of the most successful tabs. With a new pair of shoes to feature every day, Blowfish was able to constantly stream fresh content in the form of photos and videos. And by announcing new winners every day, Blowfish gave people another reason to check back. Finally, through strategically placed links, the tab provided an opportunity for product engagement. Sixty-four percent of entrants actually went on to browse the Blowfish Shoes website, and nearly half of all sales during the promotion came from contestants. Through a single tab, Blowfish was able to build brand awareness, grow its Facebook community and increase overall engagement and sales.
4. Manage Tabs
By implementing a clear strategy around tabs, organizations can benefit on an ongoing basis. But in order to sustain growth, there must be a strategic plan in place. “Companies that do the best are those who have a regular plan around their social media (including their Facebook tabs) and who take advantage of opportunities like holidays and events,” says Ransom.
Part of the strategic plan should include how to handle multiple tabs. “It’s important to be strategic in implementing and running multiple tabs simultaneously. We see a lot of brands put up multiple tabs, each requiring different actions. This can overwhelm the user, “ says Chapparo.
If you want to increase overall engagement, do not overwhelm users by requiring multiple actions on tabs. Instead, focus on keeping the wall engaging and fresh, while simultaneously providing tabs for a richer experience. Ideeli, a multi-retail channel, never runs multiple tabs that require actions. “We prioritize our tabs and realize we can only drive people away from our wall so many times,” Sarah Conley, social media manager at ideeli. Over the last year ideeli saw its Facebook Page Likes increase by 291%. The company also increased wall engagement by 48%.
5. Support Your Tabs
Facebook tabs cannot exist in a void. “Businesses need to realize the point is not to create a tab and expect to get tons of traffic spontaneously. Tabs can fail when businesses don’t have a plan for getting people to the tab,” says Ransom.
There are a variety of ways to drive traffic to tabs including Facebook ads, sponsored stories, Wall posts, email blasts, newsletters and share buttons. Webroot Software used video to drive traffic to its tabs. “With our marketplace in mind, we created three humorous videos that each ended with a promotional link to our Facebook Page. These videos have received over 32 million views and counting,” shares Chris Benham, chief demand officer at Webroot.
As traffic to the Facebook Page increases, so do Likes and community engagement. Community management will become ever-more important to handle the influx of Facebook activity. “Fans of Mexico came out of the woodwork. As the community began to grow and move through the tabs, they posted stories and photos of their best Mexico vacation experiences on the wall,” says Douglas of Mexico Tourism Board.
As Facebook’s popularity grows, it becomes more and more imperative to stand out from the crowds by offering valuable content and a thriving community. By executing on-point Facebook tabs, any organization, no matter its size, industry or age, can build a living, breathing Facebook community.