Losing Views & Engagement with the Facebook Timeline? Here's How to Get Them Back
If you noticed a drop in your Page’s tab engagement level since Timeline was released, you are not alone. According to Mashable, a study by PageLever revealed that “tab engagement has dropped off 53% since brand Pages began adopting Timeline.”
PageLever collected data from about 500 Facebook brand Pages with more than 10,000 fans each. With this information, researchers found that the decline began on February 28, “the day brands were able to opt-in to Timeline.” The drop continued even further after March 30, when all Pages were mandated to switch to Timeline.
To explain these findings, PageLever founder Jeff Widman told Mashable that he believes “it’s a combination of two things: That brands can no longer set a custom tab as their default landing page for non-fans, and Tabs are less visible in the Timeline layout.” Widman furthered that “Without the option to set a custom tab as the default view, most users will never see a tab again,” and said that they’ve actually heard users say that they “they didn’t even realize tabs still existed with Timeline.”
The fact that Page tabs aren’t getting as much attention as they used to isn’t the best news for brands on Facebook. Tabs often contain interactive content and promotions, and if fans don’t notice them anymore, it could mean less engagement for the Page overall.
However, this doesn’t mean that Tabs are completely useless. If your Facebook Page relies a lot on tabs, then don’t give up on them just yet. Below are two things that you can do right now to make sure that tabs are more noticeable on your Timeline.
Spruce ‘em up – One of the reasons why tabs go unnoticed is that their thumbnail icons blend too much with Timeline’s look and feel. The best way to spruce up these tabs is to customize them so that they coincide with your brand’s identity.
As an example, check out the Facebook Page of Skype. Notice how the Page’s custom tabs all have the same theme as Skype’s logo and interface. This tab uniformity not only makes the Page more sleek-looking, it also gives users a sense of cohesiveness and will draw their attention towards the tabs.
Customizing your tab icons is easy, and you can change the look of all your tabs, except for Photos and Likes.
To upload a custom image, follow these steps:
1. Select the drop down arrow that’s on the far right side of all the tab icons.
2. Hover over a tab and click on the pencil icon on the upper right corner then select “Edit Settings”
3. When a new box appears, click on the “Change” link right beside the label Custom Tab Image
4. In the upload page, click “Change” and upload the image that you wish to assign to that tab. Ideally, try to choose an image that measures 111 x 74 pixels.
5. Close the window and click okay.
Position tabs to perfection – With exception of the Photos, you can actually move tabs around and determine which icons appear above the fold. To do so, click on the drop down arrow that appears on the far right side of the tab icons, then hover on the tab that you want to move. Click on the pencil icon, and select the tab that you want it to swap positions with.
Switching up the positions of your tabs will ensure that people will immediately see the tabs that you want them to click on. For example, if you’re conducting a contest, it’s best to put the contest tab in front in order to increase the chances of people seeing it.
Go beyond the tabs and use Timeline’s overall features to increase engagement.
The above-mentioned tactics will certainly increase your Page’s tab engagement, but if you want to increase your Timeline’s activity overall, be sure to make use of Timeline’s other features and apply the following tips:
Take advantage of the Timeline’s pinning feature – Timeline may have made landing tabs extinct, but that doesn’t mean you can’t control what users first see when they visit your Page. Be sure to utilize Timeline’s pinning feature to ensure that relevant content stays at the top part of your Page.
To pin content, simply hover on the post that you want to staple at the top, click the pencil icon at the upper right corner of the post and select “Pin to Top.” That post will then stay at the top of your page, until you unpin it or pin something else.
Bonus tip: To add more oomph to your pinned post, click the star icon on the post to highlight it. Doing so will enable the post to cover more Timeline real estate and grab users’ attention even more.
Make your cover image count – Your cover image should be appealing and should give users a good impression of what your company is all about. If you’re not big on Photoshop skills, you can use the tools mentioned in this post to create professional looking cover images.
Facebook does have some guidelines regarding what you can put on your cover image, so be sure to adhere to them to stay out of trouble. According to the Facebook Help Center, Page cover mages may not contain:
- Price or purchase information, such as "40% off" or "Download it at our website"
- Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page's About section
- References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
- Calls to action, such as "Get it now" or "Tell your friends"
Accompany links with images – Sharing blog posts and links to your website can certainly increase traffic and exposure. However, since a lot of other Pages are doing the same thing, your posts can easily get lost in the sea of links and people’s news feeds. Make your posts stand out more by uploading an image together with your link. Doing so will grab more users’ attention as they scroll through their news feeds, thus increasing the chances of your posts gaining clicks.
Adding images to your posts will also make your Timeline more dynamic and visitors will be more inclined to browse your Page if they see that it’s littered with a combination of links and images.
Invite your email contacts – For once, not having too many fans can work to your advantage. If your page has less than 5000 likes, you’ll be able to import your email list and invite contacts to like your Page. These users will then receive an email with a link to your Facebook Page.
To use this feature, launch your Page’s admin panel, select “Build Audience” and click “Import Email Contacts”.
Image credit: dtweney on Flickr