It’s been over four months since Facebook launched the new Timeline interface.
In knee-jerk reaction, brands have reluctantly spent more marketing dollars ‘tweaking’ their social media strategies in response to the Timeline changes in layout and functionality.
I don’t know if this was intentional by Facebook, but as a result of Timeline, the wee ‘Tab’ has been neglected by us users. In-fact according to stats by PageLever, there has been a massive 53% drop in engagement levels on Facebook Tabs since the launch of Timeline back in February.
You can see the decline in the below chart.
1. The Timeline layout limits the visibility of our forgotten heroes – the Facebook Tabs.
2. Due to a focus on visual stimulation with the all encompassing ‘cover photo’ and options to post larger images, it’s easy for Tabs to be overlooked.
3. Brands are no longer able to set a preferred Tab as the default landing page for new (non-fan) page visitors.
What does this mean for brands?
In my opinion it really just highlights the need for an even stronger content strategy – because this is clearly where all the action is. In a world where Facebook makes up the rules, we can do nothing but ‘tweak away’ at our social strategies to ensure we’re gaining maximum engagement for our clients.
Plus, I see the visual focus of Timeline as a huge benefit. In a visually obsessed world it’s great that brands can now ‘talk’ to their fans through larger images as-well as words (and we all know that images tap into unconscious buying behaviours quicker than words).
Are Tabs now a waste of time?
I would say no. I think Tabs are still important, but I predict that they will become promotion-led. Brands will need to take into consideration that there will be less organic traffic to tabs, which may mean a stronger promotional presence is required on the Timeline homepage. In other words, fans will just need to be directed to relevant tabs as and when promotions are running.