May
22
2010

Facebook Reverses Default Landing Tabs Decision

Yesterday, in less than 24 hours, Facebook reversed the decision to restrict or prevent default landing tabs on Facebook pages.

Facebook Pages, formerly called “Fan Pages”, have become a key social marketing strategy for small and local business. With a Facebook Page, a small business can easily establish a presence on Facebook. At NewCorridor, we strongly recommend Facebook Pages to our clients as part of our social media marketing package.

One of the effective strategies that we suggest is the use of a “custom landing tab”. Normally, the default view when someone lands on your Facebook Page is the “Wall” which is primarily a running marquee of your latest news and activity. This is a familiar Facebook Page view but not necessarily ideal for converting traffic and generating leads. With a “custom landing tab”, we can create a properly designed “squeeze page” for facilitating the conversion of new visitors to fans, capturing leads and presenting your visitors with an opportunity to opt-in to your email subscription based follow-up marketing system. This is simply essential online marketing 101, and Facebook has provided a reasonable means to implement this through “custom landing tabs”.

So yesterday, it was disappointing and disturbing news when Facebook announced via the developer forum that Facebook pages would now have to be authenticated before “custom landing tabs” can be enabled. See this “All Facebook” article for more details.

Facebook Page authentication was described as requiring 10,000 or more fans or working out some sort of approval with an ads account representative at Facebook.This really delivered a blow to small businesses looking to establish and grow their presence through Facebook Pages.

Fortunately, less than 24 hours later, Facebook reversed the new “custom landing tab” restriction. Matt Trainer, the same Facebook employee who made the original forum announcement yesterday, placed this update on the forum.

Hello,

As of last night, we’ve removed the recently-added authentication requirement for setting custom landing tabs on Pages. The requirement was instituted as part of a Pages quality initiative, and we apologize for the inconvenience this caused to our developer and business community. We are re-investigating the situation, and will not make any further changes without first giving our community standard notice and lead-time.

Thanks for all your feedback,
Matt Trainer

That’s good news and we’re glad Facebook took the step to rethink this decision and restore this important Facebook Page function. Bottom line, with a well designed landing page, you can easily double conversion rates for capturing leads and converting visitors to fans.

Which brings me to another important consideration. A small business should always establish their primary online web presence under their own control, rather than rely or depend on one the popular Web 2.0 social media websites like Facebook. Under your own control means a hosting account and a suitable website, typically a business blog, that the small business can manage.

While it may be tempting, and Facebook makes it easy with features like Facebook Pages, you don’t want to expose your business to the whim and decision of a third party that can change the rules and capabilities right under your feet.

At NewCorridor, we also provide provide hosting accounts, website design and development, website management and website marketing services, as part of our local business marketing power packages.

The various Web 2.0 social marketing websites including Facebook Pages for small business are compelling and effective extensions to your primary web presence. It’s best to treat this additional online real estate as just that, extensions to your primary online location and presence. Incorporating satellite or hub website presence as an extension to your primary website helps drive additional traffic, and provides one of the most effective means under your control to create the necessary backlinks that help establish rank and authority.

But don’t make the mistake and put all your eggs in one basket. If and when Google, Facebook, and Twitter (and others), decide to change the rules, you want to be in full control of your own website to stay in the game. And trust me, the big players will change the game on you, usually in their favor not yours.

We’ll see where Facebook decides to land on this most recent attempt to change the rules on “custom landing tabs”. Hopefully, Facebook will continue to listen to the users and customers and maintain Facebook Pages as an opportunity for small businesses to thrive online.

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