Facebook dropped a bombshell on many small business marketers and advertisers yesterday. The changes require pages to be authenticated in order to direct users to your landing page by default. To be eligible for authentication a page must have more than 10,000 fans or work with an account manager.
This is a change from a feature that use to enable owners of Facebook Pages to set a custom tab as a default landing page. The change now takes this ability away. Visitors to a Facebook page can still have custom tabs by using the FBML feature. However, with the change they will no longer be able to set the custom tab as a default landing page.
However, do not give up all hope yet. There is a work around.
Each tab has a unique url. Therefore, you can use this custom url to direct people to the tab specifically.
You can also purchase or use a unique url that redirects visitors to the tab specific url. For example, I purchased the url http://www.pammktgnutfb.com which I will now use specifically for this purpose.
Other tips to push traffic to your landing page:
-Create custom graphics in left side bar highlighting your welcome page.
-Create other custom tabs that include content only provided on welcome tab.
-Use the two above methods combined with a call to action for new visitors specifically.
-Leverage a video as an incentive to get them there.
-Use the unique url provided by Facebook when tweeting etc. You can use a url shortener such as bit.ly to shorten.
-Use a custom domain as noted above.
-“Check out our welcome video”
-“New Visitors start here!”
-“Join our newsletter”
-“Will you like me yes or no?”
This is a reminder to us all that when we use a public and social platform we are not in control. It is not safe to ever put your eggs in one basket. Your strategy should be to diversify. Investing your entire social media efforts into one platform is very risky and certain to one day cause you headache. Remember there is no such thing as a free lunch in life or in social media!
Focus on your content and a diversified strategy to build tribes and communities that will follow you no matter where you go. If this change worries you in big ways then I suggest you take a hard look at your strategy. If your entire network is based around Facebook, time to explore additional options my friends.
I learned of this news last night. At first I was very frustrated. I am very disappointed in Facebook's lack of ability to communicate changes in a professional and timely manner. I have many opinions which I am happy to share in another forum. For this post I wanted to keep it postitive, simple and offer a few quick tips to help people with a work around.
It's important we take a step back and look at the big picture. Getting frustrated will do nothing for me or my clients. My best effort is spent on ensuring myself, my clients and followers are prepared for not only this change but future changes.
What are your thoughts?