Mashable recently reported that since the debut of Timeline for Pages in February, tab engagement is down 53 percent. Obviously this is a statistic that would cause heart palpitations in any brand that invests time and money on Facebook marketing.
But if you look a little deeper - past the month of April - you'll see that the data changes. The bottom line: the numbers reported earlier this month aren't necessarily something brands need to be worried about - unless you're letting your Pages run on auto pilot.
While tab hits might be down because there is no longer a default landing page option, plenty of data shows that tab engagement is steady; in fact, if current trends continue, tab engagement rates will soon surpass what they were before Timeline.
At Shortstack, we've always felt that a default landing page was never the best way to engage fans. So here's why you should ignore all the hysteria and embrace Timeline for your brand:
1.Timeline requires brands to introduce themselves the hard way...which is actually the best way. In the old days, it was enough to have a Page. Users would visit your Page and, voila, find what they were looking for. It basically took the whole "engagement" part of community management out of the equation. Now, page admins actually have to create contests and coupons etc. on a regular basis. The result: livelier, more meaningful engagement. (Anyone who wants a refresher on how things changed when Timeline was turned on, check out this post.)
And now look at the brand's post Timeline page. There's much more engaging interaction going on, including Oreo's 100th birthday announcement, a happy birthday shout out to a fan, several tabs for fans to navigate to, and plenty of other interaction on the Timeline.
2. With Timeline, fans see your most current content. Now fans come to your page and they see your most current post. If you have some content that is really special or time-sensitive, you can Pin it to the top of your Page so it remains front and center for seven days. Don't forget that pinned posts are unpinned after a week, which is one more reason to always be thinking of fresh, engaging ways to steer traffic to your apps. (If you want more details about default tabs, you'll find plenty here.)
3. Timeline encourages brands to be creative and engaging. One of the goals with Timeline is to attract people to your Page who have never seen it before. Brands can drive traffic by investing in ads and promoted posts that appear on the sides of Facebook (just be sure to link to your "welcome" page rather than straight to the contest app). You can use Timeline to create updates that link directly to apps: "Have you entered our contest?" "Check out this week's promotion," etc. etc.
Since we're on an Oreo kick, here's the brand's most recent contest pitch:
Now who's got the milk?