Earlier today Facebook announced that Pages have to be authenticated in order to use a landing tab other than the Wall or Info. If you don’t have 10,000+ fans, or aren’t already advertising on Facebook and working with an ad manager, you won’t be allowed to create a custom tab for your visitors to land on when they first get to your Facebook account. Most of the clients I work with don’t even know this is an option yet or why it was a great option (I’m working on an e-book for them!), but nonetheless, it was.
The internet is chattering about it today. Michelle, a commenter at AllFacebook.com said,
“Aside of the marketing issue – Facebook in effect defeated it’s own purpose by not allowing businesses to connect with customers on a more intimate level. By forcing “fans” to see only the wall or info tab upon entry, they learn nothing about who they are dealing with, other then the info Facebook allows them to see. I understand any company’s desire to increase revenue, but not at the expense of the users – small business is the back bone of Facebook. Facebook is slowing taking the “social” out of its “social network.”
I could not disagree more. Newsflash to Facebook Marketers: We Facebook users are not idiots. We use our own accounts day-in and day-out with the Wall as the primary feature. It’s what WE actually like about Facebook.
We know how to go to the Info page to get someone’s email or phone number, and we know where to go to look at their photos and videos if we want to. The concept of Tabs are not foreign to us, though we might not know that YOU call them Tabs.
We know how to like a page or business, as evidenced by our love for Barack Obama, Boo and Can This Onion Ring Get More Fans Than Justin Beiber. We know that when we visit a page, we will be presented with the options to interact with that person, company or brand through their various applications and tabs.
Oh, and by the way, the average person doesn’t know the difference between their personal page and a PAGE or a GROUP page (trust me, I’ve had to explain it about a billion times to friends, small biz owners and non-profit managers). It’s precisely BECAUSE they don’t know that difference that they don’t expect to interact differently on Pages than they do on their OWN pages – they expect to use the Wall first and foremost.
This is THE reason the Facebook landing page restriction shouldn’t matter to your business. An average Facebooker wants to come to a wall and see real interaction between the person behind your brand and the people who like it. Get that one thing right, and noone will care what tabs they land on (or don’t). You’ll continue to accumulate fans and likes by the dozens and hundreds, mystifying the dozens of Facebook marketers who today swear it can’t be done.