Thursday, March 1, 2012

Oh No!!! Facebook Killed the Landing Page! Well, Not Really...It's Just Different

Dear Facebook,

You drive me crazy, but I still love you.

Bill DeRosa
That's the short succinct letter I would send to Mark Zuckerberg if I had to put it into less than ten words. The latest changes on Facebook are not a simple new button or sorting tab...its a major interface update called Timeline. In addition, Facebook has or is in the process of releasing a ton of new tools or advertising programs to help pages get more visibility and better targeting for their content and ads. I like Timeline a lot and the direction Facebook is going. It would seem, on the surface at least, they are trying to make their platform more valuable for Page owners, and a better experience for the users.

The tough part for many page owners was the loss of a Landing page/Welcome tab. This was a fantastic place to tell people: who you are, what you do, "benefits" of why they would like your page, and a call to action ("Like" us...). It also had a pre-qualification component built in to let people decide based on your page description whether they really want to hit that Like button or not. And if you know about Edgerank, qualified engaged Likes are far more valuable than the Like itself. As well, it is a branded component of your page to really separate you from the pack. Finally, without a Landing page, people are typically just dumped into conversations on the Wall, and may not really know what your Page is all about.

The Timeline Cover Photo, while perfect for branding has a lot of restrictions, so this cannot make up for a properly built Landing page. Here are the rules for your cover photo:

So are the Landing pages/Welcome tabs gone? Nope…big misconception. How they work is a bit different, however.

Let's dig in.

What you see above are our metrics for external referrers to our facebook page from 1/31 - 2/2712. This shows how people outside of facebook found our page. In the past, they would have landed on our Landing page/Welcome Tab. Now they can't...or can they?

Click the link below:

Talking Finger On Facebook

Did you land on our Wall? Or our Landing page? Unless someone came in and edited my blog to mess with my head, it was the latter.

Every Landing page and most apps have a specific URL associated with them. Having people from anywhere outside of Facebook land on your Landing page/Welcome tab is actually quite easy!

1. Go to the Landing page
2. Copy the complete URL address
3. Paste it wherever you are creating a link

I already went around to all of our platforms (Google+, YouTube, Twitter, website, even my LinkedIn and email signatures) to change the URL's to point to the landing page. It didn't take too long, and now everyone will still go where I want them to on our Page. Walla.

As well, any Facebook ads you run can be pointed to that Landing Page. Just simply copy and paste the URL into the destination field. So any ads you run, drive them there!

While that covers all external referrers, internal to Facebook it isn't going to help (if anyone figures out how to do it within Facebook, please let us know!) but what you CAN do is make your Landing page/Welcome tab the second tab in. Such as we have on ours:

Note the "Welcome to TF" tab. Now while people within Facebook may not land on this anymore by default, it is still available and still useful within the platform. As people get used to the new interface, I guarantee they will start looking for the apps and tabs in this area. If you title it well (Im actually iffy now on "Welcome to TF" and may change description to "Learn More About TF" or something clever- suggestions welcome!) people will be curious.

While you may lose a small portion of people within Facebook actually landing on your Landing page, I hope we have shown you some ways in which these will still be valuable assets for your marketing. So if you have one, don't fret! Just change what you are doing. If you are in the process of making one, go for it!

One final note, once someone hits the "Like" button, the page will not flip as before to the Wall. So in your description, or your call to action, you may want to instruct them a bit. " 'Like' us, then click here to go to our Wall".

We are currently redoing our landing page to accommodate the new call to action, but we really wanted to get this info out to you asap! So check back in a day or two to see the updated, full size and rocking landing page we are working on.

And if you send a letter to Zuckerberg, tell him Talking Finger says hello.



  1. I agree with you on most of these points, Bill, and it is the way FB is moving forward so we have to stay positive anyway. I wonder if FB is trying to do its part to eradicate email marketing. The real purpose of the landing page is not to get the visitor to like the page - they're there to like the page, and the Timeline will be fine for that.

    The real reason for the landing tab is the sales funnel. We rely on it for first-time fans to give us their email addresses so we can communicate with them outside FB. From my website, I don't need to direct people to a landing tab. They're already on my website and have access to all my offerings there. It's the internal Facebookers I want to capture through that tab to get their emails. Oh well! Got to think of another way I guess :)

  2. Very informative and helpful post. I'll just rethink the content and even the intent of my landing page and go from there. All in all, I believe the changes are a major plus.

  3. @Donna, I actually don't see too many landing pages with an email collection and not sure the purpose of injecting that? And collecting emails for what? It seems to me email marketing is on a serious decline as more people open gmail and other free accounts for catch alls. I'll be honest, 90% of the time if asked for an email address, I give them my Gmail account that has about 7000 unopened emails now at this point. I dont need to communicate with them via that channel (email) because I can communicate in "real time" and in a more human manor with the social platforms.

  4. @John, Agreed. I am looking forward to some of the new products for marketing to try out.

  5. @Donna…I do see your point of coming from your website now thinking about it more since that probably gives them everything already they need to know. In that case, I would say you could just send them to the Wall. Agreed.

  6. Shared a snippet of your great tip with a link to this article in my Facebook Pages Post. Thanks for "thinking" outside the box and coming up with great tip.

    I think that we will all need to be more creative if we want to make Facebook work for our businesses.

  7. Hi Sue! Thanks for the post. Facebook ALWYAS loves us to keep moving lol.