Facebook has become an important part of most brand’s marketing efforts. As it is now the most visited site on the Internet (more visits than Google even), businesses can’t afford to ignore it. More and more people are logging on to Facebook first thing and checking in all day on their laptops, phones and iPads. So all our clients have strong, robust Facebook pages with good followings.

Facebook is awesome because it’s permission marketing at its most pure. Your customers “like” your page, which gives you permission to push updates to them. So when they log in to see what their friends are up to, they also see what YOU’RE up to. You can push specials, promotions, contests, random trivia, brand messages, timely updates – whatever. There are guidelines and formulas we create for each of our clients (don’t “sell” too much, for instance, and don’t update too often or people will de-friend you). The idea with marketing on Facebook is that it’s a social medium, so we encourage our clients to engage with their customers. Have a conversation. Ask a question (Facebook allows you to use polls). Comment on topical items that might be interesting to your customer.

To date, Facebook had a feature that allowed you to add tabs to your page. These appeared in the left hand column. I’m not going to bother showing you a screen shot because they’re going away. One of the great features was that you could force new fans to a landing page (one of the tabs). Brands used this as a welcome screen (we call them “fan gates” in the biz). So a new customer is forced to your fan gate and asked to “like” your page. Not forced to like your page, but right there, in their face, a request. Sometimes, we tie that request to an offer, like a coupon. . . “Like us for a free coupon.”


Facebook Fan Gate

And this is where the new Timeline for Facebook SUCKS. No more tabs. No more forcing new fans to a landing page/fan gate. All new fans will go to your “wall” – now called “timeline.” <sigh> No more check-in deals, either, but there will be a “deals” app.

You can still have apps that people can click on for further info . . . store locations, for instance, or contests, or to “like” you for a coupon. But we can no longer force people to that page. The apps will  live beneath a large cover photo and honestly, it’s going to be tricky to get people to find them until they’re trained to look there.

So that’s the problem. We’re working on solutions for our clients and will post some ideas here. Stay tuned. There are some great new features with Timeline, too. We’ll cover it all!