Mashable recently reported, “Facebook Tab Engagement Down 53% Since Timeline Launch,” and it has been causing quite a stir on the interwebs. Let’s take a deeper look at these ‘Facebook engagement’ statistics.
Pre-timeline, tabs were able to be set as the default view. When a fan visited a fanpage, they were involuntarily displayed the default tab. The fact is, they had no choice whether or not to view it – it was there. So the question is: was the fan truly engaged on the default tab? Perhaps ‘viewage’ would be a better fit than ‘engagement’ in the title of this report.
As mentioned in previous posts, Facebook engagement is a new and delicate dance and it seems a lot of brands may be still working on their footwork. Currently, fanpages are being treated the same as a website. But the truth is — fans are not searching or ‘googling’ to find a fanpage. Fans find themselves on a fanpage by following a trail of interesting content. This interesting content is not a tab of product information. A fan visiting this tab and sharing it would be the same as them actively seeking out ads from the brand. It just doesn’t happen. And, on the other hand, sweepstakes may increase your likes but they are not interesting or engaging.
So, how does a brand get shared and in turn increase engagement? Fill your fanpage with content that is worth sharing! This can be a difficult task for a brand, but you don’t have to do it on your own. Your fans are a great source of content and, often, it’s what peers have to see and say that other friends want to see and hear. This is where timelines true fault lies. Timelines’ design de-emphasizes and often hides the fans’ voices. This is where tabs can actually help increase engagement. Tabs can be used as an extension of timeline where the focus is put of the fans’ voices. Here the brands can encourage and curate user generated content that is interesting, shareable and useful to the brand.
It may be easier to judge a book by a cover, but sometimes you have to read the pages in between to get the real story.