Facebook app/tab engagement has plummeted 53% since the launch of Timeline for Brand Pages.
Is the sky falling?
No, but there are six things you need to know.
1) Timeline focuses on News Feed content. If you haven’t noticed, everything in Facebook has become News Feed oriented. Instead of perusing friend profiles and brand pages, people now access their Facebook ecosystem through News Feed. (Exhibit A: Promoted Posts. Exhibit B: George Takei Hates New News Feed.)
2) Apps Not Mobile. Tabs are still not visible via Facebook’s mobile apps, even tablet ones. Couple this with the fact that more time is spent on Facebook’s mobile platforms than on it’s website, and you’ve got a recipe for failure.
3) Landing Tabs Down. One of the best ways to drive app “traffic” was to make it a roadblock. Brands could auto-direct traffic from their Wall to a specified tab. Timeline killed that (see #1 above), so that does play a role in the decline.
4) Get Busy Driving Or Get Busy Dying. Apps and tabs aren’t dead. But for them to succeed, marketers need to find creative ways to drive traffic to them. The tools are here. You know them:
- Facebook ads
- Web ads
- “Traditional” advertising – print, TV, radio, billboard, outdoor, in-store
- QR codes
- Timeline content
- E-mail marketing
- Built-in Timeline/News Feed sharing functionality
- Public Relations campaign
5) Value, Value, Value. Above all else, for apps to succeed in this era, they MUST provide value to users. People won’t stumble upon Facebook apps anymore – those days are over, friends. So when you build an app, focus on user experience more than ever.
6) Lower Your Expectations. Another thing to keep in mind is that apps will most definitely yield lower results than just six months ago. Take that into consideration when recommending and building them. That can mean reducing investment (time + budget) or lowering the bar for success.