Facebook has become a critical component of most brand marketing plans, and brand managers are using Facebook brand pages to meet a variety of brand communication objectives. Brands have “pages”, while people have “profiles” – both function in many of the same ways. Site administrators can post content and make comments on behalf of the brand, view the Facebook Insights for the page; all brand pages should have at least 2 site administrators. Here’s an overview of the architecture of a brand page.
Common elements of all brand pages. A brand manager can’t change these components; they are part of the standard Facebook platform. Each section within the page is called a “tab”.
1. The “table of contents” for a brand page is on the left side of the screen; each tab within a brand’s Facebook page is listed here. The site administrator can adjust the order in which each tab is displayed, but the Wall and Info pages are always at the top of the list.
2. The “Wall“. This is similar to a person’s News Feed; it displays the brand’s posts/status updates, along with the posts added by others. People visiting the page can choose to see everyone’s posts or just the brand’s posts; the site administrator can specify the default view for page visitors.
- In addition to a text-based “status” post, brands can share photos, links to other URLs, videos, polls, or questions.
- All page visitors are able to see the number of people who have “liked” the post, and can read the comments and shares of page visitors.
3. The “Info” tab. Much as a person defines their interests in their profile, a brand adds copy to Info sections that are defined by the Facebook template; sections include Founded, About, Company Overview, Description, Mission, Products and Website. Most brands use this page to tell people that they have found the official Facebook page for the brand, and to provide contact information.
4. The Friend Activity tab allows page visitors to see the interactions of their own network of friends with the brand’s page. Site administrators have no control over this page.
5. The Insights tab is seen only by site administrators; this page summarizes activity on the brand’s page.
6. Other standard (and self-explanatory) tabs are Photos, Videos, Notes, Polls, Links, Events and Questions. These tabs will automatically populate whenever the brand creates a status update using one of these types of posts.
Applications and Custom Tabs. The standard Facebook tabs described above are the same for all brands, and offer limited opportunity for brand imagery and customization. Many brands develop custom tabs and applications for their Facebook brand page; a custom tab allows for a more obviously branded experience for the page visitor, and these tabs often serve as a landing page for promotional or advertising campaigns. Brands can add as many tabs as they wish.
Welcome / Home tab. Some brands choose to create a custom tab on which first time visitors to the brand’s Facebook page will land. (Once a consumer “likes” a brand, they will automatically land on the “wall” tab when they come to the brand’s Facebook page.) Some brands use this page to encourage consumers to “like” the brand to allow the brand’s status updates to be included in the visitor’s news feed. Here’s an example of Red Bull’s home page.
Page Tabs can be used to help page visitors find other brand content, such as videos on YouTube, brand stories on a web site, and community conversation on Twitter. Tabs can operate much like a web site, allowing consumers to download ring tones or screensavers.
Applications allow brands to integrate Facebook functionality into a branded experience within a Facebook page tab. By developing an application with Facebook Social PlugIns, the brand make it easy for page visitors to share brand interactions with their own social network. To be most effective, these applications must provide something of value to the visitor and their network. Applications require that a user “allow access” to their profile, so the visitor must think it’s worth it.
Brands can add an unlimited number of tabs to their pages; the brand’s strategy must include tactics that drive traffic to each tab.