Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Mashable reported last week that Facebook tab engagement has dropped substantially (53%) since the introduction of timeline as the new format for Facebook fan pages.
However, I think there is a crucial nomenclature oversight in the article – touting traffic statistics as engagement. The two are most certainly correlated, but engagement (i.e. interacting with content on a tab – clicking play on a video, entering a sweepstakes, liking an image gallery) is much more important and pivotal to brand success than traffic (i.e. registering an impression (page view) on a tab).
Engagement – much more than traffic – is going to drive increased affinity between Facebook users and brands, which helps improve edge rank and a brand’s reach within the Facebook newsfeed. Engagement is also key in generating stories that post to users’ timelines and end up influencing their friends to take similar actions.
All in all, these are my key takeaways in response to the recent article:
- It's not surprising that tab traffic is down -- the removal of the "default landing tab" makes it so that when users type in a brand to the search bar, they land on the timeline instead of a tab designated by the page admin.
- This research does not show that tab engagement is down. With this new design and feature set, each visit to a tab is inherently more valuable — as users are arriving at these tabs by intentional navigation rather than being dropped on a default landing tab. More over, tabs are now larger, wider, and own the aesthetics of a screen much more than in the past — which can help increase engagement for each visit on the tab.
- Driving traffic to tabs becomes more important than before in order to generate meaningful engagement. Emails, tweets, posts, ads, search, blogs, texts, and other outbound communication media are excellent ways for brands to integrate marketing campaigns across channels and breed both traffic and engagement.
At the end of the day, successful Facebook marketing centers around meaningful engagement. While there are many tools at marketers’ fingertips to enable engagement, it’s up to savvy marketers to create content that makes consumers want to keep coming back. ExactTarget is here to help with software to manage your email, mobile, social, and website marketing campaigns all in one easy to use platform.
Do you think there’s a difference between traffic and engagement? Let me know in the comments below!