By now, you should be well aware of Facebook’s recent update to your profile, Timeline. If not, take a minute to read our preview discussing the changes that Timeline brings. Recently, Facebook completed the rollout of this new feature to not only personal profiles, but pages as well. This is big news for businesses, especially real estate agents, brokers, and offices.
First, let’s cover how real estate agents used to be able to take advantage of pages. Before, Facebook pages allowed the page owner to essentially create a completely custom landing page right within the site. Realtors could turn this landing page into a lead capture form that collected information from potential clients. Additionally, real estate offices could create what’s referred to as a “like-gate”. A “like-gate” requires a Facebook user to Like the page prior to showing the visitor content. Both of these setups were great opportunities for real estate professionals. The key to making these custom landing pages and “like-gates” effective was the fact that they could be set to the first thing users see when visiting your page. With the recent update, this is no longer true.
How Does Timeline Affect Custom Landing Pages?
Now, here’s how the new Timeline for pages works. Pages now display the Timeline by default. Furthermore, there is no option available to page admins to change this behavior. If your page has a custom landing page equipped, there are a limited number of ways for visitors to access it. First, there is a link to the landing page which users can click after arriving at your timeline. This is located right under the new cover image feature. Second, real estate agents can promote their custom landing page using the actual URL. These methods produce problems for Realtors looking to maximize Facebook traffic.
What Does This Mean for Realtors?
Realtors are now faced with a dilemma when it comes to using Facebook pages as part of their internet marketing strategy. Directing internet traffic to your Facebook page (displaying your custom landing page by default) used to be a legitimate strategy. With the changes that came with Timeline, this is no longer effective. Since custom landing pages cannot be displayed by default, and the only link to them is a small box below the cover image, sending traffic to your page no longer produces the results it did before. Visitors see your cover image and Timeline updates opposed to your custom landing page. Requiring them to search for a link and click it to get to your landing page to yet again complete another step is cumbersome and yields little results. Moreover, directing traffic to your custom landing page’s URL presents another problem. Custom landing page URLs are long and confusing (i.e. http://www.facebook.com/YourPage/app_15632489652874). This may work if you’re linking from another spot on the web or an email, but it doesn’t work well for business cards, print, tv, or radio advertising, billboards, car magnets or wraps, and most other marketing mediums.
Facebook seems have to crippled one of the biggest methods of promotion common to real estate agents and businesses, while disguising it as a feature. It would seem that these changes come with the hope that page admins will purchase Facebook advertising in order to direct traffic to custom landing pages. For Realtors, we recommend that you continue to use your Facebook profile to grow your database, but think twice before deciding if a Facebook page is right for your internet marketing strategy.
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Facebook Timeline for Business Pages
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