Since everyone’s fan page has made the change to the new Facebook Timeline structure the question appears from some, “How can I direct people to my welcome page now?” Before March 30th, 2012, many businesses that have utilized Facebook Fan Pages had a straightforward way of directing their users to a welcome page. Since apps such as, Static HTML, allowed you to create a welcome page for users to see who have not “Liked” your page. You would simply direct them to your Facebook URL, or they could simply type in your “company name + Facebook” in a search engine and would most likely pull up your page. If they were not in your community, then the welcome page should have automatically been shown since you were able to set the landing page to that tab. Those days are gone…
But not completely. Facebook now defaults to your Timeline, and there is no option to change that. So what do you do? Before, you might have been reaping the benefits of getting “Likes” from what we call, Fan-Gating. Well, you can still do that, but for every marketer and business you just have to think differently in how you do this.
You may still have your welcome page app integrated in your Facebook profile and page, and that is good start. For those who have not allowed an app to do so we recommend to do a simple search for “Welcome tab for pages“. Today, it is still the same. You create a welcome page for your non-likers, and then the redirect or standard welcome page for your fans.
Now since Timeline is the default landing page the first step you would want to take is maybe rearranging the order of your tabs that appear first. Under your cover image/profile photo you will notice that your “About” section appears to the left, and then 4 tabs followed by an “arrow button” pointing down. If you are using multiple apps, you will be able to see the rest of the apps by clicking on this “arrow button”. When you are logged in as an admin for your page if you click on the “arrow button” all of your apps will appear and now you will have the option to “edit” your tab apps by hovering your cursor over each one. You will see a “pencil button“ appear when hovering over a tab, and for most of them. By clicking on each “pencil button” you can swap tab positions followed by more options such as “Edit Settings” and “Link to this Tab”. Go ahead and rearrange your welcome page tab to be first of the custom order. Note that your “Photos” tab cannot change positions and will always be first.
The most important thing about continuing your campaign of Fan-Gating will be the “Link to this Tab” option for your welcome page tab. By clicking on this a pop-up window will appear and will display the URL you will need to know. Copy it. Bookmark it. This is the URL to pull up your Welcome Page…ah, did the light bulb turn on? Yes, it may seem like Facebook wants you to work a little bit…differently. For those who have not quite caught on yet the link that you copy from “Link to this Tab” will now be used in your email blasts, email signature and other promotional. Example, in your next email blast, instead of having a link to your FB page, facebook.com/company-name, use the URL given for your welcome tab, facebook.com/company-name?v=app_xxxxxxxxxx. But still hide it by letting users seeing the underline link as, “Like Us“. Now users will still “land” on your welcome page instead of your Timeline.
Simple, but now what about promotional material like direct mailers. You could still give them the full link to your welcome tab link, but that may seem long and confusing to some. For now we do not see a way to get around this. You could use a link shortener like, bit.ly, to make it seem short. Or another option is to go back in your page as an admin and rearrange the order of your welcome page tab being 2nd next to the “Photos” tab. To make it attracting you would want to create a custom tab pic. You can do so by clicking on your “pencil button” for your tab, and click on “Edit Settings”. A pop up will appear, and the second option will be “Custom Tab Image”. Create a fancy, custom image such as “Click Here for Special Offers”. Upload your image and your tab will now take appearance of your image. Attract users landing on your timeline to click the tab.