Before Facebook Timeline became mandatory for all users in early 2012, marketers had really begun to embrace the use of custom tabs for welcome landing pages. It seemed every successful brand with a budget for custom development had a splashy welcome page that advertised a current promotion or encouraged you to like their page. And then poof, they all disappeared with the arrival of Timeline and the playing field was evened. Those custom landing pages still exist, of course, but they are now equated with “apps” instead of “tabs” and they live under the cover photo instead of along the top or down the side. Most importantly, they cannot be set as the first page visitors encounter.

Does this mean that custom landing pages are now defunct? Quite the opposite. Along with Facebook Timeline came two upgrades that ensured these apps can still be a great asset: they now have a 111 x 74 pixel image instead of a line of text and a tiny favicon, and they are now displayed in an 810 pixel space. This means you can draw visitors in with a more visual button, and once they do click on your app, you have much more space to be creative with your message. There are also a number of tools now through which you can make professional looking landing page apps with no tech skills and very minimal investment. Like, say…Pagemodo.

So what should you do with custom page apps? There are 4 very popular types, and even more if you have the creativity. CrazyEgg’s blog identifies these main page types as those listed below, and offers examples of each here.

1. Like Our Page
2. Make A Purchase (or participate in a promotion)
3. Visit Our Website
4. Experience Our Brand

One of the main uses of a custom page app on Facebook is as a landing page for an advertising or promotional campaign. That is, a brand advertises through an online medium (Facebook ad, website banner, LinkedIn ad, etc.) and the link provided in the ad directs them to this customized page on Facebook. Landing pages used in this way are nothing new, but locating them in your Facebook space (instead of your website) is a fairly recent approach.

Ion Interactive recently produced a fantastic infographic illustrating 25 best practices for landing pages of all kinds that can be applied nicely to Facebook Timeline landing page apps. See that graphic below.

Were you using custom landing page tabs before Facebook Timeline was rolled out? Have you tried a custom page app since then? We’d love to hear about your experiences!

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