My colleague (and buddy) Leslie recently wrote on this blog about the importance of developing integrated, goal-directed social media marketing campaigns. Similar to traditional marketing campaigns, the elements you choose for effective social media campaigns must link together to ensure you achieve a concrete business goal, such as driving sales conversions or acquiring new customers. Facebook tabs are an easy way to give your online community a more interactive experience, driving increased engagement and helping you achieve a variety of business objectives. They provide a versatile space for you to engage your online community in dialogue, often serving as a breeding ground for advocacy.

Facebook tabs are often a breeding ground for advocacy

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Facebook tabs serve two primary business functions. Similar to your website, they can be used as an additional resource to extend the reach of your owned media presence. They can also be used to complement your integrated marketing campaigns, driving advocacy, sales conversions, brand loyalty, and more. The Meltwater Buzz Connect module helps you create rich Facebook tabs with little or no dependence on a designer. It allows you to drag and drop several elements onto Facebook tabs, such as images, Flickr galleries, promotions, YouTube videos, contact forms, surveys and polls, coupons, and Twitter searches and lists. Facebook tabs made with the Connect module support custom HTML elements and can be built out entirely in HTML. The Connect module also interfaces with your page’s Facebook Insights to offer actionable community-interaction metrics.

Example: Using Facebook tabs as an extension of owned media

A new Marketing Director at a European nonprofit made it a priority to increase both membership and donations for her organization. With a large Facebook following of 90,000 likes, the Marketing Director saw an opportunity to start converting these users into members and donors.

Using the Meltwater Buzz Connect module, the marketing team created Facebook tabs called “Join Now!” and “Make a Difference.” The nonprofit incorporated the direct links to these membership-focused and donation-focused Facebook tabs in their messaging across social media. As a bonus, after a new member signed up or donated, a pop-up appeared asking them to share news of their support on their Facebook News Feed.

With the help of their new Facebook tabs, the nonprofit increased membership and donations. They also encouraged basic advocacy and word-of-mouth marketing within their existing Facebook community and by extension, among their friends. Using analytics provided in the Meltwater Buzz tool, they were able to measure conversion rates from several social media sources more accurately than ever. They compared visitors arriving from a specific source to the number of donors or members who cited that source when signing up.

Example: Using Facebook tabs to support a Facebook marketing campaign

An outdoor clothing company based in Alaska faced strong domestic competition from large, established retail brands. Although the availability of their products in stores was growing consistently, their products were only distributed in 20 of the 50 states in the US. To increase brand recognition and boost sales, the company used the Connect module to execute a social media marketing campaign centered on a Facebook photo contest called “Live Like an Alaskan.” The contest asked users to submit pictures of themselves wearing the company’s clothing in nature “living like an Alaskan.”

They used the Meltwater Rise promotions module to manage the photo contest. The Rise module works together with the Connect module to integrate natively with Facebook tabs and canvas apps, and ensures that promotions follow Facebook’s promotion guidelines. The contest drew in several hundred entries and provided detailed contact information that the company could leverage in email marketing and direct mail campaigns. In addition, they were able to use the submitted images as marketing collateral. With all of the data collected, the clothing company had a better idea of the distribution of their client base and more insight into which new states to enter next.

Building Facebook tabs on your organization’s page is as essential a part of a social media marketing strategy as determining messaging and imagery. As a part of an integrated social media marketing campaign, Facebook tabs can serve as both the magnet that attracts community interest and the forum where you engage with them. Whether used as an extension of owned media or to support social campaigns, Facebook tabs are a useful tactic to wield on the path to marketing greatness.