Find any great April Fool’s pranks on Facebook last week? I had some difficulties spotting them. I was hoping to report on brands playfully posting outrageous updates, wacky profile pics and basically playing their community for fools.
One of my clients did have some success with this April Fools prank: The Mauve Power Ranger! (Image below) The community LOVED it and engaged with the Facebook update throughout the day.
Pranks aside, what I did find on Facebook last week was an array of businesses attempting to engage. Looking for the most creative uses of the coveted 520 pixels on a tab, I started with allfacebook.com’s most ‘Explosive Facebook Pages’ of the week. I figured that Facebook pages quickly recruiting ‘likers’ must be offering up great content. This assumption was proven to be incorrect with just a few exceptions.
1) Suave Beauty – Flash on a Tab!
Glad to see Fan gating is alive and well – ack. The Suave landing page asks you to ‘like’ the page before offering up any compelling content. Once you ‘like’ them, you’re taken to a give-away tab with the hefty prize of a FREE full-size styling product. Hit the ‘click to enter’ button and you’ve got the standard form with address, email and PHONE required.
Other tabs include an ‘Insider’ tab housing a flash-based magazine style flip book with pretty cool top-line navigation. The sections include a Blogger Spotlight, ‘Ask the professionals,’ and a ‘Behind the scenes’ video featuring Suave model Emmy Rossum. It’s one of the best integrations of ‘flash on a tab’ that I’ve seen and I guess someone would get excited by the content.
Also on the page is A BORING product tab that looks like a tired, old print ad and an outdated FBML ‘Tips’ tab.
2) Australia: The Movie
No customized tabs and poor use of the photo-strip feature. Blah.
3) EA Sports Madden NFL
Landed on a contest and had to ‘like the page to enter but at least they list the cool prizes – tickets to the Super Bowl. I would say that speaks directly to their audience. To enter the contest, you complete a form all within the iFrame. Even cooler. But when I completed the form, I got the message ‘Sorry, registrations are closed’. What?! This sent me scrambling to try and determine if this contest was for THIS year’s Super Bowl – which had already concluded. Kinda silly to make the primary focus of the page an expired contest. Refresh. So the grand prize was for Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 but after taking a closer look at the rules, the contest only ran from March 21st through March 28th. I had just missed the deadline. Time to feature new content, guys.
OK, well – what about the rest of the page? Just regular old tabs with quite a few videos and a photo gallery of Madden NFL cover art.
We’ve got a mini-site! Top-line navigation with lots and lots of custom tabs including a call-out for Sysomos Heartbeat, a monitoring tool. Not sure if that was supposed to be on display – the tab didn’t appear to house any content. The page didn’t require a ‘like’ which I liked but it did feel like a more interactive version of their website. The pages included a ‘mad libs’ style poetry game, info on the Dove Movement social mission, a shopping tab and other assorted tips, videos, contests and polls. My main complaint about this page is that there were TOO many calls to action and it left me a bit overwhelmed. Too many choices with no clear message.
First of all, if you search for ‘NY Jet’s you get this: LOVE IT!
Secondly – when you do find the official page, you land here:
No, I don’t want to become a Jets cheerleader – as crazy as that sounds. What do you think they do with all those video submissions? YouTube? When will Facebook have the ability to serve up business page landing pages based upon demographic information? The page has a perfectly acceptable ‘Welcome’ page with links to videos, photos, etc. Not sure why I didn’t ‘land’ there? It would have been a much more positive brand interaction for me. Just sayin’.
All the tabs appear to be old FBML hold-outs; nothing really innovative to report. I guess they are old school all the way.
6) Amazon Kindle
More fan gating with a ‘like’ us to win contest. The contest ends TODAY – March 31st, so I better hurry-up and enter. Short form but they do ask for a phone number – so they can ‘inform winners’. This appears to be the only iFrame with all the other tabs being poorly designed FBML. One tab even featured a holiday themed graphic from Dec 2010. Snooze.
Does nothing for me. Spam on the wall and no custom tabs.
8) Earth Hour
The non-profit Earth Hour is asking me to ‘like’ the page to view the ‘official 2011 Earth Hour video’. Somehow if feels less sleazy when a non-profit is asking for your love. OK. Video playing. Inspiring soundtrack, Bishop Desmond Tutu, ‘grassroots’, make a difference. I get the idea.
Other awe-inspiring tabs include an application that lets you update your profile pic with their logo and a ‘Lightswitch’ application that allows you to virtually turn-off the lights and then share the experience with your friends. All in all, a pretty creative use of their page. I was also impressed by the fact that the event had taken place on March 26th, but the ‘about’ box had been updated with next year’s event date and time. Nice attention to detail!
9) Facebook Brasil
Almost a million fans strong and all the official page updates are in Portuguese. Go Figure? The page did have a customized tab featuring an aggregate of other related, active Facebook pages and a ‘Support Your Team’ competition tab powered by Involver. The page hosted a leader-board with the top supported teams from around the globe and asked visitors to ‘support’ their team by ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ with their friends on Facebook. Ironically, team Brazil was WAY below the fold at number 17.
Finally, smart use of the photo-strip! YAY! I have been looking for an excuse to add tips on how to develop this feature. I found a great article outlining the details that I mention below.
Within just a few seconds, I know what this page is all about. Very simple tabs, with a FBML ‘Welcome’ tab that asks me to ‘Like’ the page so I can check out martial arts and self-defense articles on their wall. Hmmm, not too interested in that. Once again, Facebook needs to incorporate behavioral targeting into tabs. I’m guessing it may already be possible. It would have been much more effective to display content that was personally relevant to me based upon my previous interactions with Facebook.
“Get That Look’ – Facebook Photo-strip Customization
So I have become obsessed with integrating business page photo-strips with the look and feel of the brand. The above WikiHow graphic is a great example but I have a few others worth mentioning. The challenge is creating 5 images that will look good in ANY order. Unlike Facebook profiles, the Facebook page photo-strip displays the last 5 image uploaded to the page by the admin in RANDOM order. I love the treatment Luckie & Co used on their Facebook page. Unfortunately, the graphic is no longer live. As the page refreshed, you would see the heartbeat move across the header. Brilliant!
There are a few other challenges involved with adding this feature to your page but Kate Waite does a great job of explaining all the details in her recent article on setting up your photo-strip. Adding this feature may not be the best option for pages that require tons of image uploads by the page admin, as they will spend time continually deleting the new images from the photo-strip feature. Have you implemented a cool way to use the photo-strip on your page? Let us know by commenting with a link to your page.
The Facebook 520 covers innovative uses of Facebook pages and the tools used to create them. Be sure to send a shout-out with your recommendations for tools, tips and techniques to firstname.lastname@example.org. This article was originally published on socialfresh.com.