I have to confess … I’ve been neglecting Facebook. Ever since the last overhaul with the timeline and the cover photos, I’ve just fallen behind. Thanks to an inquiry from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
, I’m turning to Facebook anew, looking for what’s new (ish) and worth considering when comes to recruitment. Today’s topic: Tabs – a great way to highlight important information.
Facebook “tabs” are the boxes right under your cover photo. The first tab defaults to Photos and cannot be changed, but the others are fair game. Consider devoting one of them to recruitment information. Unfortunately, customizing these tabs is not for the faint of heart. That is to say, it is not an inherent feature of Facebook, rather, you must use a third party application to accomplish this task.
Here are some examples of custom tab content to consider -- some specifically recruitment-related, some not – with links to vendors, many of whom offer basic custom tabs for free with more robust features available for a fee.
Content from other social media:
The Boston (MA) Police Department has integrated their UStream feed
and their Pinterest page
). The Worcester (MA) Police Department has a tab for its Instagram feed
The New Zealand Police Recruitment Page
uses the FaqPage app
to answer frequently asked questions.
Vendors specializing in police-citizen engagement via the web, mobile devices, and social media can integrate their tools into custom Facebook tabs. Austin (TX) Police
and Peabody (MA) Police
are two examples.
Anything with an RSS feed – your blog or newsfeed, for example, can be integrated into a custom tab via apps like SocialRSS
Contact Us Forms:
The IACP uses the iFrame app
to offer a way for page visitors to communicate with the Association via Facebook. Pagemodo
is another source.
Images, HTML, and Weblinks:
Several app providers allow you to create custom tabs that display images, custom HTML code, and embed external webpages. The Dunwoody Police Department uses plain text to communicate its Facebook policy on a tab
Here’s the Least You Need to Know to Get Started
• Key search terms for more research beyond this brief post are iFrames, static HTML, custom Facebook tabs and landing pages.
• You can customize tab icons with your own images. The dimensions are 111 x 74 pixels.
• The tab page is 810 pixels wide (helpful info for a custom image).
• “Fan-gating” means people have to Like your page first before interacting with tab content.
• Each tab has its own URL you can share and use to promote the tab’s content.
• Search for apps in the Facebook App Center.
• Manage your Apps (edit, remove, etc) under your Account Settings > Apps.
The Devil’s Advocate…
Before embarking on this new project, consider the possibility that many people may not ever return to your page after making that initial “Like.” Rather, they rely on their news feed for updates from Pages. So, consider a plan to keep that custom tab content top-of-mind among your followers. Promote your custom tab through other channels – link to it periodically in posts to your timeline, use Facebook ads to promote it, and write blog posts that link back to it.
How is your department using – or not using – Facebook tabs?