Over the last few weeks you may have noticed that brand pages on Facebook are getting a new design and looking more like user profiles. The new design displays page posts in a single column on the right-hand side of the Timeline rather than the current two-column display, and tucks other content (likes, photos, apps, etc) on the left-hand side. While the new design helps clear up the space below the cover photo, it also means the location of apps is less prominent, leading many marketers to wonder how Facebook fans will now find their apps.

There’s no question about it, this move makes it harder to find apps – something Facebook marketers often use to entice people to their page and increase engagement. Even though they may be less prominent on the page, apps can still maintain high levels of engagement if brands put a little extra effort into promoting them. To help, our social media consultants have put together four tips on how to market your Facebook apps once your page has switched to the new design:

  1. Post regular status updates: Since users prefer to engage with brands through their news feed, posting regular status updates will keep your fans informed of what is out there and help direct them towards your apps. Try to vary the updates so they are posted at different times of the day and have a slightly different message, otherwise your fans may get tired of repetitive content. For example, if you are running a competition to win a weekend getaway, post one status update about the prize, another asking people who they’d take if they won, and a third that promotes the campaign in general. Consider how time sensitive the app is in order to figure out how often to post, but a general guideline for short-term apps is to post something every 3-4 days.
  2. Facebook advertising: Our guess is that Facebook moved apps in an effort to increase the amount of advertising brands use to promote them. While some brands may hold a grudge, it actually is a very effective way to get people to use your app, especially those who may not like your page yet. Facebook ads are particularly useful in promoting apps that are fun or have a prize, such as games or competitions, and targeting your audience means you’ll be promoting your app to the exact people you want to engage with your page.
  3. Designing a cover photo: Cover photos are the most prominent real-estate on your Facebook page and are a great way to draw attention to a specific app and its related campaign. When creating the cover photo, just remember that the image shouldn’t contain more than 20% text so keep it short and sweet and let the image do the talking. The dimensions of the cover photo are 111px by 74px.
  4. Pinned posts: When a user comes to a brand’s Facebook page they don’t often scroll down to see previous posts, so it’s important to keep your main message at the top of your Timeline. Luckily brands have the ability to pin posts to the top of their page and we recommend you keep a status update about your app pinned to the top of your Timeline at all times. To pin a post, click the pencil icon that shows up when you hover over the upper right-hand corner of the status update. The pin will automatically come down after seven days, after which you can pin another post about the app.

All brand pages will have the new layout by June 16, so now is the time to think about how you’ll promote your Facebook app in the future.

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