Facebook recommends you send your ad traffic to your fan page — they want to keep you within the FB eco-system.
And there are some solid reasons for that:
- People who have decided to get on Facebook, generally want to stay on Facebook — they don’t want to get too distracted with some other link
- If you leave Facebook, they have to put up a warning to your visitors, which may make them decline the option to continue onto your outside landing page
- Going from Facebook Ad to Facebook Fan page ensures a certain amount of continuity of scent.
And yet… There’s a strong case to be made for sending ad traffic outside of Facebook too. But before I get into those, take a look at this recent ad I found on my homepage, then scroll down to the Fan page it linked to:
OK, so here’s the scenario: I’m a dad to three girls between the ages of 3 and 9 who love, love, love animated feature films. I’ve missed most of the must-see films this season, but I’ve hit every single new animated release, bar none.
So a new animated feature from DreamWorks definitely piqued my interest. And the initial ad was very well done, with an engaging image and fairly relevant body copy. Except, after clicking on the ad, I was taken to a fan page that was not at all set-up to fan the flames of my interest.
No trailer videos. No short explanation of the basic premise or logline for the film. Just a bunch of stuff that I’m not quite sure I’m interested in yet. How do I know if I “Want Belt as a ringtone” if I’ve got no clue who “Belt” is or what he sounds like?
And THAT is why you might want to send your ad traffic to a landing page instead of a fan page: much greater control over the post-click experience.
When it’s YOUR domain and website, you can set-it up to capitalize on visitor interests, desires, and context. When it’s Facebook’s domain and website, you’re stuck with their format and their rules.
Best thing DreamWorks could have done for me post-click? Show me the trailer, give me a few paragraphs explaining the premise of the movie, and then some information about whether or not it’s a good movie for young kids.
So while I understand that, as a visitor, I can’t “Like” the film from an outside landing page, which is an act that would give DreamWorks the opportunity to market to me more directly as the film’s release date approaches, I still feel that the improved post click experience makes it well worth the sacrificed “like.”
Of course, in the Web Optimization world, they always say that “Testing Rules and Opinion Drools.”
So my advice to you is to try testing it both ways: directing ad traffic both a Facebook fan page and an outside landing page. See which converts better for YOUR company. Just don’t be too suprised if the outside page converts better than the fan page.