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  • 5 Most Common Mistakes on Facebook Fan-Gated Reveal Tabs

    If you’re NOT on the HyperArts Blog, Click here!

    You may have heard about reveal tabs and you may already be using them on your Facebook Page. To learn how to create a reveal tab, check out the HyperArts blog post on reveal tabs. To see examples of reveal tabs being used on Fan Pages, see Tim’s post on the Social Media Examiner blog. There are plenty of clever ways to use reveal tabs to get more fans, engage your users and give away great content. We highly encourage you to use reveal tabs on your Facebook Page. But before you do, be sure that you are not making one of these mistakes!

    1. MISTAKE: Creating a reveal tab and forgetting to set it as the default landing tab for the Facebook Page.

      The reason that you created a reveal tab in the first place was to get more fans. If you leave your Wall as the default landing tab for non-fans then nobody will see your reveal tab. Only a small percentage of users will browse through your tabs to find it. Plus, the reason you set a custom reveal tab as a default landing page is so that users feel like they HAVE to click the Like button in order to access the rest of the Page, even though this is not true.

    2. MISTAKE: Promising “exclusive content”, “special deals” or other rewards for clicking the Like button, and then failing to deliver.
      It’s a great way to get someone to click the Like button. Tell users that once they become a fan they will get a coupon or a free download. But if you promise something vague like “exclusive offers” you had better have something to give away immediately. It’s not enough to just say “thank you!” after you have promised to give something away.

      On the HyperArts Facebook Page we have fan-gated our Tutorials & Resources tab with the following message:

      When the user becomes a fan, they immediately see a list of free tutorials in the form of videos and blog posts. This is the promised value they were expecting.

    3. MISTAKE: Just asking fans to “Like My Page!” without any incentive.
      While you do not want to make empty promises, it’s also a bit pathetic to just beg for likes without offering some value in return. Even if you don’t have anything to give away, at least point out to your potential fans that once they become a fan, they will be getting regular updates from your Page in their newsfeed (because that is what will automatically happen).

      Here is an example of a Page that just says “Like us” without really saying why anyone should like the Page:

      Red Bull

      One good tactic they DO use is the transparent overlay. The image non-fans can see actually hints at the content underneath with a slightly transparent background. I can see that the tab will reveal videos once I click Like. But not everyone might understand the reveal tab concept right away, so Red Bull could benefit from an added message that says something like, “Like us to see videos…”

    4. MISTAKE: Leading users away from Facebook by linking to an external website.
      Unless your goal is to NOT get more Fans, sending users to your website or any other site away from Facebook is a sure-fire way to make sure they never come back to your Facebook Page to click on the Like button.
    5. THE CARDINAL SIN OF REVEAL TABS: Creating a reveal tab that shows the same content to fans AND non-fans.
      Lots of Pages make the mistake of presenting the same message to fans and non-fans. Here are a few examples of surprisingly high-profile companies that have made this mistake:


      Mashable has a nice graphic at the top of their default landing tab that asks visitors to click Like in order to join their online community. Then they ask you to visit their Wall, and include a link. But what would keep me from just visiting the Wall without becoming a fan first? Remember, you can never fan-gate your Wall. You can only send people to a different tab first, and they don’t have to click Like in order to view the rest of your Page. See how Mashable keeps the same message, even after I became a fan? That is NOT a well-thought-out user experience:


      Forever 21

      This clothing brand obviously put a lot of thought and time into designing a visually compelling default landing tab for their Facebook Page. But even after I became a fan, I could still see a message asking me to “Like” the Page. It would be a much better user experience if I saw a new message saying “Thanks for becoming a fan of Forever 21! Now you will get the skinny on fab fashion and stylish savings, directly in your newsfeed” Or something alone those lines…


      Social Fresh

      This Page belongs to a social media agency and I personally love all of the content they share about the industry. But I was a bit disappointed in this tab on their Page. It seemed like a nice idea at first, but failed in the user experience category. After becoming a fan, the user still sees a message begging them to Like the Page. Even the arrow graphics are still pointing in the direction of the Like button, but it has disappeared!


    What could these Pages have done differently to avoid this problem?


    1. I think not offering something of real value is one of the biggest sins I see out there. And I hate it when pages try to send me outside of facebook all the time. Tortuga Spa in California has a cool fan gate that shows the site “grey” until you like it.

      • Hi Greg, yes this is a cool way to reveal different fan-only content. Just like the Red Bull Page 🙂

    2. The majority of these pages have opted out of changing the content that a user sees once liking a page because that used to be done simply in FBML. Now that Facebook has discontinued the making of new static FBML tabs, creating this same thing in an iframe requires an incredible amount of javascript…

    3. Good post, although I must point out I don’t think Mistake 3: Red Bull is a mistake. The brand has clearly gone for subtlety on the landing tab, which can work quiet well too. Not every brand has to clearly outline everything in text for fear that some people just won’t get it.

      If they really like the brand, they will like it.

      • Luke, I think you make a good point. Red Bull has done a good job both being subtle and LOUD! with their messaging. I just think that some brands without the same level of name recognition might need to be more explicit, however.

    4. Gordon Campbell says:

      Oh come on, Red Bull’s welcome tab has to be the best one on a brand’s facebook page.

      • I agree with Analisa, it is a great imagery and the transparent “reveal” is enticing. However, an incentifying call to action does wonders for actually getting the user to do something. In this case, Like the page.

      • Red bull does have a great design. The reason they can omit an incentive and just ask people to ‘Like’ their page is because people already know about Red Bull. Smaller companies or new businesses on Facebook should give a reason for a visitor to like their page.

    5. #5 – I can’t figure out how Mashable overlooked the problem with their reveal/landing tab!

      The more sites you’re on the harder it is to update everything let alone make adjustments to platform changes from individual sites like Facebook but you think someone would have pointed this out before now.

      Wonder how this happened?

      • I think Mashable has fallen victim to a common problem: They have been around for so long, and are so widely considered “thought leaders” in their field, that they have stopped trying as hard to be the best of the best at all that they do! And they have expanded to cover so much more than just social media. You can see that they have more than one Facebook Page. This particular Page is a general one, and they have a different Page specifically for social media.

    6. I agree that Red Bull’s strategy is the best than the other pages. The transparent overlay really attracts users to click the Like button.

    7. I’m amazed that some of these big brand names don’t get it. I’ve been using reveal tabs for a long while, they work well for contest entries and landing pages for FaceBook advertising. The use of the reveal tabs has helped the main page I manage gain over 100,000 fans in the past 12 months.

      You can also use them to provide a special code that can be redeemed for something (discount etc). They you can track how many times the code has been used. I must admit, i do like the transparent reveal tab demonstrated by red Bull. I’ll have to give that a shot.

    8. Nice article – love what Red Bull have done, actually, even if there is a risk that it’s a bit subtle for some users!

      I can’t believe how many big brands are screwing up the “fan-only” content though – there are more than enough apps and resources out there which make it easy to do. Especially for large companies with the resources they have….

    9. Sean Bridger says:

      I’ve noticed over the past few days that my reveal tabs are directing people to the wall after they click ‘like’ not the default landing tab I have set. Does anyone know why this is or if there is a solution? My welcome tab is where I want people to land once clicking ‘like’. Any assistance would be appreciated

      • Facebooks “default landing tab” setting directs BOTH fans and non-fans to the SAME tab. So you cannot achieve the effect you wish in the manner you describe!

        However, you can do it a different way. Simply use fan-gating. Your first gate is the screen you show to non-fans … this is where you ask them to Like your page. On your second gate, the one for fans, simply direct them to the URL for the tab you wish fans to see!

        You can find the URL for any tab yourself. Simply click on the tab and look at the URL window in your browser. Just copy and paste that link to Gate #2.

        Does that make sense?

        BTW, I don’t know why Facebook hasn’t though of adding this feature … have two settings for default landing tab – one for fans and one for non-fans. All this fancy footwork with fan-gating would become highly unnecessary!

    10. Doesn’t a fan gated page hide your facebook page content from google?

    11. What to do?  i am in a state… have to finish a fan gate for a client…. and it doesnt seem to work properly with new page timeline!

      Any suggestions?

      Please help

      • You’re going to have to wait until Facebook fixes the problem. Tell you client it’s out of your control. We always warn clients that developing on Facebook is like developing in an earthquake zone. It’s just the way it is and it’s out of our control.


    1. […] And, the nice folks at HyperArts have a post you’ll want to read about the 5 Common Mistakes of Facebook Fan-Gated Reveal Tabs. […]

    2. […] feature is called a Reveal Tab and enables you to show particular content only to fans. I created this new landing tab using the […]

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