Facebook Best Practice: Photostrip Action Buttons

Crossposted from Net Conservative:

As we move toward the complete ubiquity of social media use by campaigns, simply having a Twitter or Facebook no longer provides a campaign with a competitive edge.  Campaigns must strive to be innovative in the ways in which they use social media, or at least adopt the innovations that others have pioneered.  For this reason, it is worthwhile to examine some social media best practices.  Today, we will examine the Facebook photostrip.

The photostrip is the string of five photos that runs across the top of a Facebook page.  By default, the photostrip simply displays the last five photos that have been posted to a page.  While this is acceptable to most users, this visual property on Facebook is too valuable for us to not try and find a better, more interactive use of the photostrip.

First, let’s take a look at an example of an underutilized photostrip:

Obama Photostrip

You can see that this photostrip is a collection of random images that have been posted to the associated Facebook page.  Users cannot see the complete post that was originally associated with a specific image until they click on the image itself.  Without the context or call to action that was posted with them, the images lose meaning, and users are likely to quickly move past the photostrip without taking action.

The best use of the photostrip involves the creation of action buttons, which are simple images that graphically represent the action that the user will take when clicking.  Examples of action buttons include: Visit Website, Follow on Twitter, Contact, etc.  Below is an excellent example of action buttons being used to get the most out of the photostrip:

Harris Media Photostrip

The buttons themselves describe the action to be taken, so users are likely to click and take action.  Once clicked, the button will open the original post, which will explain the action and contain the necessary link:

Contact Button

To set up your photostrip, simply create five images with the actions you want to use.  When you upload them to your page, they will automatically be displayed on the photostrip.  Note that the order in which you upload them will determine the order in which they are displayed.  The last thing you need to consider when using action buttons is that any subsequent images you upload will overwrite your action buttons in the photostrip.  To fix this, simply hover over the image you wish to remove from the photostrip and click the small “x” in the upper-right hand corner:

'X' Out

Setting up action buttons is an easy and effective way to make better use of the valuable real estate that the photostrip takes up on your page.  This tip will help to increase interaction on your page and ensure you are using your Facebook to its full potential.