August 13, 2013

Using Facebook Apps Strategically to Meet Your Business Objectives

Facebook Applications are unique, extended Facebook experiences you can add to your Facebook Page to offer your visitors tailored experiences. They let you do all sorts of things on your Facebook Page like import a blog, offer a contest, collect user information, include ecommerce shopping and provide realtime customer support.

Facebook AppsApps show up as thumbnail images beneath your Cover Photo and while Photos always appears as the first app, you can choose which apps show in the remaining three spots above the fold. However, Facebook allows for up to 11 apps on your Page although only four are visible by default.

When running promotions, contests or a marketing campaign you may want to work with a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer to ensure you’re getting the most out of the platform. There tends to be two types of Facebook Preferred Marketing Developers, a single-purpose provider and a vendor that offers a suite of app .Since over the long haul you'll want to provide more to do for your Page visitors consider a vendor that offers a suite of apps if appropriate.

Some vendors provide templates with the ability to customize the look and feel using HTML and CSS. Others allow you to add widgets within the app. And you can also create your tabs with HTML directly to have custom Facebook apps on your Page. With HTML, you can do almost anything that you can do on a website but have it live within a tab on a Facebook Page.

If you don’t want to code HTML, you can use some existing services to create your tabs. For instance:

  • Static HTML - to create custom iFrame tabs.
  • Pagemodo for creating custom content tabs.
  • North Social was one of the first vendors to offer a suite of apps for Facebook Pages and provide a selection of apps.
  • AgoraPulse offers an HTML app, other content apps and analytics tools.

Here are some other ways to use Facebook Tabs.

Integrate Other Social Media Channels - Facebook is a great  place to offer content from Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest feeds. In addition to posting photos directly on a timeline, you can use Statigram to pull Instagram photos into a Page tab. Tabfusion has a good selection of apps to pull in content from sources including Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube and Vimeo. Woobox offers a free app to pull in your Pinterest feed.

Publish Your Blog on Facebook - Share posts in the News Feed and have an archive of blog posts on your Page. Integrate your blog with Facebook using tools such as RSS Graffiti.

Run a Contests - Contests remain one of the most popular and effective uses of apps on Facebook. Three companies that provide great contest or sweepstakes application capabilities include Offerpop, ShortStack, and Strutta.

Add Subscribers - MailChimp, Constant Contact and TabSite offer sign-up apps you can add to your Page.

Enable Ecommerce - If you sell products, offer them through your Facebook Page too. Heyo is a platform with templates that let you build out commerce-oriented tabs and add products. And if you've built your web storefront with Shopify, they offer the ability to integrate your store into Facebook as well.

Offer Customer Support - If you have an existing Get Satisfaction community, you can integrate it into your Facebook Page and Parature is a customer service application with integration with Facebook as well.

Want to learn more about using Facebook? Be sure to read the following article, "How to Turn Your Facebook Page into a Facebook Presence".