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One of the best parts about Facebook as a platform for marketing your business are all of the ways to enhance the experience and make yourself stand out from the rest of the competition.
Aside from using photos to stand out in the News Feed there are a number of applications that create an interactive experience directly from the News Feed. Other applications are designed to draw people into your page and encourage interaction that way.
Either way, I’ve compiled a list of 33 of my favorite apps that are essential to giving the fans of your Page a completely unique experience.
Arguably the most important application on Facebook. The static FBML application is the foundation for custom landing pages and can help to distinguish your Page from the rest of Facebook for first time visitors. FBML (Facebook Markup Language) is a derivative of Html and the Static Fbml application will render all standard HTML, CSS and a wide variety of FBML Tags. As such, with a basic knowledge of html, the Static Fbml App allows you to do simple things such as uploading a photograph and inserting links, to more interesting tasks like embedding your email contact form, inserting MP3 Audio, and embedding flash videos.
It’s true, Facebook has been talking about depreciating the use of FBML as a markup language. But for the time being, Static FBML is still a very powerful application that should not be ignored.
SlideShare allows you to share presentations and documents right on your Facebook page. This app supports ppt, pps, Keynote and much more!
If you already have a SlideShare account, moving slides from your preexisting SlideShare account to your Facebook app is a synch; just click “Sync SlideShare.net account” under the application and voila, all presentations you’d previously created with SlideShare are now on your Facebook Page.
The SlideShare app allows you to do one of the most vital things necessary to promoting your business on Facebook- Stand out in the News Feed. Using this application can create an engaging, and dynamic experience for fans of your page, and you can easily break up the monotony and mindless droning people do while staring at the social network.
The key to using this app is to make sure that your slideshows do not suck.
According to Facebook, in the Notes tab, “You can share your life with your friends through written entries. You can tag your friends in notes, and they can leave comments.” But that doesn’t even begin to describe just how powerful the notes application can actually be.
Facebook Notes allow you to use <a href> link tags to link with anchor text, as well as upload photos, giving you the potential to create visually compelling experiences for the fans of your page. Notes will also allow you to tag other Pages on Facebook (whether you’re connected to them or not) This gives you an excellent opportunity to cross promote with other Pages.
Photos are a great way to very quickly get your message across. Facebook Photos now allow you to upload high resolution photos up to 2048 x 1760 pixels.
Tall profile photos allow you to occupy more real estate in the search results, and Photo Albums give you the much needed ability to stand out in the News Feed. Photo and album descriptions will also allow you to link to external websites, giving you a unique way to drive back to your website or blog.
NetworkedBlogs is a user-generated blog directory. You can upload your own blog into the directory, as well as choose from over 300,000 other blogs to follow and promote. Blogs are organized by topic or geographical location, which is nifty when marketing to specific regions.
NetworkedBlogs allows you to import your own blog feed for automated posting to your Facebook Fan Page. With your blog added to the database, others can read and “like” your blog, spreading your words to their NetworkedBlogs accounts. The benefit of NetworkedBlogs is that it posts your own blog’s content, but also gives you the opportunity to show your personal interests with the blogs you follow.
The NetworkedBlogs app has one of the more appealing blog interfaces for Facebook apps– separating sections into separate application and sections. It is simple, clean and easy-to-use while not losing any aesthetic appeal.
Facebook’s solution for forums. Discussion boards have a very simple but very effective interface allowing for members of a page to connect with each other, or to ask questions of the brand in a less public setting than directly on the wall.
Discussion boards are text only, but are also a great way to extend a conversation beyond the wall. Encouraging members of your community to participate in the discussion boards will often times lead to higher loyalty and is a great way to build relationships with individuals in your community.
One of Facebook’s newest features, Questions allow brands to ask questions and take polls of their communities.
Anyone asking a Question has the ability to tag individuals connected to their personal profile to solicit answers from the most qualified (in addition to asking their entire community) Answers to questions can be voted as helpful or unhelpful. And Page admins can answer other people’s questions as a Page rather than from their personal profile.
Answering questions on behalf of a brand is a great way to establish authority on a given subject, and Page administrators can very easily find questions that are in their field as all questions are broken down by categories.
Pre-installed on every page (click here for more info)
Give us a rating between 1 and 5 stars. That is the premise behind the Reviews application.
Simple but effective. Ask your fans to give you a rating and a comment and soon you’ll have a page of testimonials and honest feedback. Direct others who would look to work with you to this page so they can see just how awesome you are.
Don’t let the name of this app deceive you, the music Facebook App can host any .mp3 file up to 15mb. This could be music, but also podcasts, interviews, book on tape chapters, radio broadcasts, or any other audio file you can dream up. No matter how you use it, the Music Player will allow fans to play audio directly from the News Feed.
The interface is very straight forward. The app has an input for a “buy now” link giving fans the option to go to an external site to purchase the audio file. Another cool feature of this Facebook App is that it can be configured to have an archive of all of your audio files on the left hand navigation of your page. Great for giving your fans easy access to all of your previous recordings.
Promotions for Fan Pages, created by Wildfire, is a Facebook Business Application that allows you to host several promotional content on Facebook Fan Pages.
The layout allows users to see all of the different promotions that a Page is holding such as Sweepstakes, Contests, Special Deals, Coupons and Gifts.
Promotions can also be sorted by category, such as Automotive, Beauty/Fashion, Career, Celebrity and can be sorted by Most Popular, Most Recent, Top Prizes, and Ending Soon, giving companies holding simultaneous promotions easy navigation.
Varies, go to http://www.wildfireapp.com/pricing for pricing information or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for white label solutions
Gifting for Pages
Gifting for Fan Pages, created by Wildfire, is a Facebook Business Application that allows you to create branded virtual gifts on Facebook Fan Pages.
The app’s layout is simple, sleek, user-friendly and effective.
Creating a gift campaign is extremely user-friendly. Rather than editing within the Facebook app itself, you create and manage campaigns from the Wildfire website. The creation process allows you to edit campaign details, timeline, gift and custom banners.
To create, simply title the campaign and select your gift categories. Once this is done, Gifting for Fan Pages allows you to upload custom, brand-specific images for virtual gifts.
One cool feature is that you can combine these virtual gifts with other Wildfire-ran contests, sweepstakes or coupons.
Because of the simple layout, Gifting allows Fans to easily spread your company’s brand throughout Facebook.
$5 setup fee. $0.99 per-day that the campaign runs.
Contests for Fan Pages, created by Wildfire, is a Facebook business app that allows you to create branded contests on your Facebook Fan Page. The application allows you to create many different types of contests including photo, video, design, logo and essay-based contests.
Creating a custom Contest is extremely simple. Like the other Wildfire apps, you control this app on the Wildfire website rather than the Facebook, giving you a little more flexibility and ease of use.
The timeline allows you to choose the contest specifics, like whether the contest is voted on by your Facebook Fans, or if a panel of judges will select the winner. You can also select how many times and how often people can vote in the contest.
The ability to create multiple kinds of contests with multiple voting methods is really cool. Another cool feature is the ability for fans easily share your contest with their Facebook Friends. Add these features with real-time analytics and you have an intriguing way to connect with your fans.
$5 setup fee. $0.99 per-day that the campaign runs.
Sweepstakes for Fan Pages, created by Wildfire, is a Facebook Application that allows you to run a sweepstakes and give away prizes based on a random drawing. You can customize your own rules and products or use Wildfire’s rules and products provided by Publishers Clearing House.
Creating a custom Sweepstakes is extremely simple. Rather than editing within Facebook itself, you create and manage your forms from the Wildfire website. This gives you more editing capabilities. The creation process allows you to edit campaign details, timeline, entry form, rules and custom banners.
The app’s appearance is simple, sleek, and user-friendly.
Some of the customization features include the ability to upload a custom banner and define specific eligibility criteria such as age and location.
One of the cool features for Sweepstakes is that the application automatically posts new campaigns on your Facebook Wall as well as Twitter. This expands your company’s reach without any work at all. Another cool feature is the vast amount of customization.
This app is a fun, user-friendly way to connect with Facebook Fans.
$5 setup fee. $0.99 per-day that the campaign runs.
Coupons for Pages
Coupons for Fan Pages, created by Wildfire, is an application that allows you to create brand-specific coupons and giveaways for your Facebook Fan Page.
The app’s appearance is simple, sleek and appealing.
Creating a coupon campaign is extremely simple. Rather than editing within Facebook itself, you create and manage campaigns from the Wildfire website. This gives you more editing capabilities. The creation process allows you to edit campaign details, timeline, entry form, coupon rules and custom banners. The coupon also appears on your Facebook NewsFeed.
One of the best features is the ability to customize nearly every detail of the specific coupon campaign. Analytics also make this application effective in maximizing viral marketing expediency. The app also gives you the ability to send notifications to participants and download participant data as well.
Analytics, ability to customize and user-friendly layout make this an effective viral marketing tool.
$5 setup fee. $0.99 per-day that the campaign runs.
Most people like a coupon, but everyone loves a Groupon. Now, Wildfire Interactive has taken this idea to Facebook.
Wildfire’s Group Deal application offers users the ability to create and manage group discounts. In order for people to effectively utilize this, multiple people must commit to make a purchase of the “coupon.” The best way to get other people to buy-in is for users to share the Group Deal app on their Facebook News Feed, which creates an instant viral wave.
Rather than editing on Facebook itself, you create and manage campaigns from the Wildfire website. This gives you more editing capabilities. The creation process allows you to edit campaign details, timeline, entry form, coupon rules and custom banners.
This application offers a great deal of customization. It also has analytics which help you maximize your app’s efficiency. The layout is simple, sleek and effective.
All-in-all, this app is a great way to convert the random passerby into a Fan. It generates to your business and Page in a simple, easy-to-use way. It’s well worth the cost and will prove itself to be.
$5 setup fee. $0.99 per-day that the campaign runs.
Payvment E-Commerce Storefront
The Payvment app couples PayPal’s API with Payvment’s shopping cart, allowing you make money on facebook by selling products directly on your Facebook Page… for free! This is a comprehensive app which allows you to add products and assign those products to a category. Payvment’s app allows you to upload photos, list terms of service, provides shipping options, offer coupons and much much more. Your s can shop for products like they would from any other e-commerce site, right on Facebook.
One of the coolest features of the Payvment app is that it is integrated with all other Payvment stores, both on and off Facebook. If a user adds a product to their cart from your store, and later goes to check-out after shopping at another Payvment store, your item will still be in that user’s cart.
Payvment recently announced the ability for merchants to import entire inventory catalogs from CSV and a number of other formats.
Payvment does offer an admin panel, but there appears to be no analytics for the app.
Youtube for Pages
YouTube for Pages allows you to integrate your YouTube content within an app on your Facebook Fan Page.
Set up is really simple, just input your YouTube user name and the app takes care of the rest. Without a Pro Subscription, you are allowed to display 6 videos within this application. If you purchase a Pro Subscription, you can display 6,12,18,24 or 32 of your videos. The app also gives you the option to choose the latest or oldest video as your “Featured” video.
You can also show your favorite YouTube videos and your YouTube playlist.
Two of the best viral features are the ability for users to share the videos with their friends and the ability to subscribe to the app, so when it uploads, they receive a notification.
Some of the Pro Subscription features include:
– Custom theme color and header
– Choice of Fullscreen or widescreen videos
– Unlimited Videos
– And, Ability for application to post content to your Facebook News Feed and Wall
All-in-all, the simple layout, viral features and customization choices make this one of the better YouTube apps out there.
Free or premium options available with an Involver subscription
One of three streaming apps reviewed here that can be added to your Facebook Page. Ustream’s Facebook app gives you a full page to host your live streaming content on along with the option for three banners, including a header banner, a left hand banner and a right side banner. In addition to the customization with banners, links to other media can be hosted on the page as well as a live chat area for viewers to interact with each other.
Live streaming video can also be published directly to the News Feed.
The only downside of the full version of this application is that you have to get approval by ustream itself. But if they decide to work with you, the customization of the Ustream app is unparalleled.
Of course, you can always stream a video and upload a link to the video to the News Feed. That much is free, you just don’t have the full page to host all of your streaming content.
Livestream’s streaming app will allow you to have your own page free of charge, however, the level of customization that ustream makes available is simply not an option here. The benefit though is that you can have a dedicated page for all of your live content and access to recorded archives (if you remember to hit the record button)
Upgrading to a premium account can be pricey, but worth it (if you can afford it) as the live feed will be littered with pop over ads and every a video ad will play over your video every 15 minutes. Though if you were to work in a “commercial break” into your content, this may not be as much of an issue.
The Livestream app also integrates a chat feature so fans can interact with each other. Where Facebook’s Page interface doesn’t really encourage this, live streaming some of your content can help your fans interact with each other and truly build a community.
The minimalist version of live streaming. Stickam is strictly live video and chat hosted on a tab on your Facebook Page. You have the option of uploading a banner, but it is not mandatory.
The best part about Stickam? Your videos won’t be inturrupted by ads and the application is free!
Adding the Goodreads app to your Page allows you to display all of the books in your Goodreads.com account on a virtual bookshelf.
For business purposes, you can use this application and Goodreads account to easily share what business related books you recommend. You can also publish reviews to your personal page’s News Feed.
Anyone viewing the Application tab can very easily purchase the book directly from your Page, and can purchase any book on your bookshelf within 3 clicks.
Incredibly useful app, especially if you’re into sharing industry related books with others in your community.
Requires a Goodreads.com account.
MiproApps is a custom app designer for Facebook Pages. It takes the principle of a blank canvas and allows you to fill in the rest.
Set up is a simple drag-and-drop process with 34 widget choices to display. The widgets are categorized by content giving you numerous options from blogs, video sharing, photo sharing and even audio. Within each category, MiproApps has many different options like Tumblr, Flickr or YouTube depending on the type of integration.
When it comes to appearance, it really relies on you and your choice of what you’d like to display in the app. You can make it simple or elaborate. The good news is that the app comes with customizable layout, including background color and header image.
You can also add viral aspects like the “invite your friends” option, which allows viewers to send the site to their friends helping you spread your message across the platform.
If you’re looking for a app with multiple purposes and want to choose what the goals are, seriously consider this app.
Free with ad support or $9/month and up for deeper customization.
Fundraising can be difficult. Luckily, the Donations app simplifies the once-painstaking process and helps convert a frustrating task into a fun one.
The application integrates Paypal, so all you have to do is input your Paypal-synchronized email address and you’re ready to start your fundraising campaign. Once you do this, you can title and write a brief description of your campaign.
The ability to customize this app is extremely cool. You can add a custom header image to the app, helping you create an appealing, brand-specific campaign. You have the ability to choose which phraseology you’d like you use: contribute, support or donate.
Lastly, you also have the ability to choose what color you’d like the support button to be: red, blue, green, yellow or black. These small features can help create a unique, professional looking page.
The application has a free 7-day trial, so you can test and see how easy it is to receive donations for your Non-Profit. After those 7 days, it costs $11.99 (one-time fee), but will prove to be worth every penny.
7 day free trial, $11.99 one time fee after trial period
Clobby Group Chat is a application that allows you to include a chatroom on your Facebook Page. This is a great concept that can really drive to your Page.
This app has some viral features. It encourages administrators to share their chatroom on their Pages and gives users an opportunity to invite their friends to a chat. Users can also “like” a chat, a separate viral action that will post to a user’s wall.
In this current release of the app there are no analytics or admin tools offered. It is also worth noting that the app is free, but ad supported, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED you pay the one time
Free (ad supported) or $9.00/month
Menutab is an app that allows Page administrators to display a menu directly on their Facebook Fan Page.
With Menutab, you can input a contact telephone number and description. There are four default food categories which include appetizers, main courses, desserts and bevarages, although you can custom add different categories based on your preference.While the most obvious use for MenuTab would be for the restaurant industry, but businesses with list of “a’la cart” services could also use this application to have an “at a glance” list of services
Adding items into Menutab is pain-free, although it requires manual input. Simply type the item name, price and a short description and the item is saved to your menu.
There are only three options for customizing the appearance of your menu- Modern (Sans-Serif font), Classic (Serif font) and numbers, which allows you to number each item. The layout is simple, but gets the job done.
Create your own goods? The My Etsy app allows you to share your shop items and favorited items with your friends. The application also automatically imports your profile banner into the app, a nice feature that allows you to add your shop branding to your Facebook page.
The best thing about this app is that all items in your stream are shareable, which gives shoppers an opportunity to participate in a viral action. Another cool feature of this app is that it will automatically post to your News Feed if one of your items is featured on the Etsy home page.
This app requires you have an Etsy account.
Poll allows you to create and carry out detailed polls on your Facebook Fan Page. Creating a poll is an easy one-step process. The simple creation page makes this application useable and effective in collecting user consensus/data.
With an easy-to-use, straightforward interface, Poll enables you to make your page better without doing much work. You can also add pictures, videos or links into your polls. With one click, the poll posts not only to your app, but also to your Facebook Wall. This feature ensures that your fans will see the poll on their Live Feed, resulting in a truly unique and social effect in your viral marketing efforts
The layout for the Poll app is rather bland- simply text and a submit button, but it gets the job done. Poll could be made more effective with more detailed demographics on fans who respond to polls. These demographics could help with niche marketing efforts.
Regardless, Poll is simple, effective and productive.
Poll is Free, but does have some premium features that are worth looking into including Advertising the poll, Ad Free, Require users to be a fan to vote, and more
TextualAds is going to be a game-changing application. It allows you to collect your fan’s mobile numbers and send them SMS (text) messages about current marketing campaigns.
The best part of these campaigns is the ability to target them so specifically. You can target based on age, gender, country, state, city or geo-location which makes this one of the most effective, customizable marketing CMS’ on the Facebook platform.
Based on each category you choose, the app shows you how expansive your marketing reach will be with each campaign.
Not only can you target your audience so precisely, you can also customize the app’s appearance quickly, efficiently and brand-specifically. Add page descriptions, header images, custom colors or even your own CSS style-sheet to this app and you’re off and ready!
Managing your campaigns is extremely easy and includes detailed metrics for tracking purposes. You can even export a CSV of the phone numbers submitted to your app, helping to reengage time and time again.
This is an amazing way to incentivize your clientele with offers, promotions and discounts directly to the palm of their hand. It’s simple, it’s effective and it truly a game-changing idea.
Free to set up with different premium plans available
Work for Us
Work for Us is a simple way to share job openings with your Page’s fans.
The best thing about this app is that applicants never have to leave Facebook to apply for a job. This application also allows users to recommend a job opening to friends, and has share links, encouraging your fans to take viral actions.
The free account only allows you to post one job at a time. The paid accounts allow more postings in addition to Facebook advertising credits to be used to help you promote your job postings.
For paid accounts, this app also has a search feature that allows candidates to search your job postings by keywords, employment time or category.
There are no analytics on this app so there is no way to see how much response a posting gets beyond the number of applications you receive. The look and feel of this app is done in a way so that it blends into the Facebook design. The design makes the application feel more professional and trusted, which is a good fit when it comes to career opportunities!
Free for 1 job posting.
$9/mo for 3 job postings.
$49/mo for 10 job postings
$499/mo for 50 job postings
$799/mo for unlimited job postings.
PDF for Pages
PDFs for Pages, created by Involver, allows you to upload and share white papers, menus, presentations and other important PDF formatted materials to your Facebook Fans.
The application utilizes technology from Scribd, so no downloads are necessary for users to view the documents.
Uploading your PDFs is simple. Just title, select and upload the file in the admin page and you’re all set.
The PDF viewer is attractive with different features such as download, print, zoom and fullscreen. Users can also share or embed the document on Facebook, Twitter or Digg.
If you purchase an Involver Subscription, you can add a custom banner to the app as well as a custom color theme. The Premium account offers analytics.
Files for Pages
Files for Pages allows you to upload your exclusive media including videos, mp3s, ringtones and more into a product-specific application. This app gives your Facebook Fans the ability to download these files.
Uploading files in Files for Pages is simple and self-explanatory. The app gives you the ability to title each file and write a brief subscription for each.
Layout is clean and simple and Each file has a file-specific thumbnail attached to it.
One of the cool Pro features is the ability to upload a custom Header, giving your application a company-specific brand. You can also toggle on/off a sidebar where users can invite friends to view and download the files. The most viral feature is the ability to allow users to Subscribe and receive notifications when you add new content to the app.
In order to receive unlimited file storage, you must have an Involver Pro Subscription.
If you’re a business who has a Yelp account and need a quick and easy way to share your Yelp rating, reviews, and a link to your profile, check out this Yelp application by Shuffle Interactive.
The setup is super easy. All you need is your companies phone number, and the Yelp application will pull the information directly from Yelp’s servers.
Currently, the reviews are limited to 3, due to a limitation on Yelp’s side. If your fans want to see more reviews they will need to click the “See More” link, which will take them to your Yelp profile.
BandPage by RootMusic
Though designed as a tool to let bands and musicians connect with their fans through an interactive Page, BandPage’s ability to host music tracks, videos, upcoming events, Twitter feeds and more, is an excellent solution for not only musicians, but for podcasters, video bloggers, and public speakers as well.
BandPage by RootMusic helps anyone who creates media content have an interesting and interactive Facebook Fan Page. Fans can listen to uploaded tracks, watch videos, read your bio, and checkout upcoming events all at the same time.
One cool feature for BandPage is that it enables you to display your Twitter posts, making it easy for fans to have up-to-date information. Another cool feature is that BandPage automatically takes the pictures from your Facebook Fan Page and puts them in this app. Lastly, if fans want to comment, they don’t have to leave the BandPage app, as there is a Facebook Wall within the app.
Adding shows, videos and songs is simple in BandPage. The layout is sleek, simple and appealing creating an interactive and interesting Facebook Fan Page. You can advertise your BandPage on Twitter and Facebook with one click.
BandPage is free, but for full customization features there is a $1.99/month cost (well worth it to create a full on customized experience for fans :-)
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