12 Facebook Page Apps for Small Businesses

Thursday Jul 21st 2011 by Eric Geier
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With the right apps, widgets and services, you can add custom content to your Facebook Page to improve your small business marketing efforts. We've got a dozen Facebook apps for you.

Last year, the Economist determined that Facebook -- with its 500+ million people -- would be the third-largest nation in the world, if it were an actual country. That's a tempting market, and you can take advantage of it by creating a Facebook Page for your business or organization.

But don't limit yourself to the basic Page elements and functionality. You can use a variety of Facebook apps and services to add custom content, interactive features and other items. We look at 12 of these programs that can help your small business marketing and communication on Facebook.

Top 12 Facebook Page Apps

Hosted iFrame

Hosted iFrame lets you add up to five custom tabs to your Page, similar to the old Static FBML apps. You can insert your own HTML, XFBML and other Web code. It even provides up to 35MB of storage for images, videos, and other content. It also lets you specify different content for non-fans and fans.

You could create a landing page to entice visitors to "Like" you, a welcome page to describe your business or organization, or pages describing your products or services in detail. You can pretty much add any Web content, just as if it were on your own website.

IFrame Apps

IFrame Apps lets you add up to two custom tabs to your Page. It's similar to the Hosted iFrame app above, but also offers true iFrame functionality. This is great if you already have a website and would like to manage the content and pages outside of Facebook. You can specify a URL and that Web page will be displayed when visitors click on the custom tab.

Extended Info

Extended Info adds a tab to your Page that resembles the default Info tab. But unlike that tab, this one lets you make custom fields and display custom content. Use it as an extension to the info tab. Elaborate on your company, products, services, etc. Unlike the default Info tab, you aren't limited to plain text. You can add videos, images, and music (hosted on your own server/service) and you can insert HTML code.

This app is similar to the previous two iFrame apps but limits the formatting. However, it doesn't require any HTML knowledge.

Reviews

The Reviews app adds a tab to your Page where visitors can post reviews about your company, products, or services. The reviews look similar to wall postings, but they let visitors give a rating of up to five stars. Other visitors can also "Like" and comment on the postings, just like wall postings. It's simple, but it can be a very effective way for you to receive feedback. Plus, potential customers can read testimonials. You might receive the same type of communication from visitors on your wall directly, but this Page offers a place just for reviews and feedback.

Poll

This polling app lets you create questions and then post them to your Wall. It also appears in the News Feed of people who answer or vote, helping to increase public awareness of the poll and your Page. You might ask for feedback, do market research, or just have fun. The app even tracks the results -- including each voter's user ID, name and gender -- and lets you download them.

Social eCart

You can sell products directly on your Facebook Page, and of course you can always link to your own online store if you already have one. But Social eCart offers quick and easy Facebook integration. For instance visitors can "Like" your products, recommend them to their friends, and make comments on them. You can create a new online store or, if you already have one, it also supports popular ecommerce solutions and shopping carts.

YouTube for Pages

If you publish videos for your business or organization on YouTube, or you'd like to share videos from other YouTube users, then YouTube for Pages is a must-have app. It adds a tab to your Page that displays an up-to-date showcasing of your videos from your YouTube channel and favorites. Plus, it can automatically post new videos to your Wall. This is a great way to add a multimedia element to your Facebook Page.

Work for Us

The Work for Us app lets you post jobs and receive applications via your Facebook Page. Candidates can apply without leaving Facebook. This is a great way for small businesses to accept online applications for free. But best of all, you get to take advantage of the social network reach to create awareness about the job opening.

Contact Form

You can add a Contact tab to your Page with a contact form so visitors can send you a message with questions or comments. They could simply send a regular Facebook message, but the Contact Form app can prompt them for their contact details. You can also add text and an image to the page. If you have a physical location, you could add an image of your location on a map. You can also customize the CSS layout to change formatting if desired.

Social Plugins

Social Plugins aren't necessarily apps. They're more like widgets that you can place on your own website or within some custom tabs. You can add a Like Button so visitors can "Like" your Page and Send Button for them to share with a friend, both directly via your Web page. The Comments plugin lets visitors comment on the content of your Web page, and it also auto posts the comments to their Wall so their friends will see.

Other plugins include Activity Feed, Recommendations, Like Box, Login Button, Registration, Facepile and Live Stream.

TextualAds

TextualAds goes beyond a simple Facebook app. It's a mobile text (SMS) messaging marketing service. People can sign up to receive your mobile alerts from Facebook via a new tab on your Page, on your website via a widget, or by texting the signup number you display in-store or on advertisements. You can then send out alerts or reminders on sales and other news to help marketing and increase revenue. The free basic service only allows 25 free text messages a month. For more, you'll have to pay for the premium services.

Pay with a Tweet

This isn't a true Facebook app, but a widget you can place on your own website or within some custom tabs on your Facebook Page. Pay with a Tweet lets you sell a guide, book, article, song, video, or other downloadable content for the price of tweeting about you on Twitter or posting about you on Facebook.

Click on the link to search and browse for more Facebook apps.

Eric Geier is a freelance tech writer and the founder of NoWiresSecurity, which helps businesses easily protect their Wi-Fi networks. Follow him on Twitter, or use the RSS Feed to keep up with his writings.

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