Facebook Contest and Custom Tabs That Won't Break the Bank

Genevieve Lachance
Genevieve Lachance Owner, VA Simple Services

Posted on March 25th 2013

Facebook Contest and Custom Tabs That Won't Break the Bank

Apps to create Facebook Custom TabsOne question I often get from Facebook Page owners is how to create custom tabs for Business Pages. 

In case you didn’t know, custom tabs can be added to your Facebook Business Page to run contests or promotions, add contact forms, create sales pages, landing pages, about us pages, showcase products, share Twitter feeds, showcase Pinterest boards, and more. There are a large number of companies that offer apps which you can install on your Page with different functionality and at a wide range of different prices.

How to decide which app is best for your Facebook Page

To decide which app will work best for you, take a look at:

  • Your budget
  • The number of Fans (Likes) you have
  • The number of Pages you manage
  • Your goals
  • Your technical knowledge (e.g., can you use html coding?)
  • Whether you need templates or you can create images from scratch
  • Which features are important to you and which are not necessary

Some stuff you should know

  • Like Gate allows your custom tab to display different content to those who are not fans and to those who are fans.
  • Contest rewards skill; winners are determined based on skill, popularity or judging.
  • Sweepstakes awards winners at random; winners are determined based purely on chance.
  • Tab App icons:  You have a total of 12 visible tabs on your Page which are located right under your Cover image. The first tab is always the picture tab and you can’t customize it or move it around. You can change the images (icons) for the other 11 tabs by clicking on the pencil icon and uploading an image (111 x 74 pixels). You can move the order of those tabs as well.

Facbook_Tabs

  • Width of Page tabs for the new Facebook Timeline is 810 pixels. Depending on which app you use, if you want to create an image (for a header as an example) you should keep it under 810 pixels wide.

Facebook_new_tab_width

  • REMEMBER: If you’re going to run contests, sweepstakes or promotions on your Page, please make sure to follow Facebook terms and respect the laws governing social media promotions.

Here are some companies which offer apps you can use to create contests and/or custom tabs. These companies may offer additional services but for the purpose of this article, I will focus mainly on their custom tab features.

1.   Pagemodo

Pagemodo Facebook App

Contests options:

No, but they offer templates for the creation of Coupon tabs with a Pro Package.

Like Gate:

Yes, but this feature requires a Pro Package.

Templates:

Yes, there’s a really nice selection of templates.

Ease of use:

Really easy to use.

Flexibility:

Although the templates provided will probably satisfy most users, there’s not that much flexibility in terms of customizing the layout of a template. You can start from scratch if you’re able to use html coding and create your own custom tab and layout.

Pricing:

Free

Some features included:

  • 1 Fan Page
  • 1 Tab
  • Cover Photos
  • Builder & Hosting

Most Popular $13.25/month

Some features included:

  • 3 Fan Pages
  • Unlimited Tabs
  • Cover Photos
  • Builder & Hosting
  • No Pagemodo Footer/Watermark
  • Pro Templates
  • Like Gates
  • Google Analytics
  • No Powered By
  • 2 Team Members
  • Forum + Premium Email

Other packages: $6/month, $33/month

2.   Tabsite

Tabsite App

Contests options:

Yes, for Gold and Platinum members.

Like Gate:

Yes, available for premium memberships.

Templates:

Yes.

Ease of use:

I found Tabsite a little confusing to use at first. There’s a lot going on a page with no clear direction on how to create your tabs. I suggest you first visit the help page to learn how to use these tools.

Flexibility:

The layout is very flexible, simply drag and drop your widgets or images. Since the free version only includes 4 widgets, the premium versions will give much more flexibility on what you can do with your Tabs.

The Powered by Tabsite will show on the top right corner with the free version which I find pretty intrusive. If you don’t want to have it on your tab, you’ll have to get the paid version.

Pricing:

Free

Some features included:

  • 2 tabs with ads
  • Friendshare app
  • Unlimited likes
  • 4 widgets (Content text editor, Image, Map and email sign-up form widgets)
  • 2MB storage space for your images and content

Most popular Gold Plan $19/month or $190/year

Some features included:

  • 11 Tabs
  • No ads
  • Unlimited likes
  • 21 widgets
  • 9 engagement apps
  • 250MB storage space for your images and content

Other packages: $10/month, $30/month

3.   Shortstack

 Shortstack App

Contests options:

Yes, contests features are available for paying members. Free accounts have access to the Sweepstakes feature.

Like Gate:

Yes.

Templates:

Yes.

Ease of use:

This is one of my favorite app from this list. Straightforward with clear and easy to use instructions.

Flexibility:

Shortstack has enough flexibility in design, layout and options to achieve most of your needs.

Pricing:

Free

Some features included:

  • 2000 Likes
  • Unlimited pages
  • Sweepstakes
  • Fan gating
  • Access to all widgets
  • Photo galleries
  • Videos
  • Theme and template galleries
  • Viewable on mobile
  • Share function

Most Popular $30/month or $300/year

Same as Free plus…

  • 25,000 Likes
  • No footer logo
  • Contests
  • Entry storage/data collection
  • Export contest entries
  • Custom app icons
  • Form integrations
  • White labels
  • Priority support
  • Add more than 10 apps to any page
  • Multiple user collaboration

Other packages: $75/month, $150/month, $300/month

4.   Woobox

 Woobox App

Contests options:

Wide variety of contest, sweepstake and promotion features with paid membership.

Like Gate:

Yes.

Templates:

No.

Ease of use:

This is fairly easy to use with plenty of options to help make your life easier but it includes a lot of steps to setup your tabs. The help guide is nicely done using Sliderocket presentation slides which is great for visual people like me. There’s also help features directly within the dashboard.

Since there are no templates to get you started, you’ll have to make sure to plan your tabs visually before creating them. This means that you’ll need a photo editor as well to create your tabs.

Flexibility:

There are a lot of options but the layout is pretty restrictive in terms of customization unless you create your own tabs using HTML coding. You can preview what your tab will look like before you upgrade your account which I found to be a nice feature.

Pricing:

Free

APPS included

  • HTML Fangate
  • Twitter Tab
  • Instagram Tab
  • Pinterest Tab
  • YouTube Tab

$29 per month or $299/year for one Business Page

  • 20,000 likes
  • Unlimited promotions

Apps included

  • Sweepstakes
  • Coupons
  • Photo Contests
  • Video Contests
  • Instant Win
  • Polls
  • Pin To Win
  • Deals
  • Group Deals
  • Rewards

Other packages: $15/month, $49/month, $99/month, $249/month

 

Other Apps you may want to check out

Wildfire Basic Promotions $5 + .99 cents per day

Appbistro Various prices

Rafflecopter  Free-$59/month

Since Facebook removed the option to choose where visitors could land on your Page when they launched the new Timeline, it’s much harder to get traffic to visit custom tabs unless you have a worthwhile incentive or a catchy app icon.

Also, keep in mind that very few people (fewer than 2 percent) return to a Page after Liking it. They will usually consume your content directly from their own newsfeed and not from your Page.

Unless you promote your custom tabs, most users will never see them so make sure that you take that into consideration when deciding how much you should invest on your custom tabs.

Note: One of the most effective ways to send visitors to your tabs is probably to invest in Facebook ads since it allows you to direct people who click on your ad to any URL of your choice including your custom tabs.

Image Source: Creative Commons License peasap via Compfight

 
Genevieve Lachance

Genevieve Lachance

Owner, VA Simple Services

Some would say that I'm a little obsessed about technology, the web & social media! I would say that I'm more "passionate" about maintaining the pulse on the newest trends and tools. In my everyday life, I help entrepreneurs optimize their business by using technology and leveraging the internet.
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Comments

Great post!! Thanks for sharing your thought.. I really had a very informative read.. 

very good article, thanks so much :)

 

question - whats the main difference between these very cheap services and more costly services such as wildfire or strutta? thanks!

Hi John, I don't think there is any difference between the tools. The main difference is that Wildfire and Strutta works for bigger companies, and they also allocate account managers to clients. (We have a tool like those - www.antavo.com - and we offer it on a good price, but still try to make sure that people can contact us with their requests. A lot of automation needed, but every question is answered.)

Hi Genevieve!

Nice review. Another service you may take a look at is iFrapp - a easy to use and affordable app builder for Facebook Fan Pages. Check out iFrapp.com. Listed as top 30 Facebook Apps byPCMag.com earlier this year. Have a great day.

A great contest app toptabapp.com. Full integration with FB pages + mobile + unlimited free trial. Absloutely free for non-profits and charity pages!

Thanks for including Pagemodo!

Great article...So helpful to use these type of apps to be able to market better on facebook.

I found another resource for FB apps called 22Social...I like it better than the others because is not only gives you unlimited tabs on up to 10 fan pages, but 22Social is the only one that has a mobile version with the SAME LINK....meaning that if you type in your link to your app on 22Social, it reads weather you are on a computer or mobile device and automatically redirects to a mobile website if it is a mobile device.

Example...www.22s.com/mwhite

Try it from your computer and then try it from your mobile device and see the difference...

They also have a free trial for anyone that wants to check out the differences...

http://zti.me/22socialfree


Happy Marketing!!!

Mark White

 

Thanks for a nicely structured article for comparing the different providers.

In addition I can highly recommend a relatively new app builder www.clickappy.com  They have really easy to use and professional looking photo contests and sweepstakes for just $2.99 per month which can be tested for free prior to launch. You simple choose a template and start editing. It’s really easy to add your own texts, logo and images etc. The contests have like gates and are automatically mobile adapted. All the apps can also easily be translated into any language. It’s defiantly a site worth taking a look at.

I heard a lot of great things about Pagemodo and Shortstack. I am going to try it out. Thanks for the information.