12 Applications to Make Your Facebook Page More Engaging

Sarah Hartshorn
Sarah Hartshorn Owner, MindSprout Marketing

Posted on May 13th 2010



Currently, there are more than three million active Facebook Pages on the top ranked site, with the typical Page boasting an average of less than 1,000 fans — oops, I mean ‘likes‘ (seriously, that just doesn't roll off your tongue quite the same way). Standing out from the static requires you to dress up your Page and make it more interesting and fun for your ‘likers'. That's where Facebook applications come in. They're basically like plugins for your Page and there are tens of thousands of them available. Deciding what apps you'd like to incorporate depends on how you'd like to engage with your peeps (that's an even better word than ‘likers').

Here's a compilation of some must have applications for any Page. They're great additions to the the basic layout that Facebook provides and they can be used in interesting ways to move your ‘likes‘ into action.

Static FBML

Yes, mentioning this application seems totally redundant because it seem to make it on every single must-have Facebook application list. However, it's really that great. This application is what lets you customize tabs and content on your Page and transform it into part of your brand. The only downside with Static FBML is that you need to have some knowledge of HTML, CSS and Facebook Markup Language (FBML) so that you can create the code needed for content display. Examples of Static FBML in action are the Victoria's Secret Page, MontBlanc Page and Gary Vaynerchuk Page.

Twitter for Pages

There are actually quite a few Twitter applications for Facebook, but either not all of them work very well or they are meant for a basic profile and not an actual Page. With that being said, Involver's Twitter for Pages is a quick and easy way to bring your Twitter stream into a tab of its own so that people can catch up with your tweets from Facebook. Just add and you're done.

Fan Appz

For serious social media marketing, you'll want to install Fan Appz on your Page. The Fan Appz application is comprised of a suite of sub-apps. It contains polls, sweepstakes, promotions and coupons and more. There's even a gift store that you can set-up to monetize your Page with brand merchandise that people can purchase. The advantage of Fan Appz is that instead of having to install individual applications for each one of these functions, you get them all in one central location. Convenient and powerful.

Welcome Tab For Pages

This very simple application lets page owners showcase just about anything. From profiles and businesses to products and upcoming events, the Welcome Tab for Pages is an ideal way to communicate with ‘likers‘ (still hate that word, sigh). This application has a fantastic bonus feature — it comes with its own analytics and metrics so that you can track and measure how your Welcome tab is being received and make adjustments if necessary. Uber cool!

Page Maps

Give your business more visibility by adding a custom map your Page. Highlight your location and include surrounding points of interest too. The Page Maps application displays a mini-map with links to a larger map or directions. In a virtual world, having a map that features your business lets people know that you're not just an electronic profile, but an actual person and/or company.

Eventbrite

If you have special events, upcoming activities or group gatherings that you need to promote then consider adding Eventbrite to your Page. Created by the online event management and ticketing services company of the same name, Eventbrite publishes an event page directly on Facebook with your event details and a link to buy tickets. Your event is promoted through your newsfeed for all to see (and hopefully attend). Do you have to sell tickets to your event? Not a problem. For a small fee, Eventbrite can help you coordinate ticket sales too.

My Top Fans

Just like it says, this application shows you who your top fans are for your Page (wonder if they'll rename this to My Top Likes - sorry, I just can't seem to let it go). The application analyzes interactions and calculates who is sharing and engaging the most with you. Once you find out who's at the top, why not profile them as a ‘Fan of the Month' or thank them with branded merchandise, like a t-shirt and post a photo of them wearing it on your Page. Stretch your creative muscles and put this app to work.

SlideShare

Import your existing SlideShare.net presentations from your account directly into Facebook. This application is integrated with the SlideShare application on LinkedIn. That means if you upload a presentation to LinkedIn, it will also show up on your SlideShare application on Facebook  and on your  main SlideShare.net account and vice versa. A major timesaver, but also a nice social media aggregation feature with SlideShare.

LinkedIn

Since your Page is already promoting your business, services and products, kick it up a notch and make it easy for fans to socially network with you on LinkedIn. Installation of this application is super simple and it gives you the option of featuring a LinkedIn button in a tab or box on your sidebar.

Web Profiles

Show off your other social media profiles with Web Profiles. There are more than 180 different social media platforms to choose from so chances are no matter what site you're a member of you'll find it on the Web Profiles list. If your site is more obscure than common you can instantly add it and feature it in your customized complilation. Much nicer than having to email the developer with a request to add and then having to sit back and play the waiting game.

My Countdown

Build up excitement around new product launches, grand openings, give-aways or just about anything that you have going on with your company. My Countdown can be added to any Page to countdown to the big hoo-rah that you've got cooking. And, you can customize its appearance and add icons to make it your own.

DivShare

With DivShare you can expand the types of content that you're sharing with your fans. Instead of being limited to sharing just links, DivShare allows you to attach MP3s, images, videos, documents and just about any other type of file that you can think of. You have the option of posting shared files to your Page, adding them to your news feed or choosing to share among groups of people or individuals. Max files size is 200 MB, which is a more than ample file sharing size.


Comments

Another application that is great for Facebook engagement is Idea Challenges (http://www.facebook.com/IdeaChallenges), created by Bulbstorm (http://www.bulbstorm.com/). Idea Challenges is a game-like application that encourages fans (or "likers") to submit ideas to a brand-specific challenge, comment and rate other's ideas and earn points redeemable for prizes in the prize vault. Idea Challenges helps pages increase growth through engagement. The more fans who participate in an Idea Challenge equals higher numbers of comments and ratings, thus growing the page and increasing awareness. For more info check out this blog post: http://www.bulbstorm.com/blog/2010/application-for-facebook-promotions-revolutionize-fan-page-marketing/
Love this - thanks for putting this together. Any suggestions on resources for learning how to put together a Static FBML?
@Bulbstorm Thanks for the link to the app. Definitely a fun app to get fans interacting. @Helen Connor I did a little bit of digging and found two very helpful links. One that gives a good walk-through and the other is for examples of some basic FMBL coding. Just make a few minor edits to customize the code and you'll be ready to add personalization to your Page. Here's the link: http://wiki.developers.facebook.com/index.php/Facebook_Styles http://lorrainesiew.wordpress.com/2009/07/04/facebook-pages-fbml-example... Let me know what you think.
Great Post ! Tnx a lot
Thanks so much for the good feedback everyone. Glad to know this has been helpful.
Killer list Sarah...

If your company/organization has a Foursquare special, consider adding the PlaceWidget for Foursquare: http://apps.facebook.com/placewidget/

I recently added a new special for the Mayor of our Service Dept. - instant hit: http://www.facebook.com/AuctionDirectUSA

(Only downside is that it can only be installed once; add'l tabs can't be added if you have multiple locations - hopefully in time)

Awesome post!  I saw a question on here about FBML boxes.  Check out my page at facebook.com/loriraylene at the bottom there is a link to face it pages and you can create a page in minutes for 39.99 at their site.  Also check out involver.com for some great easy to install apps.  It is SO easy. Trust me on this.  And at involver they have the coolest way to display photos on your page.  It's the apple cover flow.  You can see it at their site.  VERY easy.  Unbelievable really.

 

Sincerely, Lori Taylor 

 

twitter.com/lorirtaylor
This is a great list. Thank you for taking time to compile it. Agreed, staticFBML is a gift from heaven for those of us who are not hard-core developers. While I was familiar with several items on the list, there are a few new ones that I am itching to try out! Too cool. Thanks again. 
This is a great post!  Everyday you see lists like this, but this one has some excellent value after checking out the apps.  Thanks Sarah!  I'd also like to add one to the list that addresses the downside of Static FBML, not knowing FBML /HTML code.  Try out Facebook TabSite, a new App that gives you a Content Editor (WYSIWYG) to easily customize a Tab, even add your RSS feed, add images, and more.  There is a free version to try out as well.  Find them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TabSite.
Nice Post !My Company also make application for facebook and iphone.

-Developer

Thank you SO much!  There are a couple here I have never heard of (gasp!) and have some clients who will be very happy I've stumbled on your post.

I've already booked this page, it's all so interesting and am dying to try some of these applications right now. I don't even know if they are free but I am willing to try them anyway. My Facebook page needs a lift and this is a nice way to start. Before I jump to getting exe file extension for those that interest me, is there any way we can preview them before installation?