23+ Essential Facebook Page Applications to Improve Fans Engagement in 2012
Greetings and Happy New Year! To kick off 2012, some of you may think of giving your Facebook Page a facelift. There may be some features you wish to add such as custom iframe tabs with fan gate option or ideas to encourage fans engagement on your Page. If you do, you've come to the right place! Every year I will compile a list of cost-effective facebook apps you can use not only to improve your fans engagement but hopefully enhance your brand visibility at the same time. Without further ado, let's get to the list.
This review is based on my personal opinion only and has nothing to do with affiliation or app sponsorship whatsoever.
To Encourage Fans Participation and File Sharing:
FriendCard is a smart way to make your brand go viral by allowing fans to send customizable branded greeting cards to their friends. Upload your logo and replace the default message with your own to fit your brand image. Your fans can then schedule to either send out their card immediately or later, what fun!
What can be more exciting to offer fans some great deals on your Page? Coupon for Pages by Involver is easy to setup while allowing your fans to print the coupon or share the good news with their friends. Not only you can gain new fans out of this but existing fans will appreciate your special treat and support your brand continuously.
(Note: Transform the Coupon tab into a fan-gating tab to entice new 'Likes')
#3 File Sharing
File Sharing enables page admin to share up to (any) 5 files with fans on your Page. There doesn't seem to be a way to delete the files though but uploading new files will replace the old ones. I won't worry too much about this as you can always hide the tab and use it when necessary.
Scribd for Pages is by far the best file sharing app I came across with the ability to support various file formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt, .txt, .jpg, .pdf). When you upload multiple files the latest one will appear on top of the rest. Files uploaded to Scribd will have more sharing options including embedding and emailing.
#5 PDF Tab
If you would like to share a PDF file with fans without the download option, this app might just meet your requirement. However you can only display one PDF file (<10MB) at a time.
Fotobabble lets users add voice to their uploaded photos and share them on Facebook Pages! What a great concept where Page admin not only get to enhance their welcome tab with a 'real' call to action asking fans to Like the page, but can also plan a fun contest like 'Tickle Me Baby' here where fans can upload 'baby-talk photos' for others to listen to.
To Communicate with Your Page Fans:
LiveChat is a very useful Facebook application to provide real time customer support to your fans or potential customers. If handled well, you may even convert first time visitors into loyal fans too. Sadly, LiveChat is not free but you get to try it for 30 days with no credit card required.
TinyChat provides free video chat rooms for you to setup video conferencing with fans. After you created a chat room, just share your Tinychat room link with fans on your Page wall so they could enter. Bear in mind, since you are using TinyChat's Facebook app your name will appear as your personal profile in the chat. For now there is no way to change the name yet so make sure you are comfortable with that.
Ever since Facebook removed the discussion board from pages, Forum for Pages becomes one of the best alternatives to fill in the spot. You will be asked to authorize the app in order to post or comment; and 'Like' the discussion post to subscribe to the topic. Page admin can edit, delete or ban the user from the forum. Best of all, you can even lock a thread or make it a 'sticky topic' so it always stays on top.
SupportTab creates a tab for your fans to ask questions. This app is great for those who don't feel like installing a forum on the Page but still wish to communicate with fans about brand-related topics.
#11 Contact Forms
There are three types of contact forms you can choose from:
You can add business information including logo, address, phone number and social profiles. Customize your form with required fields and arrange them to your likings:
ii) Contact Form
Aside from basic configurations, you can add picture and message text separately as header; 'send me a copy' option is also available and you can customize your (sent) success message too. However you won't be able to re-arrange your selected fields:
iii) Contact Us Tab - Improve Your Conversion Rate Form
Contact Us Tab is equipped with four general fields and you may set whichever as required fields.
To Acknowledge Loyal Fans on Page:
#12 Top Fans on Pages
Instead of checking through all fans activities yourself, here are several Facebook applications to help you decide who is(are) your superfan(s):
i) My Top Fans
After the results had been generated, you can publish it to your page Wall so everyone can celebrate:
Booshaka tells you who is your superfan while rewarding the others in weekly basis based on their participation on your page - wall posts, likes and comments. What I love is that Booshaka shows admin the overall performance of a fan (Recent Activity) to confirm their qualification to be chosen. You can then recognize your top 10 fans on Page wall.
Fan of the Week for Pages will feature one fan weekly. Although it is said that the result is based on fan's activities but after compared the results with similar apps I'm not totally convinced. Either it's random or based on activities, it's still a good app to showcase your fan while schedule an automated shoutout at the end of the week (optional).
Page admin can configure so top 5-15 fans are displayed. It is optional to link to fans' profiles and place a Like Gate to this tab.
To Notify Events and Handle Appointments:
#13 Events Calendar
Events Calendar enables admin to create and maintain a list of events related to your brand Page and showcasing them in monthly calendar format to fans. You can set the event name, date, time and link to the contact's profile Timeline or email. You may set so the calendar is viewable to admin/fans only.
Genbook is an appointment scheduling web service for small business. By installing Genbook to your Facebook page, you are allowing potential customers to reach you and gain more leads through confirmed appointments. You do need to register a Genbook account with your email address for 30 days free trial. When fans access your 'BookNow!' tab, they will be brought to the appointment page outside your Page:
To Encourage Invitation to View Your Page:
#15 Invitation Tab
Always make sure your fans are aware of this call to action to attract more 'Likes' on your Page:
For none-coders, this is an easy way to add an invite tab on managed Pages. Your fans can select who they want to invite to your Page or type their friends' names in the search box:
This app makes it easy for fans to invite friends because all their friends' names will be automatically added for invitation after the app is authorized. Of course, they can always choose to 'invite (friends) one by one'.
Smart Suggest allows fans to include an invitation message not more than 255 characters before selecting friends manually.
To Create Tabs for Company Blog & Information:
#16 RSS for Pages
I have always loved RSS Graffiti for automated blog updates on Pages, but when it comes to creating a blog tab, RSS for Pages is my favorite. The tab consists of post image along with 'Like' and 'Send' buttons for fans to show their support.
#17 Extended Info
Not enough space in Info tab to describe your brand? Don't squeeze everything on your landing tab, use Extended Info to add extra fields on a separate tab instead.
#18 FAQ Tab
Besides an appealing interface with your brand logo/banner, it attaches a form below for fans to reach you if needed.
To Showcase Other Social Media Profiles on Page:
Showcase your Google+ profile at your Page's sidebar and configure the amount of Google+ updates (5-20) to display on the tab. Insert your Google+ Profile ID in the admin settings and you're set to go:
#20 Twitter Tab
I prefer a (free) Twitter tab with customizable settings for brand visibility. This app allows you to insert banner image and provides customizations for the tab's background, text and link color!
For Your Facebook Page Management:
#21 Post Planner
Post Planner lets you schedule your wall posts (text, links, images, videos etc) without leaving Facebook. This app is free for profile Timeline but costs $4.95/month to post on Pages (and Groups). Anyhow, it offers a 30-days trial for you to test it out.
Not enough iframe tabs on your Page? Now you can add up to 12 iframe tabs per page with Static HTML, find out where to get them.
#23 Selective Tweets
Don't flood your Facebook page with Twitter stream. Use Selective Tweets to share info that matters to your page fans. When you post a full URL in your tweet that ends with #fb, it will appear as how you normally post a link on Facebook. Not to mention you will get a link below to be redirected to your twitter account for fans to follow.
Not enough Facebook applications for your Page? Get 14 more app suggestions here.
Now Is Your Turn...
Do you have other facebook page applications to suggest? Which app do you think has the biggest potential to improve fans engagement on Pages? Kindly share in your comment.
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