Monday, January 31, 2011

Top 75 Apps for Enhancing Your Facebook Page

Top 75 Apps for Enhancing Your Facebook Page

social media toolsHave you customized your Facebook page?  There are thousands of apps that can help you engage with your fans.  In this article I’ll focus on the top 75 Facebook apps.

These apps allow you to customize your landing tabs, add your blog, add videos and photos, add chat, add polls, contests, geolocation, scheduling, email, ecommerce and much more.

Why Facebook Apps?

Why add apps to your Facebook Business (Fan) page? By customizing your Fan page with apps, you can significantly enhance the user’s experience. And, the more you keep your fans engaged and coming back for more, the more likely you’ll increase your “viral visibility.”

In other words, every time a fan interacts with your Fan page, it’s free advertising for you because each fan’s activity goes out into their stream (their wall and their friends’ News Feeds). To find the best apps to enhance your Fan page, you could spend endless hours browsing Facebook’s Application Directory:


However, there are literally tens of thousands from which to choose. Even clicking on the Business category as I’ve done in the screenshot above, we get apps like Bartab (send friends real drinks for $1) and Hugs and Hearts. I don’t know about you, but these are hardly business apps in my opinion!

There’s also Appbistro where you can browse their comprehensive directory of apps for businesses.

Now that Facebook nixed the ability to have our own custom content/apps on the Wall tab (left column), we need to get even more creative to ensure content on tabs is actually seen and that your fans interact with it; otherwise there’s not much point in having a dormant app that doesn’t enhance the user’s experience.

You can track your metrics via Facebook Insights and see which of your tabs gets the most clicks as shown in the screenshot below:


However, it may be that very few of your tabs get much visibility except the actual Landing tab (my top scorer in the screenshot above). Your Landing tab is the default page that visitors see who have not yet joined your page (click Edit Page > Manage Permissions > select Default Landing Tab).

So, my recommendation is to focus on those apps that actually publish content to your own Fan page stream (your page wall and the News Feed of your fans). Plus, add a few apps that allow for heightened engagement at specified times, such as live streaming video and live chat apps as I’ve detailed below for you.

Custom Landing Tabs

Let’s start with custom content as it’s important to have a branded Landing tab for your Facebook page. In fact, as reported by InsideFacebook, BrandGlue founder Jeff Widman discovered that a custom Landing tab DOUBLES conversion to fans:

We ran an A/B test just four weeks ago to guesstimate the efficacy of a landing tab. We drove visitors to the fan page of a major brand using ads. Those ad-driven visitors converted to fans at a rate of approximately 47% WITH a landing tab. When we turned off the landing tab, those same ad-driven visitors converted to fans at approximately 23%. A VERY noticeable loss in conversions over the course of the campaign.

The most popular app by far to add your own custom content has been Facebook’s own Static FBML. Facebook will be replacing all FBML tabs and apps with iFrames at the end of 2010, at which time you’ll be able to create custom tabs using iFrames. However, Facebook will continue to support any and all tabs/apps created prior to when FBML gets deprecated. See the Developers Roadmap for updates on the timeline of changes.

By way of example, here’s the Landing tab for Social Media Examiner’s Facebook page. Note the call to action (”Click the Like button”) and the seamless branding:


Apps for adding custom content/branded Landing tab:

Here are my top two recommendations:

  • Static FBML – you’ll need to be familiar with coding or use a WISIWYG editor first. See Tabfusion’s Free Facebook Page Tab Maker here.   Plus, review these two helpful tutorials.
  • TabSite – free version with two TabSite subpages or choose from three paid levels. Complete WISIWYG editor; tabs within a main tab. TabSite is one of my favorites. It’s a very easy-to-use interface. I created the “RESOURCES” tab on my Facebook page using TabSite.

Facebook custom tab apps:

For easy-to-use templates, check out these options:

These sites offer suites of apps, including custom Landing tabs. Some apps are free, some have a fee:


For a helpful review of some of these apps, see this post on TechCrunch. Plus, read Jay Baer’s review of several of these apps here. For a list of over 50 Facebook-approved developers, go here.

Your Blog

Once you’re happy with your custom Landing tab, it’s time to import your blog’s RSS feed. My favorite app – used widely by many bloggers on Facebook – is Networked Blogs. It’s free and relatively simple to set up.


Once you’re set up and have a few followers, you can place the Networked Blogs widget on your blog for added visibility. Any time you have the chance to display your fans’ faces, go for it!


You can add the Networked Blogs app to your personal profile in addition to your Fan page, if you wish. Alternate methods for pulling in your blog posts include:

  • Facebook’s Notes app (can be a lag time and is sometimes buggy).

RSS Feed and Content Publishers

You can easily import any of your content that has an RSS or Atom feed. For example, I import my Twitter favorites and Google Reader Shared Items using the RSS Graffiti app.


RSS/Content apps include:

Video – YouTube and Viddler

I’ve been searching for some time for the ultimate YouTube app – one that automatically publishes new uploaded videos from your channel to your Facebook page wall, has a nice-looking tab, is easy to navigate and doesn’t take users away from your Fan page to view videos. Plus, if I were really waving a magic wand, I’d love it if YouTube gave us the option under their “Activity Sharing” feature to post liked or favorited videos to our Fan page (versus profile).

The closest I’ve found is YouTube Channels – I like their interface but the downside is they charge a monthly fee of $4.99 and I couldn’t get the Publish to Wall feature to work, so I canceled my subscription. Check out the YouTube Channel app by Involver (screenshot below) or the YouTube Video Box app.


If you have a Viddler account instead of or in addition to YouTube, check out the Viddler app.


I’m not a big fan of importing all tweets onto your Facebook wall, unless you don’t tweet that often! A more effective solution is to only publish select tweets TO your Fan page using this app:

  • Selective Tweets – once set up, this app allows you to post your tweets to your Facebook page simply by including “#fb” at the end of the tweet (or there is an option to include #fb anywhere in the tweet but I don’t recommend that option as it’s too easy to make a mistake!). You can choose to post tweets to your personal profile and/or Fan page.

Or, my favorite solution as mentioned in the RSS Feed section above is to only import your Twitter Favorites. I do this using the RSS Graffiti app. To find the RSS feed URL for your Twitter Favorites, with the new Twitter design the only way is to view your Twitter account while logged out:


Another Twitter solution is to simply install an app that pulls in all your tweets onto a tab, but doesn’t publish in the stream. I’m not sure there’s much benefit to this, as I say the primary goal here is to get into the News Feeds of your fans.

To publish your Facebook content TO Twitter as tweets, connect your page using Facebook’s own Twitter app. You have a choice of six different types of content: Status Update, Photos, Video, Links, Notes and Events. Facebook’s publisher (the field where you type your updates) takes up to 420 characters; whereas tweets are 140 characters. With this Facebook to Twitter app, your content will automatically be truncated with a link back to your Facebook page which can help increase engagement by bringing your Twitter followers onto Facebook.


Flickr Photos

To display photos from your Flicker account, you might want to try the Flickr Tab app. See also the suite of app providers above.


If you have slides up on SlideShare, display them on your Facebook Fan page! You’ll have a nice display on the SlideShare tab, but I haven’t found that adding new slides automatically publishes to the wall. So, as you add new slides (and/or videos) to, also publish the URL right on your Facebook page wall. What this does is pull in an actual player very similar to the video player with the blue play button icon. Your fans can play the slideshow right on your wall, and of course like and comment, providing that coveted News Feed ranking.



Facebook has a Reviews app that you can add to your Fan page. The cool thing about this app is whenever a fan writes a review, it goes out into their stream (their wall and friends’ News Feeds). If you have a particularly negative review, spam or trolls, unfortunately there’s no way to remove individual reviews. If that ever happens, you could remove the app altogether. Otherwise, I think the Reviews app is an often-overlooked goldmine for businesses to have on their Fan pages!

Live Video

One of my favorite apps to spark immediate real-time, live engagement is Vpype. You can launch a webcast at any time (or scheduled time) to your fans and the app then posts an announcement on your wall. The app can hold up to 300 viewers with a live chat alongside your webcam broadcast. You can easily record and archive your shows; recordings include the full chat transcript too. Plus, you can even download the FLV file of your shows. The app tab is aptly named “Shows.”


Read my review here from when I beta-tested the app for Vpype.

Alternatives to Vpype include:

  • Linqto (going live January 2011 – this should be a very popular webinar/livestream app!)

Live Chat

Along with offering impromptu or scheduled live video broadcasts, you could also offer live chat sessions with your fans. One such app I’ve tried and like is Clobby. The one downside of this app is the obnoxious banner ad at the top of the chatroom as you can see in the screenshot below. However, simply scroll the page down enough to hide the banner while chatting.


Whenever you open your chatroom, you can publish an announcement to your Fan page wall, which of course goes out in the stream and fans start coming over to chat. Publish a tweet as well to get even more people in the chatroom! You could host a regular live chat for your fans; I suggest capturing the chat stream with an app like ScreenFlow for Mac or Camtasia Studio for Mac or PC – that way, you have an archive to refer to.

For a more upscale chat room, see Involver’s premium Facebook Connect Chat app. [UPDATE: 12/21/10 - this app is not displayed on Involver's website but IS available if you contact them.]

If you find yourself continually answering the same questions for your clients and community, be sure to compile a Frequently Asked Questions section – the simple FAQ Page app allows you to have an FAQ tab on your Fan page that you can direct fans to when answering questions on your wall. A couple of things to note about this app: you can’t reorder the questions once inserted, so you may wish to compile your FAQs and all their answers in a separate document before pasting each one in. Also, it would be great if each question had its own unique URL so you could just share the link in answer to questions on your wall, but this isn’t the case.


Polls and Quizzes

For a poll or quiz app to work well, you want your fans to quickly and easily participate and for that activity to spark more engagement and visibility. If users have to jump through extra hoops to participate, they’ll likely just move on. This screenshot shows the Fan Appz poll app live on the Family Guy Fan page – I like how the app provides the option for voters to share (on their personal profiles) and also to share on their Fan pages!


Some choices include (free and paid):

Contests and Promotions

Facebook’s rules around contests, drawings, competitions and sweepstakes are rigorous. Though many Facebook users are either unaware of the rules or choose to ignore them, I personally feel it’s not worth the risk to administer a promotion of any kind that doesn’t adhere to Facebook’s rules. In one fell swoop, you could lose your carefully built Fan page.


The safest way to run any kind of contest or drawing on your Fan page is to use a third-party app such as:

Apps for Local Businesses

With the boom of LBS (Location-based Services), local business have more ways to integrate social and mobile media than ever before. Why not show off your Foursquare customer check-ins with an app on your Fan page?

Plus, be sure to claim your Facebook Place page: just search for your own business name on Facebook and look for the link at the foot of the Place page that says “Is this your business?” Once claimed, you’ll have the opportunity to merge your Place page with your Fan page. The resulting new page looks rather different, so think carefully about this. (For examples of merged pages, take a look at Iron Horse Vineyards and The Ellen Show).


Appointment Scheduling

Make it super-easy for your Facebook fans, clients and prospects to book time with you. Add a tab synched with your appointment scheduling platform of choice. Remember, each tab has its own unique URL; you can easily direct your fans to your appointment tab.


Contact Forms

Ideally, you have your own email marketing service provider as outlined in the next section. However, perhaps you wish to get started with a simple contact form on your Facebook page. Here are a few options:


See this helpful post by Tim Ware at HyperArts with a review and tutorial on JotForm and Allforms.

Email Marketing Apps

Your Facebook Fan page can be a tremendous source of traffic and a means to collect email addresses of your fans. Plus, some email marketing service providers have a feature that allows you to post your latest enewsletter to your Fan page. Check out any of the following:


Ecommerce Apps – Sell Products on Your Page

Many Facebook page owners often ask me if it’s okay to put up “Buy now” buttons and actually try to make sales directly from their Fan pages. I say “Go for it!!” If your fans are already spending time on your page learning about you and your products and services, you just never know when someone might be ready to buy from you. There are a few choices for adding a shopping cart tab to your fan page, including:

  • Ecwid – free, run your own store, mirrored on many sites
  • OWJO [UPDATE: added 12/21/10. Thanks to Krishna De for the tip + review.]

See also this related blog post on Social Media Examiner: How to Sell Products via Your Facebook Page.

What do you think? Do you use any of these apps?  What has been your experience?  Also, have I missed any Facebook page apps you’ve tried successfully?  Please add your comments in the section below.


Friday, January 28, 2011

10 Tips & Tricks For Your Business’s Facebook Fan Page

Amplify’d from

10 Tips & Tricks For Your Business’s Facebook Fan Page

Michael Vreeken
Web 2.0

Facebook is one the fastest growing social media network and its users are increasing by thousands every day. Due to its vast base of users, it takes no effort to acknowledge its influence and any company will jump on the bandwagon to utilize Facebook because it allows them to boost their brands or products also in the same time engage with possible clients. It is convenient for a company to create a Facebook page, publish their profile and products however, setting up a Facebook page that receive many "likes" and a huge fan base is never an easy task.

preview 10 Tips & Tricks For Your Businesss Facebook Fan Page

What is the first thing a visitor will see when they land on your Facebook page? Most of them will probably click on the “wall” or the “info” and if nothing is more fascinating than that, chances are they will leave your page. It is an advantage when visitors "like" your page and become a fan is because they will be updated from time to time with latest things you published. With the Static FBML application which render HTML and FBML on Facebook Pages you are now given more options to design your Facebook page.

I am sure some of you have stumble upon Facebook page that makes you wonder “How is that even possible?!” Now it can be possible. In this post I hope I’ve successfully covered some tips and tricks to give your Facebook page a boost.

1 – "Call-To-Action" Graphic

More of a piece of advice than a trick. The main purpose of your Facebook landing page is to convert visitors into fans. Place a clear call-to-action graphic in the landing tab, this will help getting more "Likes" from your visitors.

Example: RedBull’s "Red Bull" tab has nothing but a call-to-action on it.

01 red bull call to action facebook page 10 Tips & Tricks For Your Businesss Facebook Fan Page

2 – Embedding YouTube Video

An image is needed whenever you place a video because Facebook does not allow you to run flash instantly, you need to launch it with a click, until then you see the picture instead.

02 embed video FBML youtube 10 Tips & Tricks For Your Businesss Facebook Fan Page

You can use YouTube generated picture like in this code, or you can put your own URL with your custom picture.

The code:

  1. <fb:swf  
  2. swfbgcolor="000000" imgstyle="border-width:3px; border-color:white;"  
  3. swfsrc=''  
  4. imgsrc='' width='340' height='270' />  

Code explanation:

  • swfsrc – video source URL;
  • imgsrc – image source URL;
  • xxxxxxxxxx – YouTube code.

xxxxxxxxxx is taken out of YouTube video URL like this - (it’s the part after ?v=).

3 – Hiding content from non-fans

This can be use as a teaser to encourage visitors to "Like" your page and become a fan.

03 hide content from non fans FBML 10 Tips & Tricks For Your Businesss Facebook Fan Page

The code:

  1. <fb:fbml version="1.1">  
  2.     <fb:visible-to-connection>This part is visible for fans only!  
  3.         <fb:else>This part is visible for non-fans</fb:else>  
  4.     </fb:visible-to-connection>  
  5. </fb:fbml>  

Code explanation:

  • fb:visible-to-connect – the part that only your fans will see;
  • fb:else – the part for non-fans.

Most of the pages use an image with a call-to-action for a fb:else tag, and the page itself goes under the fb:visible-to-connect. That’s really easy to do, and very powefrul.

4 – Products commenting

This feature is great for setting a little store under your Facebook business page as you can have each of your products liked and commented.

drag to share
04 threadless comments FBML 10 Tips & Tricks For Your Businesss Facebook Fan Page

The code:

  1. <fb:comments xid="YOUR_PRODUCT_UNIQUE_ID_#1" canpost="true" showform="true" candelete="false" numposts="3" returnurl="http://YOUR_PRODUCT_HOME_URL">  
  2. </fb:comments>  

Code explanation:

  • xid – unique identifier of the item you put comments on;
  • returnurl – the URL, to which likes and comments will stick.

The rest of the parameters is used to configure the plugin itself and are pretty self-explanatory.

5 – Insert "Share Button"

With this button you can have Facebookers share almost anything. Put the URL you wish to share in the code and once a person uses the Share button, all his friends will see this URL in their news feed.

05 facebook templates share button 10 Tips & Tricks For Your Businesss Facebook Fan Page

The code:

  1. <fb:share-button class="meta">  
  2.     <link rel="target_url" href=""/>  
  3. </fb:share-button>  

(Somehow the documentation of this FBML tag is no longer available. I really hope they won’t turn off this great plugin.)

6 – Insert Flash Content

06 flash embed FBML 10 Tips & Tricks For Your Businesss Facebook Fan Page

The code:

  1. <fb:swf swfbgcolor="000000" swfsrc='' imgsrc='' width='760' height='920' />  
Code explanation:
  • swfsrc – source of the .swf file;
  • imgsrc – source of the image that is being displayed, before you flash.

Remember that you need a preview image which people will see before they launch Flash.

7 – Image Rollover

People can go rather creative about this trick, but it’s really simple to do with HTML + CSS, which is supported by FBML box.

07 rollover facebook effect 10 Tips & Tricks For Your Businesss Facebook Fan Page

The code:

  1. <style>  
  2.     img.nohover {border:0}  
  3.     img.hover {border:0;display:none}  
  4.     a:hover img.hover {display:inline}  
  5.     a:hover img.nohover {display:none}  
  6. </style>  
  8. <a href="THIS IS WHERE YOUR LINK GOES">  
  9.     <img src="base_image.jpg" class="nohover">  
  10.     <img src="hover_image.jpg" class="hover">  
  11. </a>  

8 – Track with Google Analytics

Facebook analytics system has limited information? No problem! You can set Google Analytics on your Facebook page.

08 google analytics facebook 10 Tips & Tricks For Your Businesss Facebook Fan Page

Just create up a new account in Google Analytics using your Facebook page URL, copy your UA-XXXXXXX-XX number and insert it here:

  1. <fb:google-analytics uacct="UA-9999999-99" />  

Place this line at the top of your FBML code and in a couple of hours you’ll see stats in Google Analytics.

9 – Add "Invite your friends" box

This is basically a standalone box, which is really hard to embed to a page design. However this is probably the best solution for a page footer that you can think of, as your visitors can instantly choose some of their friends and send them invitations to your page.

The code:

  1. <fb:request-form method="post" type="[your organization]" invite="true" content="Check out [your organization]<fb:req-choice url='' ' label='GO' /> ">  
  2.     <fb:multi-friend-selector actiontext="Tell your friends about [your organization]" rows="3" showborder="true" />  
  3. </fb:request-form>  

Since the pages were shrunk to 520px there’s a little trouble with this box, as it’s still 760px. But I’m sure somebody has already reported that and the box will be shrunk too.

10 – Pop-up dialog

If there’s too much content on your page, you can hide some parts of it under the pop-up boxes. The code adds a text link, which results in a pop-up dialog text box.

10 pop up dialog box FBML 10 Tips & Tricks For Your Businesss Facebook Fan Page

The code:

  1. <a clicktoshowdialog="dialog-name" href="#" >Click here to launch the pop-up dialog</a>.  
  3. <fb:dialog id="dialog-name">  
  4. <fb:dialog-title>POP-UP DIALOG NAME</fb:dialog-title>  
  5. <fb:dialog-content>Here goes your pop-up dialog content</fb:dialog-content>  
  6. <fb:dialog-button type="submit" value="Close" close_dialog="1" /></fb:dialog><br>  

This was a basic set of tricks which you can use to pimp your page easily. Hope you are now inspired to make a compelling Facebook business page for yourself. Good luck!

09 invite your friends box 10 Tips & Tricks For Your Businesss Facebook Fan Page