Facebook fact checking

This is a guest post by Jim Belosic.

Facebook contests, especially giveaways and sweepstakes, are popular on Facebook for a good reason: if the prize is right, the contest generates buzz and motivates people to spread the word about the contest and the brand that’s hosting it.

We’ve seen ShortStack users install a contest app and gain of thousands of Likes within a few days in response to a well-run contest.

A contest or giveaway isn’t the only way to increase engagement, though. In fact, there are lots of fun ways you can use Facebook apps to increase interaction with your followers month after month, allowing you to use contests sparingly so they’re something they look forward to.

Since contests generally last about 30 days, and it would be difficult to run one month after month, it’s important to think about other ways you can boost visibility day in and day out.

Here are a few ideas:

1.  Use a Fan Reveal App to Get Users Excited About New Features

Ask your customers/users to Like your Page and in exchange reveal new products/features or make product-release announcements. Fans of your brand want to know what they can expect next from you, and whether you own a bakery or a manufacturing company, people who use your products want to know what you’ve got in the pipeline.

A Facebook app is a great way to let them know. A few movie and video game companies have teased their fans with snippets of trailers from upcoming releases — the caveat is that the trailer is only revealed with new Likes so existing fans are motivated to ask their friends to Like the page.

2. Inform Your Customers With a Newsletter App

Adding a newsletter signup app to your page is an easy way to increase your business’ visibility. You can even ask people to like your Page in order to reveal the newsletter signup form. That way you have an additional way to communicate with your users.

You can use status updates to tease newsletter content and then direct your fans to the app where they can sign up to receive the newsletter.

3. Let Your Customers Request Reservations With an Appointment App

Any small business owner who wears many hats should try using an app that allows his or her clients/customers to request or even book appointments or reservations via Facebook.

You can ask for name, telephone number and times that a customer wants to come and then call them to book or confirm an appointment. You can also iFrame in a more sophisticated reservation system that will actually make the reservation for your customers, something like OpenTable.

4. Add Another Communication Channel With a Request for More Information App

A small staff can be overwhelmed by phone calls and email requests for more information about your company’s products. Using a “request” app gives prospective customers access to the information they seek, such as lists of products or services, or even cost estimates.

And if you’re collecting data via a form, take the opportunity to sign your customers up for a newsletter, to gauge their interest in a new product or service you’re thinking about adding to your line-up or ask for their location or age.

5. Increase Efficiency Even More With a Contact Us/Customer Support App

The easier you make it for people to get in touch with you, the better. Using a “contact us” app allows your fans/customers to send an email to specific departments within your company.

For example, you can send them straight to whomever handles sales, customer support, press inquiries, etc. streamlining the contact process. You also link to this type of app whenever someone comments on a post or or asks for more information, keeping them inside your Facebook “property.”

6. Collect Feedback With a Testimonials App

At ShortStack we have an app we call “Make us Better” where customers can leave us feedback about our service. It’s a great way for us to learn what we’re doing right and what our users would like us to do differently.

As tempting as it may be, avoid posting only glowing reviews of your business — prospective customers might not believe what they read because, well, no one is perfect!

7. Do Some Good With a Donation App

You can use an app to let your friends and followers make donations — or match your company’s donations — to charities. Various apps have different features, but donation apps typically show your giving history, let your followers know which charities you’ve donated to, and give them an opportunity to share donation messages.

8. Reduce the Risk of Investing in Unwanted New Products or Services With a Voting or Survey App

People like to participate in surveys. As a business, using a survey or voting app is a great way to learn what kinds of service your customers wish you would provide, or even what color coffee cup they’d be most likely to buy.

Using a voting or survey app can ultimately reduce the risk of investing in new products or services only to have them bomb.

For example, if you own a bakery and results from a survey include tons of requests for gluten-free desserts, you might consider adding equipment to your kitchen that would allow this.

If you own a hair salon and a “What new service are you most likely to use” poll suggests that you’d do a booming business in massage, you  might decide to invest in a massage table and hire a massage therapist.

Gut feeling is good, but data that backs it up is even better.

9. Connect With Other Services

Using apps to connect with other platforms and services that you use allows your users to have a seamless social media experience with your company, using Facebook as the hub.

For instance, you can install apps that allow you to display videos from YouTube or Vimeo on your Page, display photo sets from Flickr, display Tweets or share podcasts, songs or any other recording you made on SoundCloud.

These are just a sampling of ways that you can use apps to build your presence on Facebook without hosting a contest. Have you experimented with non-contest apps? Which ones  do you find the most useful for building engagement?

Jim Belosic ShortStackAbout the author: Jim Belosic is the CEO of ShortStack, a self-service custom app design tool used to create apps for Facebook Pages, websites and mobile web browsing. ShortStack provides the tools for small businesses, graphic designers, agencies and corporations to create apps with contests and forms, fan gates, product lines and more. Connect with Jim on Twitter.

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Danny Brown
Co-author Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing. #1 marketing blog in world as per HubSpot. Husband. Father. Optimist. Pragmatist. Never says no to a good single malt. You can find me on Twitter - Google+ - LinkedIn.
39 comments
Sunnievndmh
Sunnievndmh

@socialmediamndr Answer 3 painless questions at our website ipad3fast,,com then pick an new Apple iPad three without cost

Sunnievndmh
Sunnievndmh

socialmediamndr Answer 3 painless questions at our website ipad3fast,,com then pick an new Apple iPad three without cost

leahmars
leahmars

@KStarry @dannybrown great post! It's crucial to use all the features of social in everyday #cmgmt #cmgr

leahmars
leahmars

@KStarry @dannybrown great post! It's crucial to use all the features of social in everyday #cmgmt #cmgr

PennyHaywood
PennyHaywood

@dillytalk Thanks for the mention Dilly. Hope all goes well. Think public speaking key to success in this P2P world!

PennyHaywood
PennyHaywood

@dillytalk Thanks for the mention Dilly. Hope all goes well. Think public speaking key to success in this P2P world!

ania_nyc
ania_nyc

@MultiMariusz perfect for SM B2B seminars & products! TY for the link!

ania_nyc
ania_nyc

@MultiMariusz perfect for SM B2B seminars & products! TY for the link!

nickcicero
nickcicero

I tweeted this already, but @ShortStackLab has been crucial to hundreds of clients of mine for about three years now. From building unique applications like Recipe Finders, Social Event Apps, and simple data entry apps, their drag and drop system allows people with or without creativity to build an app in seconds.  I have executed contests on Brand pages with Millions of fans and 50K+ submissions without so much as a hiccup, ShortStack can handle it.

nickcicero
nickcicero moderator

I tweeted this already, but @ShortStackLab has been crucial to hundreds of clients of mine for about three years now.

From building unique applications like Recipe Finders, Social Event Apps, and simple data entry apps, their drag and drop system allows people with or without creativity to build an app in seconds. 

I have executed contests on Brand pages with Millions of fans and 50K+ submissions without so much as a hiccup, ShortStack can handle it.

SEORCHERS
SEORCHERS

Great ideas @ShortStackLab ... looking to get some customized FB apps on our page!

SEORCHERS
SEORCHERS

Great ideas @ShortStackLab ... looking to get some customized FB apps on our page!

Rachel Simmons
Rachel Simmons

These are great tips, Jim! At Brightergy, we've been working on a Facebook tab that pulls in content from a Tumblr created for our BrighterSchools, or schools that have gone solar. The tab functions on both our page and on the school's or district's. It has yet to roll out...but I'm excited to see how it plays out.  And I love all of these ideas for increasing the potential for contact and communication...we'll definitely have to try a few out. Thanks! Rachel Simmons, PR Manager at Brightergy

Rachel Simmons
Rachel Simmons

These are great tips, Jim! At Brightergy, we've been working on a Facebook tab that pulls in content from a Tumblr created for our BrighterSchools, or schools that have gone solar. The tab functions on both our page and on the school's or district's. It has yet to roll out...but I'm excited to see how it plays out. 

And I love all of these ideas for increasing the potential for contact and communication...we'll definitely have to try a few out. Thanks!

Rachel Simmons, PR Manager at Brightergy

HowieG
HowieG

I know Danny Brown is happy I came. I just did a blog post that dove tails with some other insights I have gathered over the last few years and from data crunching. My study took the talking about number (a rolling 7 day number) to determine how often the average fan comes to a page and participates (vs just reads). The average FB user visits one brand page once every 6 days. And for many Brand pages participation rates is from once a year to as long as once every 7 years. In running a brand page that has very devoted fans offline I find even contests to give away product hear crickets. Just proves the platform is filled with so many posts unless you pay to promote good luck having anything seen. Secondly if I LIKE 50 pages (I like I think 200+) and go to one every 6 days I won't be back for 300 days and if I don't see something interesting you have to wait. So I like the use of Apps to help improve the chances of participation. Not keen on give ways because if they only come for a bribe then doesn't that devalue your brand? So other forms of engagement drawing apps make sense.  In the end anyone who brings up social media marketing my response is 'You mean buying Facebook ads' because even if you told me the brand that got the thousands of Likes in a few short days, if they never come back.....and most likely they didn't (it would be a very rare outside the norm example if they did) you are back at square one.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

I know @Danny Brown is happy I came. I just did a blog post that dove tails with some other insights I have gathered over the last few years and from data crunching. My study took the talking about number (a rolling 7 day number) to determine how often the average fan comes to a page and participates (vs just reads). The average FB user visits one brand page once every 6 days. And for many Brand pages participation rates is from once a year to as long as once every 7 years. In running a brand page that has very devoted fans offline I find even contests to give away product hear crickets.

Just proves the platform is filled with so many posts unless you pay to promote good luck having anything seen. Secondly if I LIKE 50 pages (I like I think 200+) and go to one every 6 days I won't be back for 300 days and if I don't see something interesting you have to wait.

So I like the use of Apps to help improve the chances of participation. Not keen on give ways because if they only come for a bribe then doesn't that devalue your brand? So other forms of engagement drawing apps make sense. 

In the end anyone who brings up social media marketing my response is 'You mean buying Facebook ads' because even if you told me the brand that got the thousands of Likes in a few short days, if they never come back.....and most likely they didn't (it would be a very rare outside the norm example if they did) you are back at square one.

That said going to check out Shortstack and give some a whirl!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Damn, how I wish ShortStackLabhad been around a couple of years back, Jim! I used some code and an HTML tab to make a Reveal Tab for an experiment I wanted to run to promote my free Facebook Marketing ebook: http://dannybrown.me/2010/06/03/free-facebook-marketing-ebook/ The only way to get the ebook was to Like my Page and then download from there. I requested people not share the link once live, since I really wanted to test platform-exclusive content. I wrote about the results in this post: http://dannybrown.me/2010/06/10/experiment-platform-exclusive-content-metrics/ For me, it was a huge success and showed the power of exclusive content and the Reveal Tab option.  Loving the tips here, mate, and appreciate the guest post!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

Damn, how I wish @ShortStackLabhad been around a couple of years back, Jim! I used some code and an HTML tab to make a Reveal Tab for an experiment I wanted to run to promote my free Facebook Marketing ebook:

http://dannybrown.me/2010/06/03/free-facebook-marketing-ebook/

The only way to get the ebook was to Like my Page and then download from there. I requested people not share the link once live, since I really wanted to test platform-exclusive content. I wrote about the results in this post:

http://dannybrown.me/2010/06/10/experiment-platform-exclusive-content-metrics/

For me, it was a huge success and showed the power of exclusive content and the Reveal Tab option. 

Loving the tips here, mate, and appreciate the guest post!

KStarry
KStarry

@leahmars that is for sure Leah. Hope you are having a great week.

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@leahmars @KStarry Completely agree, and full integration key over keeping everything bucketed in silos :)

KStarry
KStarry

@leahmars that is for sure Leah. Hope you are having a great week.

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@leahmars @KStarry Completely agree, and full integration key over keeping everything bucketed in silos :)

ShortStackLab
ShortStackLab

@SEORCHERS Cool! Let us know how we can help. We have tons of get-started resources on our site and do a live webinar every Thursday.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

HowieG I always love it when you come around here, mate, especially on Facebook posts. :) Completely agree re. the continued interaction with a brand after the initial Like, something Facebook themselves didn't really encourage with their update to how Pages are seen (with clear intent being making money from Sponsored Stories - fair enough, platforms need to monetize. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons brands have failed to encourage continuous interaction is because they pissed off their "fans" to begin with by lame promos and interaction? I have to admit, the Facebook page for InfluencerMktg has seen some great return for us due to the preorder/more info tab. We use ShortStack for that (I also use it for my wife's book page). Admittedly, interaction isn't high - but then that wasn't our goal. We merely wanted to use the FB Page as a repository for updates from us as well as interesting news from across the web on the state of today's influence.  At the end of the day, pretty much like anything it's the strategy and execution that defines how well something works. Unfortunately for many brands on Facebook, this is where they fall down.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@HowieG I always love it when you come around here, mate, especially on Facebook posts. :)

Completely agree re. the continued interaction with a brand after the initial Like, something Facebook themselves didn't really encourage with their update to how Pages are seen (with clear intent being making money from Sponsored Stories - fair enough, platforms need to monetize.

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons brands have failed to encourage continuous interaction is because they pissed off their "fans" to begin with by lame promos and interaction? I have to admit, the Facebook page for @InfluencerMktg has seen some great return for us due to the preorder/more info tab. We use ShortStack for that (I also use it for my wife's book page).

Admittedly, interaction isn't high - but then that wasn't our goal. We merely wanted to use the FB Page as a repository for updates from us as well as interesting news from across the web on the state of today's influence. 

At the end of the day, pretty much like anything it's the strategy and execution that defines how well something works. Unfortunately for many brands on Facebook, this is where they fall down.

Jim Belosic
Jim Belosic

Thanks for letting me guest post for you and glad you and some of your readers found the tips useful. It's always a challenge for businesses to keep engagement up on Facebook and using apps can definitely help!

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

Danny Brown ShortStackLab I LOVE Shortstack. It's so easy that even a non-coder like me uses it.

Jim Belosic
Jim Belosic

Thanks for letting me guest post for you and glad you and some of your readers found the tips useful. It's always a challenge for businesses to keep engagement up on Facebook and using apps can definitely help!

SEORCHERS
SEORCHERS

Perfect @ShortStackLab - Thanks will take a look and check out the webinar!

HowieG
HowieG

Danny Brown HowieG InfluencerMktg great points danny. It is great having stuff seen even if they don't participate. And every brand has different goals.  It still comes down to social media is about conversations and most brands (and their agencies) just talk at you. It took me two years to get my cousins coffee brand to respond to me on twitter. And only because I was teasing and it was in a DM. He said 'I gave the coffee to your mother so she could taste not so it can be reviewed'. Obviously his brand doesn't get social media. And I visit a competitor on Thursday 8) Now ginidietrich and I have discussed this. She said 'You have to have a page to be relevant'. I am amazed how often I look for a brand page, expect one, and still don't see one (or a twitter account). Even for B2B businesses that sell gear. And my method is riddled with holes too. Since just a few conversions can have a high impact...which is where your book comes in!

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@Danny Brown @HowieG @InfluencerMktg great points danny. It is great having stuff seen even if they don't participate. But action from a post on or offline is most important. And every brand has different goals. 

It still comes down to social media is about conversations and most brands (and their agencies) just talk at you. It took me two years to get my cousins coffee brand to respond to me on twitter. And only because I was teasing and it was in a DM. He said 'I gave the coffee to your mother so she could taste not so it can be reviewed'. Obviously his brand doesn't get social media. And I visit a competitor on Thursday 8)

Now @ginidietrich and I have discussed this. She said 'You have to have a page to be relevant'. I am amazed how often I look for a brand page, expect one, and still don't see one (or a twitter account). Even for B2B businesses that sell gear.

And my method is riddled with holes too. Since just a few conversions can have a high impact...which is where your book comes in!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

HowieG  InfluencerMktg ginidietrich See, I'd disagree with having to have a Page to be relevant. Instead, I'd suggest you need a Page to be relevant if your customers are using Facebook from a business interest angle. Many don't - they prefer Twitter or Pinterest, or more niche communities and networks, especially forums and private communities. Be relevant, yes, but be relevant where you need to be.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@HowieG  @InfluencerMktg @ginidietrich See, I'd disagree with having to have a Page to be relevant. Instead, I'd suggest you need a Page to be relevant if your customers are using Facebook from a business interest angle. Many don't - they prefer Twitter or Pinterest, or more niche communities and networks, especially forums and private communities.

Be relevant, yes, but be relevant where you need to be.

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