We’ve mentioned time and time again that to truly get the results you want out of your Facebook usage, you have to effectively engage your fans. So, exactly how does one do this? Well, aside from the basics, like reading and responding to comments and interacting with your audience by commenting on and sharing their content, there are also several applications that have been designed to help businesses connect with their customers and potential customers. Here are 5 to get you started.
Fan of the Week
Wish there was a way to get your fans to interact more on your page? Entice them by rewarding one of them the title of “fan of the week”. This application automatically keeps track of those who participate on your page, by doing things such as liking statuses and pictures, commenting and posting things on your wall. Every week one fan out of those who interacted regularly with your business page is picked as fan of the week, encouraging everyone to participate more.
To get this app, simply go to http://apps.facebook.com/fanofthe/ and choose the page you wish to add. There is a free basic version, as well as an upgraded one that allows you to post customized announcement messages. One important note: whatever day and time you add this app will be the same day and time it will automatically post the weekly winner, so be mindful of when you add it. For instance, if you want a winner to be named every Friday at noon, then be sure to add the app to your page on a Friday at noon.
This is another application that’s designed to encourage more fan participation on your page. Instead of being randomly selected to be recognized, however, with this app, fans earn points for their interactions such as comments, likes and posting on your wall. The fans are then listed in order of points on a separate tab on your page called “Top Fans”. You can view the stats for each fan to see exactly how they participated with your page.
To add the Booshaka app, just visit www.Booshaka.com and click the “install” button. You can use the basic app for free, or upgrade to a pro version, which rewards your top fans with prizes and perks to make it even more enticing for people to interact with your page.
You may have heard of some of the popular social networking platforms, such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck, which let you schedule your posts in advance. Where these programs fall short, however, is in the ability to include pictures or video with your scheduled posts. That’s where the Post Planner application comes into play.
In our recent article Discovering Great Content Ideas, we talked about the importance of analyzing your Facebook page activity. This includes learning what day and time your fans are the most active. Once you have that information, you can use Post Planner to schedule your future status updates to be published at peak time for optimum results. There are three different versions of Post Planner, each of which costs a monthly fee, but any of these versions will help you get the most out of your Facebook engagement. You can even customize the app so that your updates will be branded with your logo and website. Visit www.postplanner.com to sign up and download the app for your page.
You’ll always get better results from your social media activities if you link your accounts and make it easy for your audience to connect with you through multiple channels. If you have a YouTube profile, you can integrate it with your Facebook page so that fans can access and watch your videos in one place. There are a number of different apps available that allow this, but YouTube for Pages is among the easiest to manage. Once you’ve installed the app, any time you upload a new video to YouTube, you can also share it on your Facebook page with just two clicks.
Ecwid is an innovative ecommerce application that adds the feature of a storefront to your page, and integrates with PayPal, Google Checkout, and a number of other payment processing options, allowing you to turn your Facebook page into a functioning extension of your business. Now instead of just engaging your customers, you can actually do business with them right through your Facebook page.
In comparison to the other apps listed here, Ecwid is a bit more complex because it involves setting up a storefront, but it’s unique and valuable because it lets you prominently display and market your products and services in one place. You can download the Ecwid app for your page by going to www.ecwid.com.
When used correctly, Facebook can help you gain more exposure for your business and increase your network exponentially. By adding these innovative applications and following the tips we provided in our article, Simple Daily Habits for Facebook Marketing Success, you should be well on your way to maximizing your social media activities and achieving the results you want to make your business more successful.