How local businesses can utilize the new Facebook Apps

Facebook is a platform that is limited only by your creativity – and of course technical knowledge.  But even without a technical background, a local business can utilize a myriad of apps to create an engaging Facebook experience.

A local business with an active Facebook fan base can greatly increase foot traffic and customer retention.  Best of all, most of the apps available to local businesses are free, giving you a marketing channel that only requires your time.

Who should read this post: Local business owners looking to spice up their Facebook page with engaging apps

What you will learn: What apps are available to you and how to use them to drive traffic and retention

What are Facebook Apps?

Check out the highlighted section of the image below:

There is room for 4 Facebook apps on the timeline screen.  If a user wants to see more, then they can click on the drop down menu to view the other available apps.

Here you can see that the Red Mango Instagram Facebook App is viewable when you click on the drop down menu.

Apps allow for cool functionality on the Facebook page.

The Welcome app

Check out the placement of the Carls Jr. Welcome App below:

When a use clicks on the App, the user sees a simple welcome page that displays items that Carls Jr. wants a first-time user to see.

How to improve: the title “Welcome” does NOT drive an action.  A better phrase would be “New? Click here“.  This phrase drives an action because it directly targets a group of users: first-timers.

Furthermore, check out what you see when you go to the Welcome tab:

A first time user gets bombarded with a bunch of different calls to action.  Because there are so many different options, this creates decision paralysis and a first time user has no idea where to go.

Instead of bombarding a user with choices, a Welcome page should have 1 call to action: why you should like this page.

The goal of a Facebook page is to get the “like”.  Give the user a reason to like the page and you’ll increase your conversion rate.

The Photos App

The photos app is available by default and is one of the most commonly used apps for good reason.  Check out how Starbucks cleverly uses their albums to connect with users:

I understand that you do not throw as many events and get togethers as Starbucks does, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative.  Here are some ideas for photo albums for your local business:

  • Our valued customers: photo album of your customers
  • Customer of the week: photo album with a customer that won something special that week
  • Charity events: if you hold charity events, this is a great place to put up your photos
  • Spring collection: if you’re a retail store, you can put up an album of each season’s collection
  • Menu items: if you’re a restaurant, you can put up an album of all your food

Sign up to newsletter app

It’s always useful to get people to sign-up to your newsletter.  Free People utilizes their Sign Up app to get people to sign up for their email newsletter.

Events App

The events app is a great way to let your Facebook fans know about all of your upcoming events.  If you have a live band play at your location every week, or you’re hosting a friends and family discount day for your new season’s collection, then creating the event via the apps page lets fans join your event and keep up to date with updates.

If you own a restaurant, then you can use the events app to let your customers know when you’re launching a new item on the menu.  The first 1,000 people to join the event could perhaps get a free item!

Instagram App

Instagram is a great way to share creative photos with your community.  By using the Instagram app by Statigram, you’ll be able to pull your Instagram photos into your Facebook page.

Contest App

Contests are a terrific way to get fans to participate and give you more information.  Use contestes to collect the following:

  • Email
  • Location
  • Images of customers

Check out the Contests app by Free People

To power their contests, they use Wildfire.  Wildfire allows you to create the following types of campaigns on Facebook:

  • Contests
  • Sweepstakes
  • Group deals
  • Coupons
  • Trivia
  • Polls

Pinterest App

Pinterest is a new social network that allows people to share their favorite images and videos.  Sephora uses the Pinterest app to share their favorite photos with their community.

The app is powered by Woobox, an app company that allows you to integrate some pretty neat apps into your Facebook page.

Facebook is only as good as you are creative and willing to provide great content.  Now go out there and start building community!

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2 thoughts on “How local businesses can utilize the new Facebook Apps”

  1. Hi Jun. This is very helpful.

    I’ve heard that building your own Facebook app can have a lot of benefits. I have about 10 locations and want to build a custom app to show videos of my customers. When is the best time to build an app?

You must engage in the conversation!!