Did you know that Facebook requires you to use a third party service to conduct a contest? That is one of the recent changes made, along with a loosening the contest rules a little.
Setting up and managing these types of promotions and contests can be a big task, and third party services make it much easier and less time consuming for you. Especially when running a contest on Facebook and the not so easy to follow guidelines, I always recommend using an approved third party service to avoid getting your page shut down. There are a number of different third party apps and services to choose from, and I’ve selected a few that meet Facebooks guidelines and that are easy to use.
Setting up a custom Facebook tab can be overwhelming as well, especially if you are not familiar with coding. These services make that task much easier while still being cost efficient. I have a fair amount of coding knowledge and I still use a third party service for all of my Facebook Pages. If you are serious about growing your fan base and Facebook presence, use one of these services or hire a professional. In the long run you will spend more time and money trying to figure out how to do it on the cheap – and you results will probably be lackluster as well.
This tutorial will also cover recommendations for Facebook business apps for custom Facebook tabs, contests, promotions, campaign and Page management.
Tabsite – Custom facebook Tabs – Great for overall app
This is the service I use on my both my Hi-Fi Facebook Fanpage and senior studio Facebook Site. Great overall app. It has the most features and the best price, but it doesn’t have the promo and contest features of North Social.
- Best price for the features included.
- has reveal tabs
- custom icons (show picture)
- Integrates with Google Analytics – few other did this.
- Youtube, Twitter and import blog
- Global custom tab header
- Content Manager
- cancel at anytime – month to month or full year
- no contest or promotion management with built in viral features – but for an inexpensive service it does have a lot of features.
North Social – Custom Facebook Tabs, Contest and Promotions, Campaign and Page Management – great for deal sharing and group buy option
North Social and is another option for Facebook Page management. I really liked the instructions, how easy they were to follow, and how easy the app was to use.
- unlimited apps when you sign up
- Big Selection of apps to choose from
- Excellent promotional apps that are loaded with viral features. This is covered in more detail here.
- 14 Day Free Trial
- Stat Tracking
- Has everything you need to create a great branded presence and Page on Facebook
- Easy to use
- add your Youtube Channel, and also let fans subscribe to your channel
- automatically import your twitter and blog feed
- lots of page customization options
- sign up forms
- lots of custom tab options
- Great instructions – the best of all the apps I’ve used by far
- Great price especially for everything that’s included. The pricing was also easy to understand
- No Stat Tracking
- The instructions for getting started and setup are great, but not a lot of help with troubleshooting.
Wildfire App – Contest and Promotions, Campaign Management – great for contest
Very popular and widely used app. I would consider using this for a one time photo contest. They also have an an free iframe app for making custom Facebook tabs. It’s a pretty basic one if you want just one tab.
- easy to use
- great for things like coupons, contests, deals, sign ups
- Campaign Analytics
- Track Competitors
- I like how they charge per campaign rather than per follower
- Works with Twitter too
- very full featured app with nice support
- No free trial
- Can be pricey if you want more features, but they may not be features that many small businesses are interested in.
Offer Pop Contest and Promotions, Campaign Management
I like the management feature of this service as well, and for Twitter it’s a no brainer.
- Free Trial
- custom landing pages for offers
- For Twitter promos – they send info to users, track sign ups
- they take care of sending offers
- set up to encourage viral sharing
• A little more expensive if you have a high number of followers
Easy Promos – contest and promotions
Lujure – For setting up Custom Tabs UPDATE
Lujure has since upgraded their app, and introduced Lujure Express a free app for Facebook. It has an easier to use interface. The free option gives you access to all of the apps, howver it is still limited and no custom tab icons.
- Very basic Facebook tabs. One of the less expensive options.
- Free trial. There’s only one tab with free account
Short Stack – custom facebook tabs
- integration with flickr, youtube, foursqaure
- mail chimp
- shopping cart
- contact form
- Not quite as easy and intuitive as some others
- instructions were ok.
Involver – Custom facebook tabs, Contest and promotions
price is pretty steep for most small businesses
it is free for two apps, and it’s very easy to set up – which is why I added this to the list
limited applications, but a few of the free apps make this worth a look if you only want something very basic for facebook
My recommendation would be to run tab site for everything, and then just use North Social or Wild Fire apps when you need to run a promotion. For Twitter, OfferPop would be the best option.