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Chapter 1: Customizing Your Page with Facebook Apps In This Chapter ✓ Grasping the importance of Facebook apps ✓ Discovering Facebook-developed and other installed apps ✓ Using Appbistro and the Search box to find apps ✓ Adding and deleting apps ✓ Exploring ways to use apps for marketing n app, or application, is how you can expand the way Facebook inter- Aacts with your audience. iPhones and other mobile phones have edu- cated most people about what an app is. “There’s an app for that” has been a well-known phrase for years. Thousands of apps can be used on mobile phones, and developers have built hundreds of applications for use in Facebook. We need to make a distinction between the apps we discuss in this chapter and the new “social,” or Open Graph, apps that have recently been intro- duced for your personal Profile (such as Spotify, Netflix, and Foodily). If you need a true 101 introduction to apps and how apps work with your personal Facebook account, Book III, Chapter 2, provides that. The apps in this chapter make your business Page more interesting and functional. Social apps connect through personal accounts, and activity through those apps shows up on people’s News Feeds and tickers. You, as a business owner, can develop an app. That subject is a big one, which we expand on in Chapter 2 of this minibook. For now, we focus on business Page apps. Understanding How Facebook Users Make Use of Apps The App Center hosts more than 600 apps that are geared to personal accounts, and more than 70,000 apps not listed in the App Center are avail- able for your Facebook business Page. Apps are the engine that drives the Facebook experience.338 Introducing Apps Developed by Facebook There seem to be three camps of Facebook application users: ✦ Those who are there for personal conversations and ignore or block many applications ✦ Those who are there to enjoy the applications and play games ✦ Business owners looking for ways to drive eyeballs to their Pages by using appropriately targeted applications You’re free to place as many existing apps on your Page as you want, or create custom apps (see Chapter 2 of this minibook). If you view Facebook on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, check whether your apps use Adobe Flash (such as the Scribd app from Involver); if so, you won’t be able to view the content on those devices. Keep this fact in mind while you build your Page. Test all the apps you install on your Page on all platforms: iOS, Android, web, and so on. Introducing Apps Developed by Facebook Facebook Page apps are what make your Page unique and interesting. If all the content that you present on your Page is Timeline, Info, and Photos, it looks as though you haven’t put any attention into presenting your business. On the other hand, you want to be very discerning about which types of apps you put on your Page. Having too many bells and whistles isn’t charm- ing either You can find apps developed by Facebook itself, as well as by third-party developers. The ones developed by Facebook are Photos, Notes, Events, and Video. These apps are really easy to activate on your Page, as we show you in this chapter. We like to call them “ready-to-go” apps because you don’t need to go outside your Page to find them. Some people are confused about the difference between the apps we recommend installing on your business Page and the apps listed in the App Center — which is where you find apps for your personal Profile. We describe the App Center in the nearby sidebar, and you may want to connect a few personal sites to your business Page to support your particular type of business. Pinterest, Foursquare, TripAdvisor, and ReverbNation come to mind. You can connect these to your business Page using a third-party app, or visit the site itself for Facebook connect details.Customizing Your Page with Facebook Apps 339 Introducing Apps Developed by Facebook Book V Chapter 1 Exploring the App Center apps Facebook has developed a space called App Then you see several filters: Games, Center. It appears in the left sidebar when Entertainment, Facebook, Lifestyle, Music, you’re looking at the main News Feed page. News, Photos & Videos, Sports, Travel & Local, When you click App Center, you see an inter- and Utilities. You also see the Requests link. face with three tabs: If a number appears next to it, someone has requested that you use the app with him or her. ✓ All: Obviously, this tab is where you can (Birthday calendar, anyone?) see all the apps. The apps that are in App Center generally are ✓ Web: This tab lists apps that you can con- ones that are connected to your personal Profile. nect to your personal Profile that will work If you have your Subscription button turned on, and be functional if they’re interfacing with and one of these apps supports your business, a computer. you can enjoy it through App Center. If you’re ✓ Mobile: Go here to find apps that work with interested mostly in apps that function on your the mobile Facebook app. business Page, App Center isn’t the place to look. As a new Page owner, you already have a few ready-to-go apps in play, as we mention earlier. You find them by following these steps: 1. On your Page, click the Edit Page button on the Admin panel. 2. Click Update Info. Your Page dashboard appears. 3. Click Apps on the sidebar of your dashboard. The screen shows you all the apps that are currently available to be installed on your Page, as shown in Figure 1-1. Click the Apps link to see which apps are ready to be installed on your new Page. A new Brand or Products Page with Product/Services as its main cat- egory, for example, has these apps available: ✦ Events ✦ Photos ✦ Notes ✦ Video340 Introducing Apps Developed by Facebook Figure 1-1: The list of apps added to your Page. Edit Settings to install them on your Page. Each app has one, two, or sometimes three links below it: Go to App, Edit Settings, and Link to This Tab, as shown in Figure 1-2. We describe the links in this list: ✦ Link to This Tab: If you click the Link to This Tab link, a dialog box opens, displaying the direct URL to that particular place on your Page. So, for example, if you want to provide visitors a direct URL to your Static HTML tab, you can look for the Static HTML application, click the Link to This Tab link, and then copy and paste the URL in a message to send someone directly to that place on your Page. Figure 1-2: Below each app name are two or three links. Customizing Your Page with Facebook Apps 341 Introducing Apps Developed by Facebook ✦ Edit Settings: If you click the Edit Settings link, a dialog box appears, Book V offering you the option of adding the app to or removing the app from Chapter 1 the application group shown below your Cover photo. Facebook-built apps do not give you the ability to change the text of the link, but custom apps do, as shown in Figure 1-3. Figure 1-3: Click Edit Settings to add or remove an app tab, or to customize certain aspects. ✦ Go to App: If you click the Go to App link, you go directly to the editing page for that app or to a page where you can set options for the app. If you click the Go to App link for the Photo app, for example, you go directly to a page where you can set options for allowing fans to add their photos to your Page. If you click the Go to App link for the Events app, you go directly to the page where you can start creating an Event, as shown in Figure 1-4. Figure 1-4: Click Go to App to view the creation/ customization page for that app. You should go through all the apps already listed on your Page’s Apps dash- board and decide whether you want to have them as app boxes on your Page. Pages come with the Photos app box on the Page Timeline. Once you have someone (or yourself) click the Like button for the Page, you will have another app box called Likes. If you want any more of the apps that are available for 342 Finding and Adding Apps to Your Page your Page, you have to add them by clicking the Edit Settings link below each app you want to include and then clicking Add. Or, in Timeline view, click the plus icon (+) on one of the empty app boxes, and select the app you want. This process is described fully in Book II, Chapter 3. Finding and Adding Apps to Your Page The Facebook App Center is where you find apps for your personal Profile. If you want to use business apps on your Page, you need to find them some- where other than the App Center. Many people prefer to find and install Facebook apps from Appbistro (http://appbistro.com), which we dis- cuss next. Throughout this chapter, whenever we suggest that you look for an app, you can go to the Appbistro site, which is a very user-friendly place to find and install a business app. Finding apps through Appbistro You want to find apps to install on your Page, but what if you don’t even know what to search for? We know of only two work-arounds at the moment: Go to Appbistro and browse the categories to find the app you want to install on your Page, or check out the suggested apps we list here and in almost every chapter of this book Before you add an app to your Page, take a moment to consider whether or not it is truly useful. Book I, Chapter 2 covers creating a marketing plan. Revisit your plan to make sure you’re adding only those apps that you really need. Follow these instructions to find an app through Appbistro and install it on your Page: 1. Go to http://appbistro.com. You’re prompted to connect Appbistro with your Facebook account. You have the option to do this or just browse. We suggest that you con- nect it to this; it will make the application installation process easier down the road. 2. On the left menu, click the category of the type of app you want to put on your Page (Contact Form, Coupons, eCommerce, Polls, and so on). As shown in Figure 1-5, you can browse by app type or by Page type. The large button below an app’s title designates whether the app is free or one you have to pay for. 3. Find an app you want to install, and click it. Read the description of the app before you install it on your page.Customizing Your Page with Facebook Apps 343 Finding and Adding Apps to Your Page Book V Chapter 1 Figure 1-5: Browse through the apps, and find the one you want to add to your Page. 4. Click the Install on Facebook button. The Request for Permission dialog box appears. 5. Click the Allow button to connect the app to your business Page (see Figure 1-6). A new dialog box appears. Figure 1-6: Allow permission to access your account. 344 Finding and Adding Apps to Your Page 6. Choose the Page to which you want to add the app (see Figure 1-7). Figure 1-7: Choose the Page you want to add the app to. Adding apps through Appbistro Now that you’ve added an app through Appbistro, there are a few more steps to customize it for your Page. 1. On your Page, click the Edit Page button at the top of the Admin panel. 2. Choose Update Info. You’re taken to your Page dashboard. 3. Click Apps on the sidebar of your dashboard. The next screen shows you all the applications installed on your Page. Remember that an app that’s installed may not be active until you click Edit Settings for the app. When an app is active, it appears in your app boxes below your Page’s Cover photo. 4. Scroll down the list to the new app you just added to your Page. 5. Click the Edit Settings link below the app you just added. A new dialog box appears. 6. Click the Add link (if necessary), and change the text for the new link in the Custom Tab Name field. Facebook still calls this link a tab. 7. Click the Change link next to Custom Tab Image to upload a new image for this app. A new tab will open. A new interface will open and you can browse your computer for the image you want to use. Select the image you want. Customizing Your Page with Facebook Apps 345 Finding and Adding Apps to Your Page 8. Go back to the original tab, click Save, and then click Okay to close Book V Chapter 1 the dialog box. 9. Click the Go to App link. This link takes you back to the app’s interface or to an interface on your Page (depending on the app) where you can modify what will end up on the Page. Go back to your Page, and see if the new app box is there. If you don’t see it in the Featured app space (top row of apps), click the drop-down arrow, and find it. If you want it to be in the top row, hover over the app, and click the pencil icon. Then select the app you want it to swap places with. Finding and adding apps through the search box If you’ve seen or know about an app that you want to install on your page, you can use the search function to find it, and then follow these steps to install it on your Page: 1. In the search box in the top-left corner of the screen, enter the name of the application you want to install on your Page. The search function brings up everything that has the name you’re searching for: Pages, Apps, people, and so on. Make sure that you find the one that’s in the Apps category. 2. Click the application’s name. You’re taken to the application’s Page. Depending on the app, you may see a page with just the one application or a page with all the apps available. 3. Click the Add to Page button, as shown in Figure 1-8. Figure 1-8: Find the Page that you want to add the application to and click the Add to Page button. 346 Finding and Adding Apps to Your Page 4. If necessary, give the app more authorization, as shown in Figure 1-9. Figure 1-9: Authorize the application. 5. Go to your Page, and click the drop-down arrow next to the Featured apps list below your Cover photo. 6. Click the pencil icon on the app you just added. You see the pencil icon when you hover over the app box. 7. Click the Edit Settings link below the app you just added. The dialog box shown in Figure 1-10 appears. In this dialog box, you can change what appears as the app name, as well as what image appears for the app. Figure 1-10: Change the app name and upload a custom app image. 8. Type the text for the link in the Custom Tab Name field. Facebook still calls this link a tab.Customizing Your Page with Facebook Apps 347 Deleting Apps from Your Page 9. Click Save. Book V Chapter 1 10. (Optional) Click Change next to Custom Tab Image. A new tab opens on your computer. A new interface opens, and you can browse your computer for the image you want to use. Select the image you want. You can upload a custom image for the tab box (see Figure 1-11). Figure 1-11: Upload a custom image for the app box. 11. Go back to the tab with the original edit settings (refer to Figure 1-10), and click Okay. Mobile viewers using a Facebook app may not be able to see some of your applications. Always see whether you can view applications on your mobile phone to make sure that other mobile-phone users can see them too. Deleting Apps from Your Page Sometimes, you have an app that just doesn’t click with your audience. If that’s the case, don’t worry: Applications are very easy to remove from your Page. You can remove the app from your Page but still have it available on your list of applications, and/or you can remove the application from your Page. To remove the app box from your Timeline but still have the application in case you want to use it in the future, follow these steps: 1. On your Page, click the drop-down arrow next to your Featured apps. 2. Click the pencil icon on the app you want to remove. Another drop-down menu appears, listing the options shown in Figure 1-12.348 Deleting Apps from Your Page Figure 1-12: Choose Remove from Favorites to remove an app from your Timeline. 3. Click Remove from Favorites. The app no longer appears on your Timeline. To fully remove the application from your Page, you can follow the preceding steps and choose Uninstall App in Step 3, or you can follow these steps: 1. On your Page, click the Edit Page button in your Admin panel. 2. Click Update Info. You’re taken to your Page dashboard. 3. Click Apps on the sidebar of your dashboard. The next screen shows you all the applications you currently have installed on your Page. 4. Find the app that you want to remove. You may need to scroll down to find it. 5. Click the X to the right of the application, as shown in Figure 1-13. This step removes the application from your Page. If you want to use it in the future, you need to start from the beginning and add it to your Page again.Customizing Your Page with Facebook Apps 349 Using Apps for Marketing Book V Chapter 1 Figure 1-13: Click the X to remove the app from your Page. Using Apps for Marketing Of the tens of thousands of apps on Facebook, a few really good ones rise to the top. You may find these apps useful by connecting them to your Facebook business Page. The most important place for an app is in one of the four Featured app spaces on your Page. Facebook’s Photos app takes up one of those four spaces. You can’t move or modify the text for the Photo app, but the other three are in your court. Book II, Chapter 2 discusses which type of apps truly support a business. Think about your business, and figure out the best use for these featured spaces. Many businesses use them for these three things: ✦ E-mail capture: This is a vital process for businesses. ✦ Webinar sign-up: Use the sales page information for this type of app, or add upcoming event information (your company is a sponsor for a com- munity event, for example). ✦ E-commerce: You can re-create your off-Facebook e-commerce website pages for viewing right on Facebook. In this section, we highlight a few apps that we like to suggest to Page owners.350 Using Apps for Marketing Contact forms and e-mail forms You may already have an e-mail capture system set up on your website. Maybe you give something away in exchange for an e-mail address. Many e-mail systems such as AWeber.com have a Facebook app that you can access right from your accounts with those systems. Check with the e-mail list system you’re using to see whether it provides an easy way to add your e-mail capture form to your Facebook Page. If you’re using systems such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, or iContact, you can use the way they provide, or just copy the form code and paste it in an iFrame or Static HTML app, re-creating the same thing you have on your website. The trick is using an app where you can paste this HTML or iFrame code. Here are a few apps you can use for e-mail capture if you don’t use the provider’s app: ✦ Heyo: The free account (at http://heyo.com) allows you to com- pletely design one app box. You can add images and all sorts of Like and Share buttons, and there’s a space where you can paste the HTML code from your e-mail service. You can use this app as a fan-gate, too. ✦ Woobox: Sign up at http://woobox.com, to try the HTML fan-gate app, and use your e-mail capture HTML. ✦ Contact Tab: This particular contact app (available at https://apps. facebook.com/) contains a place to display all your social accounts, company information, a map to your business (Bing or Google), and a header image. ✦ Contact Form: You can use the free version (available at www.facebook. com/contact.form) and then upgrade to the paid version if you’d like to add a custom footer and get other little perks. You can see a nice use of this app at http://bit.ly/FanPageFocus. You can also use any of these suggested apps to create a page for a webinar sign-up form. You can see how the app boxes look on Amy’s Page shown in Figure 1-14. Notice the regular e-mail sign-up app box and the webinar app box. Discussion-board apps Facebook retired its own Discussion app a while ago, but some businesses still want to have some sort of forum or discussion board available to their communities. Here are two apps to explore if you need this type of app: ✦ SocialAppsHQ: The free account (at http://socialappshq.com) allows you to add a discussion app to your Page Timeline. This company also has several other really interesting apps for you to explore.Customizing Your Page with Facebook Apps 351 Using Apps for Marketing ✦ Forum for Pages: This free app (at www.facebook.com/forumforpages) Book V has ads in the left column; the paid version doesn’t. The user interface is Chapter 1 very clean and large. Figure 1-14: You can use the same app for different purposes. Video apps Almost every app company that we’ve suggested so far has an app for adding your YouTube videos to your Page. Generally, you add the username of your (or anyone else’s) YouTube channel, and the app pulls the videos to your Facebook Page. Some apps allow you to select a particular playlist instead of pulling in the entire channel. If you use Vimeo for your videos, we have an app for you, too. Check out Tabfusion below. We don’t recommend using the built-in Facebook app Video, for two rea- sons: Facebook might retire it at some point (and you could lose your videos), and other apps look better on a Facebook Page. If you upload videos directly to Facebook, they automatically go in the app box called Video. Here are a couple of companies that have good YouTube apps: ✦ Involver: One of its free apps (at www.involver.com/applications) is the YouTube app. You can see it in action on Grandma Mary’s page (we’re especially fond of Grandma Mary), at http://bit.ly/ GrandmaMaryYouTube. But Involver has other good apps for a business Page, as discussed in the nearby sidebar. ✦ Tabfusion: Tabfusion has three video apps: one for YouTube, one for Vimeo, and one for Blip.tv. This is app (at http://tabfusion.com/ applications.php) charges for its services, so you need to consider that fact before choosing to use those apps. See http://tabfusion.com/ pricing.php.352 Using Apps for Marketing Finding apps with Involver One way to find really good apps for your business Scribd. You upload a PDF file to www.scribd. Pages is to use Involver (www.involver. com, and then it’s automatically available on the com/applications). Involver has many app for viewing, sharing, downloading, e-mailing, apps that are quite relevant to a Facebook busi- and more — all from your Facebook Page. Make ness Page, including an RSS feed, the YouTube sure that you test the apps you’re interested in. channel, Photo Gallery, and File Sharing (which Some are better than others, and some have is a great way for authors to give away chapter costs associated with them. You can read more previews or book teaser copy). An app of note is about Involver in Book III, Chapter 4. If your business uses video as a marketing device, try to find the best inter- face by testing and looking at samples to find the right fit. You can always hide or delete an app and try something else. Pinterest apps Currently, you can’t pin items from Facebook to Pinterest, but you can pull in your pins and boards from Pinterest through an app to post on your per- sonal account and/or your business Page. Our favorite app for Pinterest is Woobox (http://woobox.com/pinterest). You can see an example of how it looks on Facebook at http://bit.ly/ PinterestApp. The interface for configuring this app is very easy to under- stand and use, as you can see in Figure 1-15. Figure 1-15: Setting up the Woobox Pinterest app is easy. Customizing Your Page with Facebook Apps 353 Using Apps for Marketing Book V Google+ Chapter 1 The Google Plus Tab for Pages app (https://www.facebook.com/ googleplustopages) is extremely easy to use. The app pulls in all your Google+ posts and puts them on a tab on Facebook, as you can see in Figure 1-16. Any visitor can click the +1 (Google+’s equivalent to liking) next to any post. Figure 1-16: People can +1 your Google+ posts right on Facebook. Social RSS Social RSS (https://apps.facebook.com/social-rss) recently rede- signed its services. This app allows you to add your blog or any RSS feed to your Page. It can be really handy if you want to pull in specific posts from all over the Internet, not just your blog. If you want to post your tweets to your Timeline, for example, you can add your Twitter RSS feed to this app. This app is also discussed in Book III, Chapter 3.354 Using Apps for Marketing Your existing business services Many of the services that you may already be Go to these websites, and look for any Facebook using outside the Facebook environment have integration. Some of these services have actual apps, including these: Facebook apps; others give you code to place in an app like Static HTML, which creates a nice ✓ Eventbrite: www.eventbrite.com link on your Page. See Book V, Chapter 2 to find ✓ MailChimp: http://mailchimp.com out how to use Static HTML. ✓ SurveyMonkey: www.surveymonkey. com ✓ PayPal: http://paypal.com Other apps Here are a few more you might want to explore for your personal account, with the Subscribe button turned on (refer to Book II, Chapter1), or your business Page. ✦ Goodreads (https://apps.facebook.com/good_reads) is an app for your personal account. The app corresponds to the Goodreads web- site (www.goodreads.com). You can add your own books and those that you’d like to recommend to others. The dedicated link creates a nice Timeline view of the books you want to discuss or share. This par- ticular app is best for your personal Profile if you have the Subscribe button turned on. ✦ Band Profile (www.facebook.com/rn.mybandapp) currently has more than 8 million active users on Facebook This app, powered by ReverbNation (www.reverbnation.com), creates a link called Band Profile and pulls info from your account at ReverbNation. People can join your fan list or mailing list, share and play your music, watch your music videos, see where your next show will be, and see your fans. In other words, it’s a complete site for your music on your Facebook Page. ✦ Tinychat (http://apps.facebook.com/tinychat) has been a popu- lar tool for Twitter users for a few years. Its Facebook app allows you to open a video chat within your Facebook Page and host discussions. You can send notifications to your personal friends or e-mail them a link they can use to connect. From a marketing perspective, consider using this app to create a weekly event in which you chat with your customers or clients, or an impromptu chat when something topical that relates to your business comes up. Currently, this app is best for a personal account with the Subscribe button turned on.Customizing Your Page with Facebook Apps 355 Using Apps for Marketing ✦ Zillow real estate apps (www.zillow.com/webtools/facebook-apps) Book V is a nice collection of apps you can use to add Listings, Reviews, Local Chapter 1 Info, and a Contacts tab. ✦ eListit (https://apps.facebook.com/elistit) is connected to the website http://elistit.com, where real estate agents can adver- tise their businesses; network with other agents; get recommendations from clients, friends, and family members; and post their business Profiles (including listings, agent network, blogs, and endorsements) to a Page. ✦ Livestream (https://apps.facebook.com/livestream) is a live- video app that’s used by some very active social media marketers and by Facebook itself for its live events. If using video appeals to you and your business, check out a fuller use of the Livestream app in Book VIII. As we mention early in this chapter, you should choose the apps that are most appropriate for your business. Also, don’t overload your fans with needless clutter on your Page. Choose wisely. Revisit Book I, Chapter 2 to review the process of creating a marketing plan. Facebook’s mobile app Facebook has an app for your mobile phone. The interface is optimized for mobile-phone viewing, which means that you’ll find pluses and minuses about viewing Facebook business Pages through the mobile Facebook app. When using the mobile Facebook app on an Android or iOS device, for example, and you go to a business Page through a link in the News Feed, you see only two tabs: Timeline and Photos. All the apps that you’ve added, along with any custom-designed links you may have built for your Page, are unavailable for viewing on a mobile phone (currently). Take a good look at your demographics. Are your visitors viewing your Page only on mobile phones? If so, keep that fact in mind as you build your Page. You may need fewer apps and more posts to your Timeline.356 Book V: Understanding Facebook Applications