Facebook pages are pretty hot right now as businesses strive to take advantage of the growing audience and influence that is Facebook. As with any gold rush, there are those that seek the gold and those that equip the miners. Today I would like to share a handful of tools, or apps, designed to make business use of Facebook easier and more profitable.
1) Storefront Social – The Storefront app makes it pretty darn simple to put a storefront of products on your Facebook pages. Storefront is not an ecommerce platform, it’s simply allows you to transfer product from a store you already have to your Facebook pages. The process is relatively painless. You can add products individually or import a CSV file or your Google Base listings. (Google Base is another place you should be listing your products by the way.)
Here’s an example of a very large General Store. As you can see other social features such as retweeting and sharing are added to each product, products can be grouped by category and, in this case, hundreds of products can be listed in the store. Since the products retain your original shopping cart links this could be a nice option for eBay and etsy sellers as well.
Storefront Social charges a monthly fee based on the number of products listed in your store. Starter programs that allow you to upload 36 items go for $4.95/mo and range up to 3000 items for $19.95. The ease of store set-up, particularly for someone with a large store and ability to export store listings, makes the potential exposure inside the Facebook walls well worth the monthly fee.
2) The second Facebook application I would like to showcase today is called Facebook Fanpage Engine. This tool allows you to easily create custom fan pages using pre-designed templates and the static FBML Facebook application.
Everything done by the template can be accomplished by someone that knows a bit of HTML or wants to use an HTML editor, like Dreamweaver, but for ease of use it’s tough to beat these templates and editor. Packages run from $37 all the way to $497 if you want customer header design help. If you’ve got your own custom graphics, or know how to create the precise sized graphics for the templates, you can get the entire package of templates for $67. Templates include various column and block layouts including templates for video and opt-in forms from services like Constant Contact and AWeber.
If you’re providing Facebook consulting or design services for clients you can use the templates over and over again for any pages you administer or are working on for clients once you purchase the license. I recommend this tool because it’s easy to use and a great time saver that allows you to create a custom branded feel for your Facebook pages.
Bonus: Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day – Mari Smith and Chris Treadaway show you step by step how to use Facebook as a Marketing tool in this just released new book.