One of the great things about the Nonprofit Technology Conference is that you get to connect with colleagues. I ran into John Haydon who helped me with my new Facebook brand page. He presented me with a copy of new book, Facebook Marketing for Dummies.
As a nonprofit technology trainer, I have to keep up to date on a lot of topics, including Facebook. While I curate a lot of information online, I also still appreciate the printed word – either on paper or as an e-book. It is always good to have a place to start to read up on a topic before searching online. John’s book takes you through the technical and practical aspects of marketing on Facebook, particularly brand pages.
One topic I’ve been researching is the answer to this Facebook question, “What free or low cost apps are there for nonprofit brand pages?” So, I immediately jumped to Chapter 6, “Enhancing Your Facebook Page with Applications.” Here’s what I learned:
- There are hundreds and thousands of Facebook apps designed to add a specific functionality to your brand page to help customize it.
- Facebook apps are mostly displayed and contained with a separate tab on your page – and have many features.
- There are third-party developers who sell apps for business purposes, some offer freebies: Wildfire, Parachure,Involver, Buddy Media, and Tab Site
- AppBistro is the Yelp of Facebook apps – they’re rated and reviewed – if you want to search for a specific functionality – it is a good place to browse.
A short list of recommended apps for marketing Facebook Pages:
YouTube Video app: If you have an active Nonprofit YouTube Channel, you might want to share those videos on your Facebook page automatically by creating tab for your channel. The best app is from Involver. Here’s some easy install instructions.
Networked Blogs app: If your organization is generating content on a blog, the Networked Blogs App lets you automatically post to your page. I’ve been using this app for my blog posts to share on my Facebook page and referral traffic on my blog has increased, although I’ve noticed that these posts generate less interaction on Facebook than others types of FB content.
Twitter: There are two different apps to integrate Twitter. Twitter App automatically re-posts your tweets in your Facebook Page status. A big time-saver, but may be boring for your audience if use Twitter a lot, or if your Twitter content is different from your FB page focus. Selective Tweets allows to you to selectively post a status update on your Facebook Page from Twitter simply by adding the hashtag “#fb”.
Survey Apps: Doing polls and quick surveys are great ways to engage your audience and there are apps for that. Poll Daddy Polls does simple polls (yes / no, three choices). This app also has a sharing element to it: As soon as a user votes, they are given a choice to share their vote with their friends. If you use survey monkey, they also have a Facebook App.
Sweepstakes Applet: If you considering running a contest, GOSO’s Sweepstakes applet makes it easy to manage
ShortStack: When I was looking for an app that could build custom tags for my Facebook Page, John recommended shortstack – I wanted more a customized look – and features and while shortstack isn’t free, it isn’t expensive – and very easy to use for someone who isn’t very technical (me).
And, of course, nonprofits will want to consider adding a social fundraising app like Causes
John’s cautions about apps:
- Less can be more: Too many apps can be distracting and drive people away.
- Nothing is permanent: You can try out for free and remove them if they don’t work.
Additional Reading About Apps
Is your nonprofit using FB apps in a creative way? Please share in the comments and you could win a copy of John’s book.