My company helps businesses build custom apps for Facebook pages.
So I often hear feedback from our users about the step that comes after they launch their fan page app:
How do I promote my Facebook page?
Plenty of businesses use Facebook advertising to promote their page apps, but the majority do not.
If you’ve built an app that is unique and interesting to your fanbase -- and has built-in sharing features as well as an awesome incentive (a prize, access to exclusive content, etc.), then you’re halfway there.
And the truth is, you don’t need to spend money to get the word out about your cool new app.
If you’re not marketing your business on Facebook, you’re out of the game. Grab this Ebook and start!
7 Ways to Promote Your Facebook Page Without Spending A Dime
In this post I’m going to cover how your business can promote your business’s app to existing fans and people outside of your Facebook network...
All without spending a dime.
Tips to Promote Your App to Current Fans
1. Post multiple status updates about your new app or product
I’m going back to the basics with this first tip. If you want fans to know about something, you have to tell them -- and keep reminding them.
For example, if you just launched a contest app, make multiple Facebook announcements during different times of the day and throughout the week (or during the period of time the app is running).
To promote a product or app, make multiple Facebook announcements during different times of day and week
Also, don’t forget to use an eye-grabbing image for your posts. The more attention your status updates receive, the better it is for the promotion of your app.
2. Update your cover photo
A well-designed and thought-through cover image should be a part of any effective Facebook strategy.
One of the most important things to remember is that your cover image needs to follow all Facebook guidelines.
Recently, Facebook has kicked in the door for how businesses can use their largest piece of Timeline real estate -- the cover photo.
According to their new promotion guidelines, calls-to-actions are now allowed in the copy and design of cover photo images.
This is a total game-changer!
One of the things you can do to draw attention to apps is use arrows or other illustrations, like the cover photo below, that point to your Timeline’s apps.
Whatever strategy you decide to use for your Facebook cover image, make sure
Tips to Promote Your App to Non-Facebook Networks
1. Send a message to your email list
Whether your list includes 50 or 50,000 subscribers, send an email to your list asking them to check out your new Facebook app.
For example, if you’ve created an app for a giveaway, make sure to let everyone on your email list know to check it out for a chance to win!
2. If you have a blog, write a blog post
If you have a company blog, use it as a platform to talk about your newly launched custom app.
For example, at ShortStack our blog is Socially Stacked. Every time we launch a new app for our Facebook Page, we write a blog post about it and link our readers back to the app.
Because we get a decent amount of traffic to Socially Stacked, this approach works really well for us.
So, write about your app or product on your blog, and then share the blog on Facebook.
If you have a great Facebook strategy and an effectively built Facebook page, you'll start seeing traffic and app sign-ups in no time.
If you don't have an effective Facebook strategy, be sure to check out our Ebook on how to conquer Facebook marketing.
3. Use Twitter for personal outreach
I have a Twitter rockstar on my team who uses this tip.
Rather than tweeting out generic updates like, “Check out our new app for a chance to win!” it’s more effective to tweet at individuals who you think would most likely share news about your app with their communities.
You can also test using a specific hashtag in the tweets you’re promoting your app -- this will help your company keep track of what users are saying.
Tips to Promote Your App to People Outside of Your Network
1. Issue a press release
In business, writing a press release has long been a best practice for making company announcements.
When your business launches an awesome new app, it’s news! So go ahead and write a press release about it.
Most apps, especially contest and promotion apps, anchor a company’s overarching campaign. Use the press release to talk about the campaign, then provide a call to action and a link to your app.
If your company isn’t already signed up with a press release distribution company, this option will cost you (about $99 to distribute one press release, to be exact). Although, in a lot of cases, it’s worth it.
PR Web, for example -- the service I use at ShortStack -- makes it super easy to get your release out to search engines and major news sites like Yahoo News.
2. Make an Announcement in Your Store
Okay, you got me. This last tip may cost you a few cents for printing paper, but I think it’s worth mentioning anyway.
If you own a brick-and-mortar business, create signs and/or add a line to receipts reminding customers to visit your Facebook Page to check out your new app. You can also print a reminder on the bottom of receipts.
If your third-party app provider supports mobile, add a QR code to your in-store signs. A QR code lets your customers easily navigate to your app from their smartphones.
This tip is especially great for apps that host a promo code! Shoppers can visit your app while they’re in the store and use the promo code to get a discount on their purchase. Customers love this and businesses benefit because it encourages a sale.
It’s not necessary to spend much (or any) money to promote your app.
Simply use Facebook’s features, tap into your existing networks and leverage traditional PR and marketing efforts to give new exposure to your app.
These seven tips are just the tip of the iceberg!
In the comments below, please share your other zero cost or low cost options businesses have for promoting their Facebook app.