My company helps businesses build custom apps for their 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 it?
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 & 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.
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 & 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
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 & throughout the week (or during the period of time the app is running).
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
Recently Facebook 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 & design of cover photo images.
This is a total game-changer!
Draw attention to apps by using arrows or other illustrations, like the cover photo below, that point to your Timeline’s apps.
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. 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.
3. 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.
Because we get a decent amount of traffic to Socially Stacked, this approach works really well for us.
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 & write a press release about it.
Most apps, especially contest & promotion apps, anchor a company’s overarching campaign. Use the press release to talk about the campaign, then provide a call to action & 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 & 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-&-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 & use the promo code to get a discount on their purchase. Customers love this & businesses benefit because it encourages a sale.
You Don't Need to Break the Bank!
It’s not necessary to spend much (or any) money to promote your app—use Facebook’s features, tap into your existing networks & leverage traditional PR & 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.