Facebook is a convenient and cost-effective way for small online retailers to connect with customers. You can manage a Facebook Business Page -- in addition to an online Web store -- to talk about your retail niche and specialty products, provide valuable information and to market to your socially-networked customers and their friends.
Be Unique: Use a Facebook Welcome Page
Your Business Facebook Page can be customized with your own images and business branding to make it stand out from the rather bland default Facebook Page design. A Facebook Welcome Page and custom Page Tabs can make your Business Page on Facebook more attractive to customers and to encourage them to Like you and share it with their friends.
A Facebook Welcome Page is basically a custom Facebook landing page that welcomes new Facebook fans, introduces your brand and promotes current deals or contests. The result is a bit like a "mini-website" for your business that's set inside Facebook.
This custom tab works just like the Facebook Wall or Events tab. You can create your own Welcome Page using iFrames (which requires you to build the application from scratch), hire a developer to create one for you, or use a third-party Facebook App to create a flashy Welcome Page if you lack the technical iFrames know-how or the funds to do it yourself.
5 Welcome Page Options for Facebook Business Pages
In most cases, Welcome Page apps requires that you add the application to your Page through a simple click and "Add to my Page" process. Once installed, the app provides options so you can customize the landing page to your liking.
Keep in mind that most Facebook Welcome Page apps are branded by the developer and provided free of charge for you to install and use. You can remove the branding and access additional features with a paid upgrade subscription. Here are five Facebook Welcome Page apps to get you started:
1. TabPress iFrame Page Tabs: 33,987 Likes
2. Wildfire iFrames for Pages: 19,594 Likes
Wildfire, a social media marketing software company, has an easy-to-use iFrames application that helps businesses create attractive, image and HTML-based, Facebook landing pages. When installed, you use an editor to customize the iFrame page -- technical expertise is not required. The Wildfire blog claims its iFrame apps is free, and during the free trial period new users will be "grandfathered in" when it becomes a paid app.
3. The SocialAppsHQ Welcome Tab: 51,322 Likes
SocialAppsHQ is a Facebook app store, offering more than 25 apps that can help boost a Facebook Business page. The SocialAppsHQ Welcome Tab app lets any business showcase pictures, documents and more on a Facebook landing page. The app features a WYSIWIG editor, analytics, and a join-mailing-list option. SocialAppsHQ offers a number of plans, with the cheapest starting at $9.99 per month with SocialAppsHQ branding. You can upgrade to obtain more features and remove the branding.
4. Welcome Visitors with a Pagemodo Welcome Tab: 208,884 Likes
Pagemodo lets Page Admins customize pre-built templates with text, photos, videos and maps to create a unique landing page that represents your business. Different versions of the app offer extra features like slideshows, contact forms and fan coupons. The Free version is intended for personal use, and the $6.25 per-month branded small business plan lets you create three tabs on your Facebook Page. Unbranded versions cost $13.25 and $33.25 per month.
5. Iwipa Welcome Tab: 306,952 Likes
Iwipa provides the means to build a website within Facebook. It's a platform that gives Page Admins total control over the look and functionality of Facebook landing pages. Iwipa lets you create tabs and pages, just like you would create pages for any website. You can edit templates or create your own pages from scratch, adjust privacy controls, and add third-party widgets to your Page with easy copy-and-paste code. The free version of Iwipa is branded. To remove the branding and access additional features, you can upgrade to a Pro account for $9.97 per month.
More Facebook Small Business Ecommerce Tips
Are you looking to get a better handle on integrating Facebook into your ecommerce marketing plan? Try these Facebook tips and guides for small business ecommerce sites:
- 10 Apps to Monetize an Ecommerce Facebook Business Page
- 7 Tips to Manage Customer Service on Facebook
- Juice up Your Facebook Page with Shopping Tabs
- How to Add Facebook Like to Your Ecommerce Site
Based in Nova Scotia, Canada, Vangie Beal has spent the last decade contributing featured articles and reviews to more than 20 technology-focused publications, including Webopedia and Ecommerce-Guide. You can tweet with her online @AuroraGG.
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