This week’s App of the Week isn’t an app for your iPhone or Android, but for your Facebook fan page. Shortstack allows you to build customizable tabs for your page. Use these tabs to integrate your YouTube, Flickr, or MailChimp accounts, as well as launch surveys, contests, or coupons. The best part is that if you have less than 2,000 fans, you can use ShortStack for free. This app can make your Facebook page stand out from your competitors and better represent your brand.
In this short Q&A, Smallbiztechnology.com sits down with Jim Belosic, the creator of ShortStack. The app currently serves over four million fans.
1. How hard is it to build a Facebook app?
2. Without a tool like ShortStack – is it still possible?
Yes, it’s possible. However, once it’s created editing and maintaining the app long-term becomes the issue. The Facebook platform is ever-changing, so keeping up with new code can become a full-time job.
3. How different is it to build a Facebook app without a tool like ShortStack?
ShortStack handles all the backend code and application creation for you, making the process much easier. You can focus on design and function, while we worry about making it work on Facebook.
4. What are the costs?
We have a free plan that is great for most small/local businesses. Our platform is free for any Facebook Fan Page up to 2,000 fans. From there, plans start at $15/month and go to $30, $75 and $300, depending on the overall amount of fans served.
5. I assume there are many options small businesses have to building an app in Facebook – what are some things they need to consider?
Businesses have to take into account their long-term goals. Is it fan growth? Easier fan engagement? Content distribution? They need to choose a tool that will allow them to achieve those goals through contests, content management and automation.
6. What should they consider then thinking of even IF to build a Facebook app or not?
Do they have content they want their visitors or fans to see? Videos, blog posts, photos? Would they like to run a contest on Facebook to increase awareness of their brand? Do they want to stand out from their competition? Are there features of their website that they would like to duplicate on their Facebook Page?
7. What’s wrong with using the built in tools Facebook has (if any)
Facebook doesn’t offer a built-in tool to create custom tabs at this time.