Facebook has been building out its Pages product for businesses, brands, and celebrities since last year — and as the site has boomed to well over 300 million people, Pages have become an increasingly important way for any organization to reach users. Sensing opportunity, a number of companies have been starting up or expanding to provide services for Page owners.
Pages, as opposed to personal profiles, are designed for public conversations between fans and celebrities, companies, non-profits or other people and organizations. The companies that develop products for Pages generally tend to provide a customizable suite of services, including engaging applications like polls and quizzes, moderation tools, and analytics. Conceptually, this is an extension of the online marketing products industry that serves web sites, and similar in some ways to the range of products that have also been coming out for microblogging service Twitter.
Below, we’ve provided brief descriptions of 9 top page services companies, including the specific types of services they provide. Please note that neither the list of companies nor the services they provide are complete. This is rather a snapshot of what we’re seeing in the industry now. Here are the companies, in alphabetical order:
Buddy Media was originally focused on creating a loyalty program called Acebucks, then became an application developer and advertising network, then followed the growth of pages by creating a platform that offers a range of services to brands, listed below. It now has 40 people in New York, and it has raised $8 million to date from a who’s-who lineup of social web investors. Features include custom pages, custom apps, and custom Facebook Connect integration, Twitter monitoring, targeted Facebook advertising campaigns and analytics. It was worked with a large and diverse group of well-known brands including: New England Patriots, Starwood Hotels, Busch, Fox News and Reebok. More recently, the company launched a custom page for the Twilight series that includes polls and virtual gifts.
In business since 2006, San Francisco-based Context Optional has a long list of big clients, and competes with Buddy Media in many areas. Clients include Travel Channel, Palm, Smart.fm, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Miller and Absolut. The company has developed some of the formative branded apps and app-page integrations on Facebook. It recently launched a new set of tools for page moderation late last month. Other features include custom apps and Connect integration, targeted Facebook advertising campaigns, apps for the iPhone and other platforms, brand monitoring services for Facebook and Twitter, and analytics.
Fan Appz has been a bit quieter than some of the other companies on our list, but also makes a suite of applications for page owners. These include an app for making a top 5 list, another for making polls, and a third for making quizzes. Page owners can add any of these apps within their page interfaces, via Facebook’s admin settings; celebrities like basketball player Rajon Rondo and comedian George Lopez, as well as the movie New York, I Love You. It has raised an undisclosed amount of money from undisclosed investors.
San Francisco-based Involver focuses on building custom applications for big brands, with a range of multimedia, polls, and other features. In April, it announced a deal to sell content in branded apps in pages for Us Weekly and a range of other media publications. Last year, it has raised $1.44 million in a first round of funding from angel investors. It has also running surveys, polls, and other features with clients like Domino’s.
Already an established provider of community and moderation tools for major brands on the web, the San Jose, Calif. company only moved on to Facebook a few weeks ago. It offers a forums app, a question-and-answer app and a third app that solicits users ideas; the company also provides a range of moderation, analytics and consulting services. While it works with eBay and many other top companies on the web, its first and so far only announced Facebook customer is Campbell’s Soup.
Based in Glendale, New York, the company has traditionally focused more generally on word-of-mouth marketing, including consulting services. On Facebook, it offers a range of services for large and small clients. One set of features is called theFaceLift, and as the name suggests, comes with a long list of detailed features for anyone just starting a page, like customized apps. Additional services include daily page monitoring and monthly reports about things like responses to content and fan acquisition. A long list of clients ranges from 1-800-Flowers to Uno Chicago Grill to Queens Chamber of Commerce.
The Atlanta, Georgia company has a few different sets of software services, some of which also integrate in to Twitter. One is called the “Social Relationship Manager” and it includes ways to customize Pages, plan a schedule of marketing efforts on the page, as well as measure and moderate Page activity. Another, the recently-launched “Fan Management System,” lets a large organization create and manage sets of federated pages for local parts of the business; it includes both a central administrative tool and a customizable interface for individual pages. And, the company has free-standing applications designed for pages, including polls, quizzes, email sign-ups, and more. Clients include Ford, AT&T, MTV, and recently this interesting Yoplait fundraiser. It has raised a total of $12.2 million in funding from venture investors as well as Comcast.
Focused on making viral photo and video contests for social media in general, this Lafayette, Calif. company provides a range of customizable features for these contests on Facebook. Pages owners can create custom apps, add the app to their pages, upload their own videos, moderate comments and track usage with an analytics feature. Clients have included Simmons Beautyrest and Kohl’s. The company has raised $1.27 million from Headwaters Holdings.
This small Palo Alto, Calif. company focuses on building customized promotion apps for brands, including sweepstakes, contests, coupons, giveaways, and more. Back in 2008 its founders were running a travel adventure company at the time, and were looking for a better way to promote the company on Facebook — them solving their own problem led to creating this company, the story goes. The company was an fbFunder Facebook incubator winner earlier this year, and has been used extensively by Facebook itself to offer app and promotional contests. Other clients include Pepsi and Red Bull.
Learn more about building your brand and growing your audience with Facebook Marketing Service Provider Directory, and the rest of our comprehensive guide to marketing on Facebook. The Facebook Marketing Bible is available at FacebookMarketingBible.com