Why do you need a Facebook App?

Facebook app

Why do you need a Facebook App? Why not just let your Facebook page do all the work for you? You can run contests in your Facebook page too can you not?

The Old Way

SEO Hacker Facebook Page Before when you wanted to run a contest, you have the freedom to easily administer it in your Facebook page – let’s take a photo contest for example.

Usually, you just need to announce in your Facebook wall that you’re going to run a contest and post the mechanics in your Facebook page Notes section for all to read. Then as you start the contest, you make it a Voting contest – the photo with the most Facebook ‘Likes’ win.

The good thing: you can get ‘n’ number of likes using this method.

Easy, simple, and most of all it’s free because you don’t need to hire a developer nor a designer. But that’s not the case now.

Having your own Facebook app is almost a necessity right now if you want to run Facebook contests and accumulate more page ‘Likes’. The reason behind it is that you cannot run contests in Facebook anymore without a Facebook app as seen in the Facebook Promotions Guidelines below (taken from Facebook Promotions Guidelines):

Promotions Guidelines

Date of Last Revision: May 11, 2011

These Promotion Guidelines, along with the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, the Ad Guidelines, the Platform Policies and all other applicable Facebook policies, govern your communication about or administration of any contest, competition, sweepstakes or other similar offering (each, a promotion) using Facebook.

If you use Facebook to communicate about or administer a promotion, you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including the official rules, offer terms and eligibility requirements (e.g., age and residency restrictions), and compliance with regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered in connection with the promotion (e.g., registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals).  Please note that compliance with these Guidelines does not constitute the lawfulness of a promotion.  Promotions are subject to many regulations and if you are not certain that your promotion complies with applicable law, please consult with an expert.

  1. Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or an app on a Page Tab.
  2. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
    a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
    b. Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
    c. Disclosure that the participant is providing information to [disclose recipient(s) of information] and not to Facebook.
  3. You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism.  For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant.
  4. You must not condition registration or entry upon the user taking any action using any Facebook features or functionality other than liking a Page, checking in to a Place, or connecting to your app.  For example, you must not condition registration or entry upon the user liking a Wall post, or commenting or uploading a photo on a Wall.
  5. You must not use Facebook features or functionality, such as the Like button, as a voting mechanism for a promotion.
  6. You must not notify winners through Facebook, such as through Facebook messages, chat, or posts on profiles or Pages.
  7. You may not use Facebook’s name, trademarks, trade names, copyrights, or any other intellectual property in connection with a promotion or mention Facebook in the rules or materials relating to the promotion, except as needed to fulfill your obligations under Section 2.
  8. Definitions:
    a. By “administration” we mean the operation of any element of the promotion, such as collecting entries, conducting a drawing, judging entries, or notifying winners.
    b. By “communication” we mean promoting, advertising or referencing a promotion in any way on Facebook, e.g., in ads, on a Page, or in a Wall post.
    c. By “contest” or “competition” we mean a promotion that includes a prize of monetary value and a winner determined on the basis of skill (i.e., through judging based on specific criteria).
    d. By “sweepstakes” we mean a promotion that includes a prize of monetary value and a winner selected on the basis of chance.

Bummer isn’t it?

Why is it that all promotions must be administered within a Facebook app? I don’t know. But what I do know is that a Facebook app has huge advantages over just administering a contest through a Facebook page.


A Facebook app can do just about anything you want to. It is programmable from a hosted source and the program can be anything you want to make it. The database is also what you want it to be – meaning you can extract information like no other way in Facebook.

Not all people put their contact number and address in their Facebook profile. Those information can only be extracted in a Facebook app – take a look at SEO Hacker’s Facebook app.

SEO Hacker Facebook App

SEO Hacker’s ‘Touch my SEO’ Facebook application is meant to simulate a raffle contest app. As you can see, after the ‘Like’ has been made, the next step is then revealed if you want to join the contest. Of course, if the user has previously already ‘Liked’ the page then he or she would be forwarded to Step 2 without the need to go through Step 1.

SEO Hacker Facebook App 2

The Facebook app will then request your basic information to be extracted from your Facebook profile into the SEO Hacker database. Of course SEO Hacker will promise to keep the information for contest use only – or other possible interests with their permission. This is a requirement for them in order to enter the contest.

SEO Hacker Facebook App Allow

After they have allowed the Facebook app into their Facebook profile, they can now join the contest – putting in their details in order for SEO Hacker to be able to contact them if and when they are the winners of the raffle.

SEO Hacker Facebook App 3

 Of course, we do give them an acknowledgment telling them that they are now included in the raffle of SEO Hacker’s contest.

SEO Hacker Facebook App 4

Marketing Potential

A Facebook app leverages your marketing potential in Facebook – simply because you can post in the wall of users who are using the Facebook app.

Having the ability to post updates, news or further promotions in your target market’s Facebook profile page means you are tapping all their contacts to yourself. This is the best advantage of a Facebook app over a simple Facebook page.

Another further marketing strategy a Facebook app allows you to use is email marketing. Once you have the email of a Facebook user, you can send them further support, promotions, news, etc., in their email inbox. To date, email marketing has proved the most effective conversion method of any online marketing process.


Having your wall as the landing page of your Facebook page doesn’t look to attracting to your market isn’t it? Having them land on a wall full of inquiries of people or a thread of comments will not give your market a hint of idea that you are trying to promote a contest of sorts. A wall as your landing page spells out ‘dirty’ , ‘messy’ and ‘unprofessional’.

A Facebook app is exactly for engaging Facebook users. It is meant to tell them ‘hey look at this – this is for you. Stay here coz we’ve got the good stuff.’

Outbound Linking

Facebook apps allow outbound links because you have the liberty and flexibility to program it as you see fit. Unlike any regular Facebook page with which you would be able to put outbound links only on comments or posts or notes (which looks unprofessional – and perhaps hidden), you can put outbound links within the Facebook app in the form of pictures, text, or any other form of digital media you desire to implement.

All in all

A Facebook app is definitely a much, much better way to optimize your Facebook page and get ahead with Facebook marketing. Do not miss out on this opportunity to work on your Facebook market. Most of the current Fortune 500 companies got to make the list because they leveraged on Facebook. Why don’t you do the same?

SEO Hacker now develops Facebook apps for its clients. If you’re interested, just shoot me an email.

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  • So, this is basically saying we have to use an app to run any contest on Facebook, but it cannot be mentioned anywhere on Facebook (on the page wall, on your own profile wall, or some one else’s wall, etc.) other than within that app?

    The use of third party apps like wildfire is okay, right?

    • Hey Vyki,
      Yes it is basically saying that you have to use an app to run contests in Facebook. I think the use of wildfire is okay :) it’s a Facebook app too anyway.

  • June swatzell

    I have been wanting a facebook app for ourtownzip.com. I just read your article. Please send me a quote for our site asap.

  • ruff

    apps have its pros n cons. voting has always been misused by ppl who will cheat and apps makes it harder as it requires voters to fill in their details. but of cos no one will know if these details are fake unless they do a check. and today we are facing a new threat of hackers. thsee ppl will hack into these apps to change the number of votes. i know this is possible and as ardent contestants i m finding it hard to prove to the orgs that their contest has been tampered.

    may i get ur pro advice on this. is this possible (i know it is) and if yes, is there any way u can be of help?

    let me know ur thoughts.

    • As of now this is an evident problem and will always be because there is no automated way of weeding out improper and fake accounts who join your contests. Security is also a matter of both your doing and your web host’s server. Making sure that both are extremely secure for your FB apps is a very difficult thing to achieve. I think that if there are no real benefits for the hacker to hack your FB app, then you shouldn’t worry. Otherwise, go the extra mile and put up extra security and get more people to weed out your contestants. Hope this helps.

  • I like some of the apps I have seen on Facebook. They are very useful but nonetheless, I feel insecure using some apps because some personal details could be hacked. Many app usually ask to post to your wall on your behalf and to access personal details but no option to edit these options.

  • Hi Sean,
    I have spent time reading about you and enjoyed your info and have a couple of questions: My wife & I have recently started an online business, “Vicki J Designs” and are desperately trying to get “Likes” on our facebook page with very little success hence my interest in Apps. We have also just had our website go live and again having trouble with SEO of Google picking up our site.
    I am computer literate on general software however a total novice (dummy)when it comes to HTTP language and input with facebook, apps and Google.
    Is it possible for you to give me advice as to what I need to do to improve my faceboook & website.
    King Regards
    Lindsay Jackson

    • Hi Lindsay,
      Well there is a HUGE amount of stuff that I can tell you as to how you can improve your Facebook and website but as of now perhaps the easiest ones is: Create great content that your community and target audience will enjoy reading, find useful and get value from. Promote it through Facebook – spend money running ads and promoting your posts.

      That should jumpstart your efforts.

      Hope this helps.