A big issue to consider with any ongoing Facebook marketing campaign is Edgerank– the algorithm that determines what items pop up in the newsfeed. Facebook tries to show you items that are most relevant to your interests by only showing you status updates, links, and images from the friends and pages that you interact with the most. This provides a strong motivation for Page owners to engage their users and encourage liking, sharing, and commenting. Riding this trend is Bemmu Sepponen, who has created two Fan Page Apps for Facebook, Fan of the Week and Top Fans, where each application has broken the milestone of 1 million monthly active users.
Fan Page Apps has a small but significant portfolio. Fan Of The Week randomly selects and highlights a user who has interacted with the page, but weighted towards users that have interacted with the page the most. Top Fans, on the other hand, adds a leaderboard that shows who’s commented or liked your page the most, which engages fans to keep interacting to stay on the leaderboard. The “Basic Plan” for these apps runs at $10 a month, and the “Max Plan” with more unlimited features goes up to $30 a month. There is also an add supported version available for free.
The largest pages where these Fan Page Apps are featured on include the pages of George Lopez, a Mexican-American comedian, Elissa, a Lebaneese pop artist, and Frizze, an Argentinian bottled mixed drink. But Sepponen tells us the majority of his paying customers are small businesses such as retail stores, cafes, and professional services such as photographers.
Sepponen has been creating applications for the platform since Facebook first launched these types of apps. His first two applications were built for personal profiles before Facebook pulled that feature. But although the platform is changing very rapidly, Sepponen says that as long as you keep looking out for new opportunities there are chances for success.
Sepponen is now living in Japan (but of Finnish orgin) and has seen enough traction to justify working on Fan Page Apps full time. A cool side project of his worth checking out is Candy Japan, which is sort of a subsription service that sends you interesting Japanese candy twice a month.