You can still do everything you’ve always been able to do with Digital Brick, but now you can do even more! Isn’t that great news?!

Since, moving forward, we’ll be referring to apps as Campaigns, we thought we’d explain the difference, and how our change affects your business. Apps and Campaigns serve the same general purpose. They’re both used to run promotions, contests, sweepstakes, newsletter integrations, welcome pages and landing pages. However, a Campaign can be placed anywhere on the Web while an App is limited to Facebook.

So there you have the BIG difference between Apps and Campaigns: Apps = Facebook; Campaigns = Everywhere.

Whether they’re called Campaigns or Apps — or even Tabs, which is what these things were originally called — many of the tips and best practices we’ve been preaching all along are still relevant. Moving forward, our goal is to get businesses to THINK BIG! This means thinking about how to use Campaigns across the Web, not just on Facebook.

In Best Practices for Building Facebook Apps, a popular blog post we did in April of 2013, we asked some of ShortStack’s top users to give us their tips on building successful Facebook Apps.

They said:

• Build the Buzz: Create a basic email capture application to pre-register Fans for any upcoming promotions. Use the captured email list to connect a third-party database to the clients in MailChimp or Constant Contact.

• Strategize: Do users tests, think sharing, pay attention to user experience.

• Consider Permissions and Mobile Capabilities:  Limit permissions, make it mobile.

• Keep it Simple: Keep everything clear, limit text, less text is better.

Yet if you look closely, only one — “consider permissions and mobile capabilities” — pertains specifically to Facebook. We actually regret being so Facebook-focused for so long!

Now, with ShortStack’s new Campaign Builder you can take these four strategies and use them to build a successful Campaign that can be placed on a stand alone site. Of course if you want to install your Campaign to Facebook, you can still do that too!

What about that one best practice that did pertain to Facebook? The good news is that by placing your Campaign on the Web and not on Facebook you don’t need to worry about permissions and mobile capabilities. All Campaigns built with ShortStack’s new designer are mobile and desktop friendly without needing special URLs. To date, Facebook has not added mobile capabilities for custom Facebook Page Apps. We’re losing hope that they ever will, so why mess around with Facebook mobile apps when a Campaign online looks good on every platform?

Here are some of the benefits of placing your Campaigns online in addition to or instead of on Facebook:

• When you publish a Campaign we give you one URL (it’s desktop and mobile friendly) that you can use anywhere on the Web.

• Only three percent of fans visit a business’ Timeline after they Like that Page (per month). This means that Fans are mostly hearing about you in their News Feed and by the content you post in status updates. Using the Campaign URL in a status update is just as effective as sending people to an App on your Page.

  • You don’t have to worry about permissions or mobile capabilities. I know we’ve already said this but it’s worth pointing out again. No more permissions for fans to accept or Facebook guidelines to watch out for.
  • Some other benefits:
  • Get valuable Likes. Currently, when you host a promotion or giveaway on your Page and you Like-gate it, many fans are Liking Pages just to enter the contest and then they become inactive fans. When you run your promotion through a Campaign that doesn’t require people to “Like” you on Facebook in order to enter, people who truly like your brand, will like your Page. This weeds out the people who Like a Page just to enter and provides you with valuable Fans on your Facebook Page and more active audience.
  • Collect data from all of your followers. Chances are your business is not only on Facebook. So it’s time to let all of your other followers in on the fun! When you build a Campaign and use the single URL to promote it across all your channels you open the door to learn and collect information from your entire online audience, not just your Facebook fans.

We know it sounds scary to pull away from Facebook, which is why we’re not asking you to do that. We’re suggesting that businesses can start thinking BIGger, beyond Facebook’s walls! The internet is a big place and your fans are not only on Facebook.  When you use ShortStack’s Campaign Builder you distance yourself  from the hassles of having your app hosted by Facebook. You don’t have to worry about mobile capabilities, smart device capabilities, permissions or Facebook guidelines. You’re free to create everything you’re already creating, but with more ease and potential for a greater reach.

To give you a glimpse of our new philosophy and Campaign Builder in action, check out this page we built. (Hint: This was built using our new designer, so go ahead and check it out on your mobile device too!) We’ve embedded this Campaign in blog posts, linked to it in emails and on social networks. It’s serving as a perfect landing Page to educate our users on a new product!

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