3 custom app builders that reinvent Facebook pages on a shoestring

App integration can play a critical role in optimizing the potential of your small business’ Facebook page. Yet, the problem for many tends to be the intimidation factor— app design presents itself as an unfamiliar and seemingly daunting endeavor for marketers and small business owners who don’t consider themselves “techies”. Capitalizing on Facebook apps doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be fluent in code or have deep enough pockets to hire someone who does. There are a significant number of custom app builders that aren’t only “noob-friendly,” but dirt cheap, too.

Pagemodo | $13
In terms of ease-of-use, Pagemodo excels. This builder allows individuals to select tabs from a wide array of pre-designed templates, upload photos and custom app designs, and generate clean, simple, grade-A Facebook tabs for things like menus, directions, digital business cards, and photo albums. The downside of Pagemodo? With ease-of-use comes certain restrictions; that is, customization is limited due to the simplicity of the apps. Templates are relatively static, and outside altering color palettes and text, personalization is somewhat restricted. There’s no RSS feed feature and cross-media integration with other pages, like Twitter or Pinterest, can be sketchy. Nonetheless, Pagemodo is cheap. At around $13/month for unlimited tab creation, it’s the best option for marketers who are brand new to the Facebook app game.

Social Page Builder | $20
Social Page Builder is multi-layered, doesn’t require HTML knowledge and starts at around $20/month. But what gives it an edge on Pagemodo (and makes it a prime pick for the SM-dedicated marketer) is how customizable it is on a template-basis. Users can remove, add, and edit entire layers of the provided app templates with ease to create stylish, custom tabs that are unique to their business. SPB also allows its users to use its software on 15 different pages. That means you can integrate custom apps into your business’s Facebook page and any other pages you might be utilizing at a given point in time.

Shortstack | $30
Shortstack is a catch— it’s what Raise Your Share uses on select Facebook pages. For demanding perfectionists, Shortstack’s templates are about as customizable as SPB’s, and allow for [nearly] seamless integration with other social pages. Shortstack has pre-built templates for Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter feeds. It’s also RSS-enabled and allows users to host contests and integrate Google Analytics. While there’s a slightly bigger learning curve, the price makes up for what it lacks in ease-of-use— you can start today, for free (though the unlimited package is $30/month).