Say hello to yet another tool that SMBs can use to get into the Facebook game. This one's called North Social, and it lets users create a professional, customizable Facebook fan page within minutes, and without any coding or web publishing expertise."Users could spend hundreds or thousands of dollars having these kinds of custom pages created," says Alex Bernstein, who heads up business strategy and planning at North Social. "But now they can create a fan page for less than the price of a tank of gas." North Social pricing is based on the number of fans and the required amount of storage. The most popular plan currently is the Basic package (for pages with more than 1,000 fans), which gives users access to all 15 North Social applications, plus 5GB of storage and 100GB of data transfer for $29 per month. And with North Social, users don't have to do any software installation; everything resides in the "cloud."
The North Social app store includes Photo Showcase, which allows users to visually promote their company and make their page more inviting; Show & Sell, for linking interested shoppers directly to an online store; Video Channel, which lets users add YouTube video content to their Facebook page to increase views and exposure; and Yelp Reviews, for featuring hard-earned Yelp reviews on a fan page.
Bernstein says that fan pages have been proven to drive visits to a user's website and build brand loyalty. "What we're aiming to do is to help smaller players capitalize on social media," he says. "We're doing that by taking away the cost, technology, and knowledge barriers to Facebook."