...what are advantages for a business setting up a Facebook app over a Facebook page?....or even just having a website?
Generally you have an app as part of your page, so it's not one or the other. I use them on our Facebook Page to launch new products and I consider the main advantage of Facebook over our website is that we have an automatic audience of ~19k people. Post a link on your page, sponsor that post for $20 and you get that out to not just your own audience, but their friends as well. We don't sell from Facebook (yet) but I'm going to start experimenting with the new 'Offer' option. I'll let you know what I discover.
You don't create an application if you don't need to. You may want to use an application that's been created for someone else.
Originally Posted by trickyjw
I've seen a few examples of sites just iframed as Facebook apps with the inclusion of a timeline in there site and I think what is the point?
I'm not quite sure that I understand what you mean but it sounds as you think that page itself is an application instead of being that, a page.
Pages can include applications, but an application can't be a page, it needs to be contained by a page.
There are applications that are more useful than others. Some applications allow you to edit your page and add HTML directly, others personalize your messages and content for those who are fan of your page, and others, of course, allow you to sell your products directly in FB. This in advantage for those who like FB becuase they don't have to leave FB to go to your store and many people like that.
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On it's own Facebook is very limited and you can create a Facebook App to do certain things you'd otherwise be unable to do. One thing I did is created custom bullet points, which required a custom application.
My business is not focussed so strongly around Facebook so it's not something I do frequently. I have a friend who's job is only to work with Facebook. He creates Facebook applications all the time.
Examples of Facebook Apps I have seen him create:
* Competition Poll, where Facebookers answer questions and get points in a game, these questions have something to do with their product or service. The top 5 players would win something, maybe a holiday or a flight somewhere. Here is an example - http://tinyurl.com/9a5jpav
* Custom Bullet Points on Pages
* Email Newseller Subscription; where users can sign up to their products and services.
* Custom HTML for Facebook Page(s)
I can understand games, but learning on Facebook App development is a little restrictive, as it's applications are limited, particularly for my clients.
I remember when there was a craze in adding your own HTML (I must admit I was a victim) where people added their own tabs and inserted their own HTML, Facebook then launched another update ruining the whole notion of this, as people were doing things they weren't suppose to.
Facebook's rate of change is something that is hard to compete with, as such I focus on Facebook Adverts / Campaigns and social media building, rather than concerning myself with Facebook applications.
Yeah, I was confused for a second there. Facebook and social media accounts are huge help on promoting site and products. Our company also use Facebook and Twitter. And like what Hawk mentioned, I have also seen their "promote" button. I don't know how it works but I think even without that, having a facebook page for your business is still effective.
Integrating FB app can be handy. Apps are trending whatever it may be. But then it again depends on your business and what you are trying to do with the app. Get expert suggestions before you step into FB apps and stuff. But it's definitely a wise move
There are some reasons why Facebook wants you to build an app jeffbullas.com/2011/11/07/why-facebook-wants-your-business-to-build-an-app/
And here are some Facebook business apps for example freelanceswitch.com/general/facebook-business-apps/ Anyway, apps are trendy nowadays, but I would suggest creating a native mobile app instead of a Facebook app.
Myself is using a iframe tabs and I find it quite effective although tabs is limited to show 4 only. It really depends on your niche and requirement but yes some facebook apps are useful to those who are unable to build their own facebook application.