Facebook is the epitome of modern social networking. Connecting and engaging with people through a virtual world has never been easier. Before Facebook we had MSN messenger, Yahoo messenger, IRC chat rooms, Orkut, My Space, and forums, but Facebook revolutionized the concept of connecting with people. The idea behind Facebook is to create one consolidated place where you can connect with your friends and family and share content with them. The success is phenomenal, the rush is obvious, and the opportunities are endless. This forces organizations, companies, brands and businesses to rethink and revise their strategies to approach and engage with their audience.
Let’s wind the clock few years back, a business or company would feel a newsletter, an email or a website was sufficient for connecting with their audience. The social media phenomena were unknown and never considered. Facebook has changed the paradigm. In the year 2013 we saw companies connecting with people through social media more than ever before. It is likely to continue to grow in the year 2014 and we may see more personalized customer engagement. Facebook apps are good for user engagement, sales and marketing and at the same time it is also vital for building the face of the brand.
Companies will try to increase user engagement on social media in the year 2014 through brand pages and Facebook apps. The benefits of using Facebook apps are several; top of mind brand awareness, user engagement and increased customer base are few of these benefits.
The concept of engaging people in an activity has been the core objective. User engagement comes through different actions; a video about a stage performance, an excerpt from an upcoming novel, or an interesting baseball match discussion. The idea is to involve people in such a way that you keep their interest long enough to get the company’s message across. The message may be a sales target, a marketing stunt, a brand building process or just good old corporate social responsibility. A single app on Facebook can achieve all these aspects.
One thing that Facebook has mastered over the years is the art of captivating people. A lot of people complain that they are so occupied by Facebook activities, it actually is hurting their productivity. The endless scrolling and liking posts, engaging in activities like playing games, commenting on posts, sharing photos & videos, and using different apps. It is very engaging and it can keep people busy for hours.
The excitement and joy of winning something is a wonderful feeling. It is not always about the prize or satisfying the ego. The joy of using your efforts and skills to achieve something while having lots of fun is a major part of a contest. Farmville, the idea on paper seems to be most boring, dull, tiring and pointless exercise. However the execution was almost perfect. It engaged people in such a beautiful way that Farmville became a household name and everyone from kids to adults were hooked, playing hours on end. That is the power of Facebook apps. Imagine what a brand can do with so much engagement power.
Contests have always been an interesting tactic used by brands and businesses. Buying a raffle ticket, a lottery, and quiz competition to win a gift is something we’ve all done. With Facebook, the scenario has changed a bit. Facebook adds a lot of fun and excitement through its apps. Conducting a contest through a Facebook app will engage your target audience in a captivating activity and at the same time it will increase your customer base when people share your app and ask their social circle to join in. Nikon used a Facebook app to conduct a contest for their users. The idea was to find identical items on a glass lense by cleaning the lenses by clicking. Nikon offered a prize worth worth $2,000 for the winner. The app was entertaining, engaging, simple and generous enough to offer a second chance for referring the app to 3 friends in your social circle.
If you think that Facebook apps are only limited to contests and competitions then you are missing a huge point. Facebook apps are not something you use once and throw away. It is a tool to continuously engage your users in different types of activities in different seasons and for different brands. It is all about the idea behind the Facebook app. If you have designed and developed your app in such a way that you can use it for different purposes then it is an everlasting app. For example if you have an app which offer users to play a simple game and post their scores on the timeline, then you can always add a prize to that game in a particular season, let’s say during Christmas. Imagine what a brand or company can achieve with an increased customer base in the holiday season.
Facebook apps are not just for fun and prizes, it is about reaching and connecting with your audience in a way they will remember. A memorable and unique experience created through a Facebook app can make a great impact on any brand’s image and ultimately their sales.