With the rapid advancement in the Internet and its increasing user presence, the medium has become a preferred means of communicating directly with customers. Among the most popular activities on the Internet is the voracious usage of social networking sites.
With its open architecture and wide range of functionalities, Facebook stands as the number one social networking site. There are many reasons for this cult followership of Facebook. The ease of use and dissemination of content, tagging of friends and related users on shared items is yet another great Facebook feature. Facebook also allows creation of secured groups and publicly available fan pages regarding your own brands.
The Facebook applications are its most popular components. Facebook has an open platform for web developers and programmers to create different applications to run applications from within its framework.
What is new about Facebook applications?
Until the option of applications was incorporated, the Facebook features were more about conventional social media usage, such as adding friends and creating groups pertaining to common interests and affiliations.
Applications initiated by Facebook expanded the function of the site toward more interesting features, which included social gaming, where you could include friends and even unknown participants from around the world. The big leap happened when Facebook opened its programming platform to developers around the world, who could develop applications and submit it to Facebook. These applications are made live for public usage once they are certified by Facebook.
How do applications help brand marketing?
On an average, a user would spend no more than a few seconds on the homepage or any other text rich section of a website. Similarly, on Facebook, text-based sections have their own limitations when it comes to holding attention of the users on the same page. That is where rich content and applications come into play.
A game, such as Scrabulous or UNO, on Facebook can engage a user for hours. Social games like Farmville have brought about a new genre of Social Gaming, which is the latest buzzword in gaming circles.
For a brand, a Facebook application can serve as an effective tool to gather and engage captive audience for a longer stretch of time. Users hooked on a particular game or application on Facebook will stay with it until the completion of the game. Brands have smartly used the opportunity to insert their logos and branding very subtly in the game. Subtle messages like these are known to give more brand recall and attitude change compared to intrusive advertisements.
Much to the delight of a marketer, Facebook provides usage stats of subscribers, which gives insight into the profile of users that the brand attracts. This can be compared with the intended target audience of the brand, and campaign modifications can be done based on the findings. Unlike most surveys that are based on sample estimate, what you get to see here is a summary based on each and every user who has added the application.
Developing Applications for Your Brand
Unlike most other participative aspects of social media, developing applications for Facebook requires adequate programming knowledge. Facebook has its own set of guidelines for the creation and submission of applications. Developers working on the Facebook framework must be updated with the guidelines defined by the site for any application to run. Brand owners need to avail services of a developer who knows all the steps that go into the creation of successful Facebook applications to ensure that their brand makes its presence through one of the most engaging options available in online media.