[Effectiveness of Facebook Apps as a Marketing Tool] – A little while back, I asked readers to submit questions they would like me to answer or blog about. The first one I’d like to tackle was submitted by Mark Evans, who blogs at MarkEvansTech and serves as Director of Community of Canadian-based start-up PlanetEye. Mark wrote:
“What’s your take on the effectiveness of Facebook apps as a branding/marketing tool?”
My cliched first thought was, “Good question”. After giving it some further time and consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that, as a whole, Facebook apps are not a great marketing tool. Obviously this is a generalization and apps may prove to be a successful strategy for some companies. Let me explain my logic…
It’s all about perception.
Branding and positioning are an important part of any online strategy. Subsequently, solidifying status and credibility within an industry is essential. Still with me? The recent onslaught of Facebook apps has saturated the “marketplace”. A lack of management on behalf of the social network has driven many to utter frustration with the highly-touted platform.
For this very reason, I think that the introduction of a Facebook app may be more detrimental than advantageous, in some cases, unless extreme caution and delicacy are exercised. A suitable Facebook app would have to provide compelling value and utility. Furthermore, there would have to be a certain level of fit with the exposed community of users.
My guess is that a majority will disagree with this train of thought, but I’m just giving my take on the situation.
In all honesty, I think that most apps are being created for amusement purposes – not as branding vehicles. The ability to “poke” someone or write on their “FunWall” is great, but these dominant apps may reflect negatively upon your company if you are trying to portray a more professional, sophisticated image.
Jumping back to August 2007, I wrote a post about the short-term success and long-term failure of the platform. I still believe much of that post to be true. The effectiveness of apps has decreased significantly due to the surge of entrants.
I think that more users are starting to see things the same way as I do. For the most part, Facebook apps are more of a hassle than they’re worth. They cause huge amounts of clutter and force users to scroll down long profile pages to find what they’re looking for. They’re also very distracting at times. What I find most annoying is the increased page load time. In other words, unless you’re creating an app for pure amusement or you happen to be in the business of “fun”, then Facebook apps are likely to be a poor marketing tool unless a cautious, very well sought out strategy is executed upon.