Not convinced you need Facebook apps? Well, let us give you some help: Of course you do. And we’re not saying that just because we have our (in all modesty) awesome Creator. Here’s why.

A Facebook app is a landing page or campaign page. Just like we have landing pages for banner ads, E-mail marketing, SEM etc. In addition, the Facebook app allows you to integrate facebook’s features and more advanced methods of increased engagement, collect customer data and convert to paying customers.

It’s not really relevant that its called Facebook apps. You should use those methods that maximise your chances of reaching your goals. Do not treat audience building, engagement and conversions as stand alone elements.

Back to the main question, should you use Facebook apps or not? Well, I think there are three main aspects to consider:

  • The need of landing pages will not decrease.
  • The landing pages must use the social features on all platforms, including Facebook.
  • The landing pages must work on all platforms and terminals.

Add examples like the Samsung case (see below) and see how wonderful Facebook apps are integrated into the new Facebook Paper and my conclusion is given. Facebook apps are reincarnated as advanced cross-platform landing pages with native social integration.

When the Facebook app is on desktop, it’s called a website, when’s it’s on mobile, it’s called a mobile site. But its the same thing, the same content. I have only one piece of advice for creating a landing page; Make sure it works everywhere… On desktop, tablet, mobile and as a Facebook app.

The moral? Open your eyes, understand the big picture and don’t get lost in all the buzzwords and popular statements. If you don’t have satisfactory solutions, it makes no sense to choose a shortcut that does not give any return on investment.

Not convinced? Then keep on reading:

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At the recent Social Media Days in Oslo, one of the discussions was about the future of Facebook apps. We think the discussion and some of the statements were highly unbalanced. There are some important aspects all companies struggling to succeed on Facebook need be aware of.

First, please let me do the basics. A company wants to sell. To sell, you need a way to communicate that what you sell is worth buying. In another way, a company needs an audience to talk to, engage them and convert them to customers. This is the same no matter what the media channel, platform or technology.

Someone to talk to, engage with and convert to customers

These three basics steps is also valid for Facebook. Let’s do them one by one.

1. Someone to talk to…

On Facebook there are several ways of finding an audience. Either get yourself some likes on your page, use personal profiles or simply buy the audience. Reaching out to someone is really simple if you have got money, reaching out to the ‘right’ one is a bit more complicated.

2. ..engage them..

The best illustration on the importance of engagement, may be found in the in the theories of the well-known Norwegian criminology professor Nils Christie. His relation principles is easily explained with the closer you are to a person, the more likely you are to take his side. I am sure you have experienced his theories in any newspaper after there has been a terrible crime. There are always a relative or friend of the criminal stating something like: “I would never imagine he would ever do something like this, he’s such a nice guy.”

This is the reason companies should engage and create relations on Facebook. Get the potential customer close to you and it increases the probability that he will take your side and your product. This is the reason for all Facebook posts, competitions, activities and all sorts of entertainment.

3. ..convert to customers

But we don’t engage just for fun. Facebook should also generate more income. Preferably more sales than costs, otherwise it makes little sense. The audiences we talk to and engage with need to be converted to paying customers.

The value of a good audience and high engagement

These days I am working on a bigger research project that analyses the relation between these three main aspects: how to create the best possible audience, engage them and convert to customers. The companies that definitely rate the lowest are the companies that primarily focus on only one of the three elements, and forget the other two.

A good example of how to activate a target group is the newly launched Samsung campaign. They created a slot machine on Facebook and got more than 1 million spins, 25.000 new fans and lots of sign-ups (undisclosed, I’m afraid). The campaign was run on a marginal ads budget, but a well-created audience and engaging content, made it all work. What does it tell us? If you’ve got the right people to talk to, you’ve got a good shot at reaching out with limited costs. The value of high engagement should be reflected in your willingness to invest in engagement activities.Amazing conversion campaigns on Facebook are popping up these days. Smart use of custom audiences (target groups based on your own customer data) will give a much better conversion costs. We can reasonably assume it may be at least 100% better cost per conversion (source: the Boosting Project). The value of a good audience and engagement is significant.

Did you understand how Samsung can make money on the slot machine campaign, by the way? It’s simple, after the campaign, they can create more precise audiences and lower the cost per conversion. Or more customer for less money if you like.

That’s why.

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