3 things to consider before marketing on Facebook

Tom Hespos wrote an interesting blog (http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/19976.asp) on how to responsibly market apps on Facebook. He points out that gone are the days where the success of an app is determined largely by how many people you can force, trick or otherwise encourage to forward your app and that now apps must think carefully about how to genuinely offer value to users. Hespos asserts that apps must provide users with value and transparency (i.e. no more encouraging people to invite friends before they even get a clear picture of what the app offers) and must focus on over all uptake of an app, not just maximizing forwarding.

As someone who is tired of receiving invitations to apps that have no relevance to me, I of course agree. Although many apps have managed to spread rapidly and grab attention by encouraging rampant forwarding, I believe that many (most?) of these are one-hit wonders that will soon be abandoned by users. To create a valuable app with a long-life span, I believe that an app should both provide users with value and reach out to only those users who are genuinely interested in the value that the app provides. For this reason, we have developed our WildfireApp so that once a person has received one invite from a promotion running on our app, we will remove their name from the friend invite lists so that they will not receive any more invites to that promotion. The last thing we want to do is bug people who have no interest in the promotion that we’re offering. Additionally, we do not reward users for inviting their friends to our app. Instead, we reward them for inviting friends who actually accept their invitation (thus encouraging users to think carefully about who they send their invites to), and we penalize those who invite large numbers of friends who do not subsequently accept the invitation.


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August 2008
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