Facebook Timeline Applications and Social Marketing

By on January 25, 2012
Timeline-Apps-Facebook

In line with their plans to integrate more gestures into the sharing process on Facebook, the social networking giant has introduced a range of apps that people can now use directly on their timelines. This presents a host of opportunities for social marketers, as social sharing evolves. But how do you use timeline apps for marketing?

The New Apps on Facebook

There are over 60 new apps to choose from, and they’ll give Facebook users the chance to share real world experiences with their friends online. Everything from listening to music, to cooking, reading and watching movies – can now show up in a user’s timeline. Users can select who can or can’t see their updates.

This introduces a higher level of personal sharing on the platform, and reinforces Facebook’s plan to eventually become a place for reporting activities as well as chatting to friends. Now you’ll be able to share your tastes, music interests, movie preferences and favorite foods in real time. We all know that our tastes change, now there’s a way to share and track them.

Apps Available For Developers and Businesses

In the past, apps have been a huge industry for professional app developers and large app development companies like Zynga. But for smaller businesses, launching popular applications has always been a challenge. Because these apps are hidden away, users don’t use them as much as they could. This has all changed now, thanks to applications that run directly from a personal timeline.

We can expect the worth and ROI of small business applications to increase, as they become an integral part of someone’s profile. It does mean that your app will have to be very good, and serve a particular function – but if you get it right, the viral potential has definitely increased thanks to the new placement.

While Facebook has only just launched large brand apps, we can look forward to a future of better placement and returns for small business applications. There is speculation that Facebook might even redesign business pages, so we’ll be on the look out for that. If they do, they’re going to have to be very careful. The timeline is great for personal use, but in a business context, it’s tricky.

The Future of Timeline Marketing

App developers will be scrambling to invent apps for the timeline now, and you should think about doing it too. Before, apps were the top way to increase interaction between fans and your business. Now, there will be a much deeper connection, and even more involvement. Social marketers will be using apps in the future for product placement in social games, brand identity and viral promotion.

The question remains – will Facebook’s app platform rival Google and Apple? Only time will tell. One thing is clear. They are already breaking into the mobile platforms, and there has been some talk about putting together a gallery. To you and me, this is the equivalent of an app store. Go Facebook!

How will you use the new timeline to market to your fans? Leave your answer below!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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