Before we dive into the different platforms that are available for companies to create their own applications I want to go through some examples of what different companies are doing. Not all of these are run of the mill applications that you can get pre-made from a platform. I think it is a good idea to see some of the different deployments to get an idea for what you would want as a company because depending on what you want to do there is going to be a choice between custom development or white labeling some off the shelf applications.
I am going to break this into two posts because there are so many examples to give.
(Please note if you are reading this blog post six months from now most of these applications will have changed.)
Starting Hub to Multiple Promotions
Buffalo Wild Wings– Originally they had a fan acquisition application where they gave $100 out each week to whomever get the most fans to join. Now they are tying in the launch of the football season to this tab where you can get involved in their multiple promotions for this fall. This is pretty much a glorified FBML page.
1800Flowers– They are giving away Flowers for a year through a sweepstakes application. What I want to point out about the application is they add an additional step in the process where the application gains access to your personal Facebook information before it takes you to a Sweepstakes entry screen. This gives the company a lot more data about who has entered the contest but in my experience you see a larger drop off rate of people actually entering because of the extra step . While the demographic information they collect is pretty nice I would value the email address more that they get in the contest entry process. Speaking of that the the contest is “fan-gated” where you have to “like” the page in order to enter.
Integration w/ Shopping
Best Buy– Their Shop and Share is pretty cool. Users can go through their online store right through Facebook and post items to their wall to get feedback from friends. It creates a social shopping experience. Great that you can shop right within the FB page without having to leave.
JCPenny- Of course the shopping experience doesn’t need to be your entire catalog. JCPenny presents a “deal of the week” where they feature a product that is shareable to your friends on Facebook. (Although I am having problems using the app’s sharing features right now.) Written in a fun way and presented to be kind of hip this is a simple way to drive sales to a specific item within your website.
Laying Out All Your Website Content
Harley Davidson– What I like about this application is that it can give you the full website experience for Harley Davidson without leaving Facebook. You can look at this years models, sign up for riding classes, find a dealer, figure out the cost, and even buy insurance. Instead of trying to continually push people to their website Harley realizes that Facebook users want to stay on platform so they try to give them an in-depth user experience.
H&M– Another company that is doing kind of the same thing but leading people to their website is H&M. I don’t know that I like the user experience as much.