Facebook apps are a good way for brands to engage with their fans in a way that doesn't feel like a hard sell.
They also have the added bonus of scraping lots of useful consumer data. However, apps aren’t necessarily right for all brands.
They need to be in keeping with the company's values and offer users something they want to engage with and share with friends.
Here are six examples of brands that have put Facebook apps to good use.
Malibu uses gamification to engage users with this app that forms part of its Malibutique experiential campaign.
Aimed squarely at women, users are awarded 100 points just for starting the game, then get additional points for each article they read within the app. These include drinks recipes, sponsored style tips and competitions.
It’s a well-executed app, with new content uploaded everyday to keep people coming back and extra celeb features available for users who clock up enough points.
The tie-in with known beauty brands, such as GHD and Fake Bake, is also a good way of making the content relevant to its target audience.
Based on the assumption that women are constantly exposed to negative advertising, Dove says it is fighting back with this app that allows users to create Facebook ads with a positive beauty message.
Women can pick the ad message, colour and who they want to target based on one of five keywords. Dove has then bought plenty ad space so female Facebook users in the UK will be exposed to the positive messages.
This app is a good way to engage users with the brand and set it apart from the usual cosmetic marketing messages.
However users aren’t forced to ‘like’ the app in order to use it, so Dove may have a problem raising awareness of the app among users who haven’t already liked the brand page.
This was essentially a competition to create a new user-generated condom box and promote the use of contraception. Users could either upload their own design or create an image within the app itself.
12 winners have been entered into the final where they stand to win an iPad, £2,000 and a year’s supply of condoms. The design will also feature on boxes worldwide.
This app is a good way of getting people to talk about the Durex brand, and while users didn’t have to ‘like’ the app to use it they will presumably have told friends about it to help garner votes for their design.
While I’m not a huge fan of the UX offered by this app, it has been popular with users. The idea is that people upload details of goals they have scored in real life, simply by clicking the spot on the pitch they shot from and where it went into the goal.
That’s it – no videos, images or anything particularly interactive. Users can then view details of their friends’ goals, as well as some scored by other Facebook users and professional footballers.
It sounds a bit weak, however almost 100,000 people have used the app so Nike clearly knows what its fans want.
And it also links out to Nike’s website where users can buy the T90 boots, so may have helped add some extra sales to the bottom line.
As you would expect from a brand that operates one of the world’s biggest loyalty schemes, Tesco’s app requires a lot of personal data.
First of all it forces you to ‘like’ the game, but then it asks for access to your timeline and personal information. This will put some users off, but also helps gain exposure for the game.
There are also ‘Send to a friend’ buttons placed at the bottom of the screen to encourage users to share the app. The game itself is very basic – you just click and drag food items into the back of vans - but becomes quite addictive.
And it does more than just promote the Tesco brand. After each level users can click on a button which links them to the day’s special offers on the Tesco homepage.
All in all, Tesco has done a good job of grabbing customer data and potentially driving sales with a fairly basic app.
Selling pest control on social media isn't easy, but this is still a great example of using a Facebook app to promote a brand.
The Scamper Mouse game is very basic but sits on the right side of being frustrating enough to make you determined to get past the first level. The idea is to get the mouse from one side of the room to the other without being killed by any of the obstacles.
Each time you die you are given stats about mice, such as how far they can jump and how much they eat.
There is no hard sell, it's more about putting Rentokil top of mind in case people do find themselves with a mouse infestation. And the best part is, users don't have to register before they can play.