Facebook is the center of our universe. Or so it feels like. With more than 800 million users, there is no doubt it is a major focal point. As more users spend more time on Facebook, businesses are also migrating their focus to this platform. Businesses are seeing declines in traffic to their own websites – a 2011 Webtrends study revealed that 68 percent of Fortune 100 companies experienced a negative growth in unique visits in the last year, with an average drop of 23 percent. In a sampling of 44 of these companies, 40 percent experienced higher traffic to their Facebook Pages. Likewise small and medium businesses (SMB) are also increasing their Facebook marketing efforts. BIA Kelsey’s 2010 Local Commerce Monitor data showed that 48 percent of businesses had a Facebook Page. This migration and emphasis makes sense as not only are the users there, but adoption is greatly simplified by personal use of the social network. I believe that Facebook Pages can also serve as an on-ramp to mobile marketing and will discuss this in more detail.
Even while the Facebook Page is becoming a major component in the marketing mix and businesses expend significant money and time to build up “fans”, there is an underlying problem starting to surface. Reaching and engaging these fans is not trivial. Data from Campalyst showed that on an average day, just 14 percent of users who are already fans will actually see Page updates. Furthermore a very small percentage of users will engage with the Page (Skyttle Friends data suggests less than 0.005 percent are core fans – those fans that interact more than the Page average which is generally once), which further impacts the ability to reach them via their newsfeed. More significant is the fact that Page owners do not really own their fan database and also have limited control over reaching them. Facebook provides various Ad units to help overcome some of these challenges but that still leaves the Page owners at the mercy of Facebook. Page owners are starting to use other methods to gain control over their fan investment. Some are trying to capture their fans via contact form and Salesforce connect Page applications. A very natural extension is to capture fans into a businesses’ own mobile database.
Pulling Facebook fans into a mobile database enables an easy on-ramp into mobile marketing. When coupled with a text messaging capability, the Page owner is now able to ensure that their fans/opted-in mobile subscribers will see their updates (as text messages have a very high rate of opens) and for about 10X cheaper than FB Ads. Fans can also interact with the business via text messaging and hence establish a direct 1-to-1 relationship. Most importantly, the business now owns and controls this mobile database and is primed to leverage this with other mobile marketing techniques. They can use embedded URLs in their text messages to drive traffic to their mobile landing page/site, to mobile video content, mobile applications and more. They can utilize this channel to provide coupons, deals. They can build in loyalty programs that “gamify” fan engagement. Their horizons are limitless in their control.
Founded in 2008, San Francisco headquartered, CellZapp deploys branded SMS/MMS communities for clients that are integrated with their mobile branding (short/long code), their website and social media presence. These communities can be deployed for clients around any theme that is relevant to their specific brand/content/region.