Facebook In-Application Notifications Are Back!

What are In-Application Facebook Notifications?
Early adopters of Facebook may remember the notification feature. This feature recently reintroduced and basically allows your applications to send a message (link) to users as often as you want as long as they have permissioned the application.

Why Use Notifications to Deliver News and Information?
Notifications have proven to be one of the most effective means of distribution marketing and application information on Facebook. We recently wrote up a case study comparing effectiveness of email vs notifications for a marketing campaign we did for One Direction. The results were astounding: One of on the campaigns using notification we had a 65% “Open Rate” and 46% “Click Through Rate” versus your traditional 1% – 2.5% response rates for email (despite the fact we were using “fresh” emails gathered recently via the Facebook API).

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Notifications In Action
We recently started working with our client CMT (MTV’s sister company) to deliver tune-in information for upcoming episodes of Redneck Island as part a social media campaign we deployed for the network. The campaign involved using two different applications (Post card and quiz) that encouraged users to permission them on Facebook. This allowed us to build a database of fans that we notified weekly of upcoming episodes of the show. Notifications were usually sent out the morning of the show and direct users to a to a video clip promoting that week’s episode.  We have done the same with FOX’s new and highly rated show: The Following.

Starting a Meaningful Social Media Relationship through Apps
One of the reasons we encourage our clients (especially those in entertainment) to use Facebook applications to engage fans is that once a user permissions an application, you can use that application (indefinitely) to build and grow a social media relationship with them via notifications. Key to the success of this strategy, however, is reuse and consistency (see best practices below). The idea is to build a single or a set of reusable “evergreen” application that are used from season to season to quickly and effective get the word out! Obviously notifications can and should be used to deliver other important news or in-application information (such as updates, friends using the application, challenges, i.e.).

Driving Notifications Based on User Demographics
It is possible to schedule or customize notifications based on a user’s location (region or country), time zone, gender, and popularity (number of friends). We are big fans of localization/globalization and feel this is a very powerful feature music labels and other brands can exploit to further fine-tune their message.

Suggested Strategies and Best Practices

  • Continue (or start) to invest in Facebook applications and community
  • Find create reasons or “excuses” for users to permission your Facebook application
  • Use the same application (even with entirely different functionality) season to seasons
  • Use the application to “collect users” (with “light-weight” apps such as sweepstakes and quizzes)
  • Improve results by investing in social ads that promote your applications
  • Analyze notification response rates to find out when is the best time to notify users
  • Leverage user demographic information to adjust delivery schedule and message
  • Go global and issue country notifications based on a user’s location

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