Are Facebook Apps The New Brand Wasteland? Or Why Facebook Will and Will Not Work For the Travel Industry – Part 2

…Second Life today, post-hype-apocalypse, contains scattered groupings of people in a whole sea of empty space, containing a number of eerily abandoned brand islands. When recently digging through every press release I could find about a brand launching a new Facebook App, I started to wonder if this was the new brand wasteland. At the front of the Facebook list are a myriad of highly social applications with hundreds of thousands, even millions of active users. But to the back are all of the big names (Coke, Honda, Adidas, Verizon) with applications drawing in… 12 active users? >>Full Story

Thoughts// A great post from the threeminds blog that discusses the abundance of underutilized, forgotten Facebook applications. The post ties in perfectly into an article we discussed a few months ago, ‘Why Facebook Will and Will Not Work For the Travel Industry – Part 1.’

The post cites several examples of Facebook applications, created by large corporations, which do not deliver the amount of users or views of non-sponsored applications or widgets. Of course, for a lot of these companies a Facebook application is not a large expenditure, and probably viewed as more of an experiment. Still, 12 active users is a remarkably small amount.

The article is very similar to our previous post discussing how companies and organizations created Facebook profiles, hoping to gather thousands of ‘friends’ for their product or brand, only to be ‘friended’ by a few, let us say, less-than-perfect users.

Most interesting was the example of the Sony sponsorship of an already existing, already popular (vampire) Facebook application. Brilliant. A built-in audience, interested in the same subject, why wouldn’t you take advantage of it?

The article also goes onto to mention the use of groups, (built-in audience!) to create ‘mini-sites’ for your brand / product. Not sure if I would go that far, but it is certainly a good option.

Finally, I love the App Don’ts, which could work for any new media / interactive project / website:

App Don’ts
1. Don’t start a new version of something that is already popular.
2. Don’t overcomplicate the concept or interface.
3. Don’t extend a campaign without thinking about the social context.
4. Don’t separate your fans, reach them where they already exist.

Words to live, and network, by.

Comment? @travel2dot0 or email.