Our 6 secrets to creating killer Facebook apps

If you are thinking that a Facebook App is the right approach for your brand, you should have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Whether you want to generate a database, run a contest, or associate your brand with a great experience for the user, the last thing you want to do is invest all the design, content, and development resources needed to create the app, and have anything less than very positive results at the end of the campaign. Let’s face it: there’s a lot for users to choose from out there, but if you have the right objectives, idea and plan, you’re on your way to sweet success. At InPulse Digital now The Story Room we have successfully implemented over 300 apps for a wide variety of users with very diverse needs (entertainment, health, local business, sports, etc), and this is a checklist we have developed from our experience. Keep it simple – going to work and dealing with everyday life is hard enough. Users on Facebook like things to be simple. Don’t ask users to go through hoops and loops, because they just won’t (no matter what the prize). Keep the design simple and the app user friendly. If your idea seems great and original but it’s a hassle for the user, it will most likely fail. Make it enjoyable! – for the most part, users are on Facebook on “pleasure”, not “business” so give them something they’ll enjoy. Knowing your target audience’s interests and interaction patterns is essential to make your app successful. Whether it’s a game, an interaction or a contest app, think like your users to give them the experience that’s going to make them appreciate your brand. Keep them coming back – unless it’s absolutely unavoidable, don’t make your app a one-time experience. Game/competition apps are the classic type of content to which users will come back for more, but they’re not the only kind. Apps based on user-generated content, multiple stages, and ones that include updates work great too. Another key component is having a communication strategy accompanying the app that really draws and keeps the user interested. Respect the user – privacy is a very big deal these days, so unless it’s absolutely necessary, avoid asking the user for permissions or personal information that’s not really needed for the App’s purpose. We know how valuable that data is and how tempted you might be to try to get it, but think of other ways to collect it that won’t turn off the user. Get them involved – making your users feel like they are part of something meaningful is not an easy thing to do, but if you manage to achieve it, they will be more than willing to bring other users to the app. This will make it go viral a lot faster (and cheaper) than it would with a regular communication strategy or ad campaign (which you should also consider). Measure & be ready to react – during the first 24-48 hours and then every one or two days you need to monitor the app and possible comments from users. Sometimes users don’t understand a step or the promotion is not working correctly and by monitoring and tweaking you can get big changes in your results. Or you could just forget about all this and make it all about what you want, and that could work too… if this was 2010.

The Story Room