Facebook and iTunes applications make it easy to promote and grow your business. Even though Facebook and iTunes already have ready-to-use applications, companies also have the option to create their own unique applications.
There are thousands of applications you can create, but you need to make sure these applications easy to use and make sense. Think strategically when creating applications.
Here are some helpful tips to think about when developing new applications:
Relevant – If users don’t understand HOW your application ties back to your products and services, they won’t use your application. Make your application RELEVANT to your industry/business. Research your target markets and appeal to your audience/niche. What do they WANT and will they actually USE the application?
Fast, Easy Communication – Applications promote your business QUICKLY on a social networking level. Users are only interested in applications that allow them to communicate/network with others quickly and easily.
Value-Packed Information – When creating applications for your business, remember to think VALUE. You need to give something back to users with your applications – address problems and answers people’s questions. People won’t use an application that doesn’t help or educate them.
Be Respectful – Make your applications secure. Remember to respect users’ privacy. Allow people to choose ONLY what they want to share with others- this is how you earn their respect and trust. Users won’t add your application if they think their private contact information could be shared or used.
Well-Designed – The most frustrating thing for a user is to attempt to use an application that is poorly designed and isn’t easy to navigate. Applications need to load quickly. Make your application clean and user friendly. People won’t use the application if they can’t “intuitively” figure out how to use it.
When you create applications, you need to think about how it’s going to be used by people and how well does it represent your company/industry. How will your application brand your company and generate a social “buzz” FAST?
For example, Timberland created the Earthfinders Facebook application. This application allows users to pass along virtual plants or trees to friends. Timberland is making an environmental stand which backs up their company’s “green” branding.
The application has already drawn over 50,000 users-it’s unique and appeals to people who care about the environment. This is an excellent example of how an application has taken off quickly in the social media world while giving a company FAST name recognition!
Take a tip from Timberland and think outside the box. Research other social networking sites besides Facebook and iTunes (i.e. MySpace, etc). Check out different applications and notice which applications are popular – do people like quizzes more than games? Would social campaigns work better for your company?