Marketers looking to engage with their Facebook fans have a new tool this week, as social media vendor Vitrue rolls out a means to create applications that appear where the site’s users focus their attention.
Wall Apps is the latest addition to Atanta-based Vitrue’s social relationship manager suite. It provides templates for quizzes, polls and coupons that marketers can insert directly into Facebook’s news feed. The idea is to let marketers easily interact with Facebook users in the area where they spend most of their time rather than trying to lure them to their fan page.
“You’ve got to build your house, but the news feed is where your kitchen is,” Vitrue CEO Reggie Bradford said of marketers who built Facebook fan pages but fail to take advantage of the news feed. “That’s where all the conversation happens.”
Getting such content into the news feed can be a challenge for Facebook marketers. One common method, a la games like Farmville and Restaurant Wars, is getting consumers to take an action inside an app then asking them if they want to post the results to their news feed. Inserting the content without the consumer’s help generally requires using a third party vendor to build a piece of Flash content, which can be a time-consuming process considering how quickly content is churned through the constantly updated stream.
“We’re giving the marketer the tools that they need to create the coupon or quiz right inside of their own admin interface,” said Bradford. “You’ve got so many marketers that have created pages that are growing fans, but this will help them increase levels of engagement.”
Not everyone believes publishing content to the news feed is the best way of communicating with Facebook fans, however.
“The stream is very ADD,” said Michael Lazerow, CEO of Buddy Media, a rival social media marketing platform.” You post something to the stream, and a half-hour later it’s gone.” Nonetheless, Lazerow said that if Buddy Media clients were interested in an automated way of publishing to the stream, his company would be able to offer it “in a matter of days.”
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