Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Santa Monica, CA., Fan Appz helps businesses, celebrities, musicians, athletes, public figures and brand owners grow, engage and monetize their social network fan base through an integrated suite of applications and features. As Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Fan Appz, David Barad keeps his clients happy while bringing new clients into the Fan Appz ecosystem.
Evidence-Based Marketing: In order to stimulate social shopping, how important is it for brands to reach out to key influencers?
David Barad: If you are focusing on people who always are going to respond or interact, you might lose out on potential customers since you never know if someone is looking to buy. If I haven’t bought a car in five years, I’m a really good target for a car company. But if you only focus on the key influencer who always responds, you might lose out on the guy who hasn’t bought a car in five years. So who’s the right audience to go after? I think it goes back to CRM. I think there are different messages for different groups. For the influencer, how do you give them something they can get excited about? For the person who hasn’t bought a car in five years, how do you bring them back into the fold?
Evidence-Based Marketing: How does Fan Appz help brands connect with those different groups?
David Barad: If you want to publish regular status updates, add photos to wall, video links and audio or if you really want to tailor how your Facebook posts look and feel, you have the ability to do all that through our publisher.
We also help you do a better job of targeting your audience. You can do that either through geotargeting or multi-language targeting. Let’s say you’re a TV show and you want to let everyone on the East Coast that it’s time for their show, but you don’t have to involve the west coast. Or you can speak to people in their own language. You also have the ability to publish on multiple walls at a single time to disseminate your message to several different people at once.
We can help brands collect key data via social application to help them build or enhance their database so they can improve their key marketing programs.
Evidence-based Marketing: Can you give an example of how Fan Appz helped a brand engage with fans?
David Barad: Sure. We did something with [the NBC TV show] America’s Next Great Restaurant. It was a simple promotion where you had the opportunity to watch the [trailer] video and then you were given a coupon for a buy one get one burrito at Chipotle. The day we started this promotion, the show had about 1,500 fans. In 24 hours, we added an extra 144,000 fans to their Facebook page. The reason it worked so well is it was very simple and fans connected to the offer.
Evidence-Based Marketing: How does Fan Appz’s new product help brands to leverage social media to monetize?
David Barad: The first thing we’re doing is helping brands look at all of their posts and see how people engage them. If you did a regular status update, how many impressions did you get and how many people interacted with you, vs. some other kind of post like a video post.
I think monetization means a lot of different things to a lot of different companies. But on a relatively consistent basis, we are seeing brands use Facebook as an acquisition vehicle to get traffic to their other channels. When you have fans in multiple channels, across multiple touch points, it can really reinforce a brand’s message, and drive greater conversion and even fan growth.
Evidence-Based Marketing: Do you think in order to monitor fans across multiple channels, it’s necessary to integrate social data into a CRM tool?
David Barad: I think it will be. People are still learning how to integrate their social media data into their databases. If you think about the richness of the data, the more you can integrate, the more you’ll understand. There is tremendous value there and this is where Fan Appz can definitely help clients collect key data from social application to integrate with their CRM tools.
Evidence-Based Marketing: I know that you have a background in affiliate marketing. Have you seen any brands successfully implement an affiliate model in Facebook?
David Barad: There is one brand, Bonobos, that is doing something interesting. I saw someone post on Facebook that if you shop at Bonobos.com, you can get 50 dollars off your first purchase. I was in the market for a new pair of pants, so that message came at the right time. I saw on their website that if I posted the link into my Facebook timeline, I would get $50.00 off for each person who used my link to make a purchase. The incentive was large enough that I was willing to add the link to my timeline. But if all you do is post commercial stuff into your feed, your friends won’t listen to what you’re saying.
Evidence-Based Marketing: What are some ways that social media has revolutionized the professional sports industry?
David Barad: The opportunity sports brands have is huge. The Yankees have 4.7 million people who like them on Facebook. In the course of a season they’ll probably only have three million people come through the gate, and maybe only a million of them are unique. So in one post I can reach more people than I can in the whole season in stadium. What does that now do to my brand as a media property? [To] my ability to help other brands get their messages to a loyal Yankee following? What does that do to my ability to incentivize people to come to a game that isn’t sold out? What does that do to me when I can maintain relationships with my fans and sponsors 12 months out of the year instead of just during the season? It changes the dynamic overnight. It’s different than a website. How many times a year am I going to go to Yankees.com For some reason fans are more okay with getting multiple Facebook messages a day than email.
Evidence-Based Marketing: Does Fan Appz help brands craft posts, or do the brands you work with craft the posts themselves?
David Barad: It’s a little different for everybody. You are starting to see brands put more and more resources into [social media]. Some brands want extra help and support, while with other brands, we just turn on the application and they run with it and do everything themselves. In the beginning there was someone part-time who was thinking about social media, then they hired a young college grad because they must know something about Facebook and they became social media coordinators, then you saw social media managers, now it’s directors and VPs. I think you are going to have people with departments underneath them very soon. If you’re a brand and you are managing 5 million Facebook fans, it’s as important as email marketing, or even more so, because there are more communications going out. It’s only a matter of time before there is more A/B testing via social. More and more resources will be devoted to social media marketing.