The recent political turmoil has given FaceBook a lot of attention – after all, many popular uprisings have been started on FaceBook. This has caused mobile developers and operators to think about using FaceBook for marketing – the question is if this makes sense.

The Danish research firm StrandConsult has now provided us with an except of their analysus on why FaceBook is not well-suited to carrier marketing. Some of the points also apply to smaller houses, which is why the most important ones are right here:

2. Facebook boasts a “free” and open platform. This misleads operators to think that Facebook is an inexpensive medium for marketing. To control its costs and force companies to pay up, Facebook limits the distribution of a company’s message to its fan base, so only a fraction of the fans see the company’s posts. Facebook is not interested to talk to you unless you are already a major brand and are willing to invest hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in advertising. The dirty little secret about Facebook is that you have to pay to play.

7. Facebook doesn’t build brands; it reflects brands. The biggest brands on Facebook already have a large presence outside of Facebook, and they have large advertising/marketing budgets both online and offline. Almost no companies have been able to build a brand on Facebook from scratch.

10. Facebook can change its terms of service for any reason at any time and with no warning. These changes can have material and negative impacts to operators. One example was when Facebook announced its change to the Timeline format. All those tabs and apps the mobile operators developed, the mini-websites within Facebook so to speak, were made nearly invisible. . Collectively, companies spent hundreds of millions of dollars to customize their Facebook page, and thousands of independent Facebook developers and agencies sprung up in the process. With one announcement, Facebook effectively and instantly rendered operators’ investment on their platform worthless.

Did your company see success on FaceBook?

For someone who has been in the mobile industry since the times when apps cost 10$ a pop and were sold from ESDs, the Freemium model has always been a bit confusing. Long-term follower Nicola Peluchetti has now shared two very interesting articles which should help shine a bit of light on the topic.

Freemium has run its course
Post number one, coming via GigaOm, provides an overview of pros and cons of the Freemium model. It is ideal for all those who are interested in the history of Freemium apps, and also want to decide whether the model makes sense for their products.

Three Steps from Paid to Freemium
Story number two hits us via Betable.com. They have a talk with a Monetization expert from Rovio who explains the actual steps needed to create a successful freemium app – hit it when you have decided that Freemium fits your business concept.

Any interesting links to share?

When it comes to press releases in the mobile space, the trigger events tend to be pretty clear: release, update and one million downloads. However, it can also make perfect sense to tie in with real-world events.

A company called BuddyCalc has now sent out the following release, mocking a recent US Government scandal:

Hookergate is obviously not an ‘event’ we would necessarily want to link to our Apple iPhone/iPad app ‘BuddyCalc’, but in this case it could have been a smart move to use BuddyCalc PRO in order to avoid any discussions afterwards over who paid what and who owes whom how much! BuddyCalc PRO handles cost sharing events, keeps track of expenses and makes dividing up costs between your friends easy. You can even allocate cost items to individuals if you do not want to share these specific expenses.

Brussels, Belgium – BuddyCalc PRO, released in January 2012 and last updated on 21 March, handles cost sharing events, keeps track of expenses and makes complex calculations among friends a thing of the past. Its little sister App, BuddyCalc Free with a 5 star rating in the App Store, can be used for simple cost-sharing calculations among friends and handles one event at the time.

Even though such a release is unlikely to ever run on a mobile computing news site, it has a realistic potential to be picked up by larger news media.

So, why not take a stab next time?

In the past, our business applications have fared extraordinarily well in India – Nokia is a large brand there, and business apps are extremely popular in this market.

Mobile Business Briefing now has the following bit of advice courtesy of Reliance:

…combined circulations of all of the English-language newspapers does not approach that of the single most popular local-language title,…

Feel like localizing? Let us know!

When it comes to promoting mobile applications, there is little which helps more than a nice discount campaign. Tieing these in with festive seasons can make sense – if only there were a calendar of all “rebate fiests”.

Tucows, a once-large ESD has now sent out the following in an email:

“Cyber Monday has become a very big deal to online merchants. How big? U.S.
consumers last year spent $846 million dollars on Cyber Monday”

–Ian Paul, PCWorld
–pcworld

So, to make this clear especially for our non-US readers:

Black Friday is on November 25, 2011.
Cyber Monday is on November 28, 2011.

Why not let us know about your promotions?

Well guess what? MSFT has blown the trumpet. It is now openly inviting webOS devs to develop for Windows Phone 7.

According to a tweet by Brandon Watson – senior director of Windows Phone 7 development at Microsoft.

Brandon-Watson-webOS-tweet

Watson is the same man who had recently bet $1,000 on Windows Phone 7 with the author of popular comic strip Dilbert.

With webOS devs hitting the panic button, MSFT will surely be luring a lot of devs to develop on the Windows Phone 7 platform.

For Watson it’s a simple approach. “Someone asked me why,” he said over Twitter. “Because every developer matters, that’s why.”

Stay tuned for more…!!!!

So we received an email from HP saying that the devs need not worry as everything is in place….except the Hardware.

RIP WEBOS featured image thumb HP tells devs not to worry, WebOS will live

Dear webOS developer:

We have opened the next chapter for webOS, and we understand that you must have many questions. Yesterday we announced that we will focus on the future of webOS as a software platform but we will no longer be producing webOS devices. While this was a difficult decision, it’s one that will strengthen our ability to focus on further innovating with webOS as we forge our path forward. Throughout this journey, our developers will continue to be a vital part of the future of webOS.

We will continue to support, innovate and develop the webOS App Catalog. Our intent is to enhance our merchandising and presentation of your great products and to continue to build our webOS app ecosystem.

As many of you are aware, we are currently scheduled to hold many developer events around the world. We are planning to continue with these events, however, due to the recent announcements; the nature of them will change. These updates will be posted on our events registration site this coming week. We are eager to present to you the updated strategy for webOS and to hear your feedback.

Lastly, I wish to express our sincere appreciation for your ongoing support for webOS and the many teams responsible for it here at HP. This is a particularly dynamic time in the mobile industry and sometimes tough decisions need to be made about not only what to do, but also what not to do. This has been one of those times. Together with our great webOS developer community, we are confident that we will meet the challenges ahead and build momentum for optimal success.

We will be communicating with you frequently over the next few weeks and we look forward to hearing from you throughout this process.

Thanks for your support

Richard Kerris
VP webOS Developer Relations

Well HP, who do you think, would be interested in raising an infant who was born very late and whose parents left him to rot and die, hoping that someone will be it’s foster parent??

What do you think??

Image courtesy

Even though FaceBook is not a necessity, many developers (including our very own Simon Pfundstein) have had a nice bit of success using it for promotion.

Scott Lorenz from an iPhone PR agency now shared the following passage on FaceBook conversions:

Once you’ve created your page, you need to keep it up to date with fresh content. It’s standard practice to post three to four times a week (Tuesdays and Wednesdays having the highest click through rates) being conscious not to “overshare” or fans will unsubscribe from your page.

When do you see the highest click-through rates?

Manufacturer-owned stores have changed the approach to marketing your app – but some basic laws still apply.

A PR agency called iPhoneAppPublicity.com recently shared the following “checklist of application promotion”. It is focused on iPhone, but also applies to most other platforms:

1. Is your name catchy like ’20 Minute Meals’ or ‘Doodle Jump’ both winners of Apple’s Design Awards? If not, consider renaming your app so it can be found more easily in Google searches and in the App Store.
2. Include and promote content in your app that cannot be found anywhere else.
3. Offer a free download to newspaper columnists, technical and non-technical alike.
4. Send out a well-written press release to the media announcing your new app and its special features no one can do without.
5. Use free online press release distribution. It’s a great way to access trade pubs, blogs, and consumer magazines.
6. Get a launch sponsor and co-promote. Hook up with a company that could benefit from being associated with this app.
7. Create a demonstration video and place it on your own YouTube channel.
8. Distribute the demo video online using free services like TubeMogul.
9. Create a tune or license one to play along with your YouTube video 10. Offer a free trial for users with an upgrade path to the paid version.
11. Host an App Launch Party for the media, friends, family and prospects. Give em all a take away flyer, card etc.
12. Get friends and business associates who are well-versed on your app to create a buzz by posting on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.
13. Set up a Facebook Fan page to showcase your app. It’s free and easy and your fan page can be found in search engines.
14. Create wallpaper with rows of your app’s icon and use it on your profile pages in Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.
15. Within your app, create Twitter and Facebook update features so users can easily post comments on their social network about how great your app is.
16. Participate in Q&A forums online, such as WikiAnswers and Yahoo Answers.
17. Get listed in free online directories such as DMOZ.
18. Place free classified ads on Craigslist.
19. Create your own blog and post an announcement about your new app or about a feature update to your app.
20. Get reviews of your app placed at such sites as AppStoreApps.com, the Apple iPhone Apps blog, AppSafari, 148apps.com, AppCraver, iPhone Application List, AppShopper and AppRater.
21. Use the services of prMac an excellent way to get the word out to the Apple universe.

Even though much of it is straightforward, getting a reminder from time to time can be more than helpful…

The core issue faced by most developers is getting ideas for further application development – unhappy users tend to delete the app without much talking.

iPhone developer called SortaPrecision now does the following (pretty radical) move in order to get more feedback:

SortaPrecision Technologies, the developers of Monsters Love Gum for iPad, have announced “I’m a game developer” Contest. The rules are fairly simple. Play the game and suggest a new feature to improve gameplay. If the developers choose your idea you will receive a co-designer credit and 10% of all net sales for the title for a full month.

Even though this could be but a PR stunt, it is interesting nevertheless – let’s see how uptake will be in practice…

If you have app stores, you have astroturfing – this age-old rule has been valid ever since the first ESD opened its store and added a rating system.

Unfortunately, the recent FCC rules for online news services also affect astroturfers. The New York Times (a questionable source for mobile, but usually OK on legal matters) now reports that the FCC has settled a case against a PR firm which openly admitted to writing reviews for its clients:

The Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday that a California marketing company had settled charges that it engaged in deceptive advertising by having its employees write and post positive reviews of clients’ games in the Apple iTunes Store, without disclosing that they were being paid to do so.

Even though small-scale cases of astroturfing are unlikely to be noticed, better move your server to Panama if you plan larger campaigns…

When it comes to manufacturer-owned application stores, price dumping has become the marketing method number one. Apps which used to cost 10$ now go for 3 at best, with very few apps being over 10$.

While stumbling across Apple’s iTunes Store, I found the following:
photo 3 Cheap is not always king in App Store land

The app on place number 25 is a 900$ application for a vertical market:
photo 2 Cheap is not always king in App Store land

Not much to add here – except that eliminating price pressure by competitors by going vertical still remains an option…

Quite a bit of time has passed since yours truly last looked at an ad – but the one below struck my interest:
18042009163 Smart ads   engage the viewer

The ad is from Austria’s federal casino, and advertises its poker tables with a little mirror and the statement “train your poker face”.

Even though Daniel Fuhry will kill me for this statement: interactive ads are the way to go IMHO. OK; Flash probably won’t cut it for now due to its insane amount of CPU drain (which is why FlashBlock is a must for notebooks)…but the long-term trend is clear.

P.S. For all Vienniese readers: yep, it is at Karlsplatz. I know that this is bad placement…but more on that another time.

P.S.2 In case you wonder about how interactive ads can look: Taschen’s Advertising OnLine Now can currently be had very cheaply at book outlets…

banner Seth Godin on DesignSeth Godin is the man behind a very interesting marketing blog, a bunch of top-selling business books and – last but not least – the concept of permission marketing. I thus was somewhat surprised to see him talk about graphics design…but felt that his list could be useful nevertheless.

Seth listed a variety of books and web sites which could be helpful for people wanting to become decent graphic designers – further information can be had here:
http://www.squidoo.com/become-a-really-good-graphic-designer

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