Corporate Eye

Marketing Your Brand with a Social App

Should your brand build a custom social app? That’s the question Michael Lazerow, CEO of Buddy Media, tries to answer in an article he wrote for Advertising Age. Michael summed up his opinion quite succinctly when he wrote, “Applications need to bring value to people and should be social by design.”

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of social apps, particularly when other brands experience great success with social apps that integrate directly into Facebook and puts the brand in front of a huge potential audience of over 800 million Facebook members. However, Michael warns us that the vast majority of social apps don’t work.

He reminds us that apps are not a social strategy. They’re a tool to help a brand connect with people. Your social strategy should be focused on offering those people something so you can interact with them and cultivate relationships with them. To support his view, he referred to a speech Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg delivered in 2011 and explained, “Facebook is not nearly as concerned with how many users they have, as much as how those users are interfacing with the platform and each other.”

With those tips in mind, Michael shared his suggestions for building a social app for a brand so it has a chance for success:

  • Useful: Your social app needs to be useful and actually do something for users by making their lives easier or helping them in some way.
  • Value-driven: Your social app needs to add value to the people’s lives who use it. Just as products need to benefit consumers, so must your social app or there is little reason to use it.
  • Social: Your social app should have built-in social functionality, so a user’s friends see them using it with no additional effort (e.g., on their Facebook News Feeds) and are intrigued enough to try it themselves.

You can read Michael’s complete article with more details about his tips for social app success and social strategy development here. What do you think of his view of social apps for brands? Will you re-strategize your brand’s social app plans? Leave a comment and share your thoughts on branded social app strategies.

Image: Babyben

The following two tabs change content below.
Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.