When the Facebook platform launched over two years ago, a new advertising model was built: pay per install. Since then, millions of dollars have been spent on application install campaigns. Many brands are realizing that it’s much more difficult to get users returning on a regular basis to your applications though and as such this model has some serious weaknesses. That’s why many advertisers are turning to the “pay per fan” model.
As Facebook promotes in their current Google advertisements, “Facebook Pages let you remarket to your customers for free”. That’s a significant differentiator from applications which have no guarantee that you’ll be able to contact the users again. While new Facebook Page fans can always unsubscribe from your feed stories, a greater percentage remain subscribed. We’ve spoken with a number of ad networks that are attempting this new model and so far the response has been positive.
As far as I know, selling fans to brands is not against the Facebook terms, however given that Facebook is trying to sell the same thing, I could see some tension building between the two parties. No matter what you source of new Facebook is, as long as the fans go to Facebook, the company is never really losing though. uSocial, is one company that is trying to sell fans to advertisers, however the turnaround time is fairly delayed.
uSocial claims that the new fans will be “targeted” but provides no other details. It’s also a controversial marketing tactic, but in a world where the number of fans you have is important to your brand’s perception, why not purchase a few thousand fans? This appears to be the mindset of many advertisers that are currently paying for new fans on their page.
While the majority of branded applications fail to attract repeat users, fans can be “remarketed” to as Facebook likes to say. That’s why we’ll most likely see a surge in the “Pay Per Fan” advertising market. Have you seen advertisers entering this space? Do you think it’s a worthwhile investment to pay for Facebook Page fans?