For the past few years, Facebook has developed and hosted an NCAA Tournament Pool. The competition was very simple, start your own pool or join an existing one, and compare your picks to those of your friends. Winner gets bragging rights.
Last year, Facebook spiced it up a little. With co-sponsor Geico, the competition offered a hefty prize to the winners.
1st place – $25,000
2nd place – $5,000
3rd place – $1,000
How did it end? A tie.
PicksPal has capitalized on this Facebook tradition by developing it’s own NBA Challenge application. While the user count is just shy of 12,000 total users, the potential of this application is tremendous. When a friend in your network adds the application, a notice is displayed in the daily feed (also the first page users see when they login). This along with word of mouth advertising and invitations to “join my pool” are bound to convert more and more users to the app.
Now where does the potential of Facebook apps come in?
Ever since Facebook opened up its platform to developers, numerous companies including iLike, LinkedIn & RockYou! have jumped aboard and created custom applications for users.
While many developers are creating entertaining and useful applications, there is still a void in that there is little reason for users to actively engage with their applications. It seems that an area of this that developers and the companies are forgetting about is that college students, and Facebook users in general, simply love free stuff. By running applications/contests and offering prizes (maybe even daily prizes), the possibilities for widespread brand name exposure to the facebook demographic become endless. Make the prize cash and integrate it into your current website or marketing goals and you’ve just gained a new avenue to acquiring users and possible sales.