The job of a brand right now, when interacting in the Social Media eco-system is to get the most effective ad unit in front of an ever elusive group of consumers. Currently the only way that this can occur in a cost effective manner is via an appropriately designed and implemented application.
Think of it this way: if you pay for development of an application at Buddy Media the media buy is strictly performance based, once you pay for the initial installation of the app, you no longer pay a fee. Meaning that if consumer #1 installs, then passes you appropriately viral application to their friends and family (consumers #2 -#30), you don’t pay a red cent beyond consumer #1. Suddenly the ground swells. You start to leverage the power, and see the value. A guaranteed media buy within the most engaged attentive ecosystem of educated, consumers…ever. Keep in mind that the largest growing group of facebook users is 35+. Now we start to see the truly viral nature of the social web.
Social brand loyalty results in trial or adoption of a page, education of the brand features and benefits, extended reach to a broader demographic target (remember my post regarding the network neighbor). Rapid lift in awareness of the brand. Applications are the most powerful Ad Unit online today.