Called TextualAds, the new FB app allows marketers to ask fans to opt-in to targeted SMS messages directly from their fan pages. The messages can be targeted to fans based on their age, gender, country, city, or exact geo-location. A nightclub or bar could send out free drink coupons to women under 30, for example, who are fans of that particular bar. Or It could send an SMS message to any fan who happens to be walking in the vicinity. A spa having a slow weekend could even entice women customers to “Bring in three friends and get 25% off.”
Brands can create a customized tab on their fan page to encourage fans to submit their cell phone numbers, and also provides a dashboard to show a breakdown of the number of total fans and mobile fans by gender and location. Brands have complete control of their SMS campaigns directly from the FB app.
It’s similar to many LBS rewards and marketing platforms that are being introduced by various LBS apps and even third-party startups to leverage the power of location, but goes above and beyond by integrating with Facebook’s immense social graph. There’s other Facebook apps that provide similar functionality, but TextualAds seems to be the most robust.