I completely missed this one.

In March I wrote a post about my experience in NYC at the amazing pizza place Patzeria. Like many businesses they displayed a sign on the window which said ‘Join our Facebook Fan Page!’

After some seriously good pizza slices I wanted to join their Fan Page there and then, however there was no easy way to do it using mobile.

At the time I thought SMS would be a really good solution for Becoming a Fan/Liking, although there is a cost to the user, it’s a quick and simple way to ‘Like’ when you’re on the move and great for businesses to capture the user before they forget.

Well it turns out that a few weeks later they launched Liking via SMS and supplied a number of small businesses stickers (above) to display on windows and around stores.

The interaction is simple, you just send the vanity URL name to 32665. This immediately adds the businesses/brand/etc to your list of Likes, you can then go on to subscribe to SMS updates from that business too.

What’s interesting here is that Facebook chose to use SMS, whilst Google went with QR codes in a similar strategy.

However where they differ is that the Facebook Like doesn’t just apply to businesses and it can pretty much go on anything – print, digital screens, radio – you name it.

Strangely, I’ve yet to see any brands utilise this or any buzz, not sure if it’s slipped under many people radars but it’s a huge opportunity to do cool stuff.

Facebook has SMS truely integrated into the service,  few weeks ago I signed up for Facebook SMS services just to take a look, and I have to say it’s so well thought out and brilliantly executed.

You can pretty much do all the core things on Facebook via SMS, add friends, reply to comments, send messages etc.

There never seems to be much fuss about Facebook SMS but its definitely one of their greatest achievements considering the complexities of launching it across the globe.

Give it a go, try the example in the image above. They even sign you up to the service via SMS so you don’t have to mess around online to activate!

  • http://blog.the-bods.co.uk David Boddington

    I missed this one too, but have just signed up now.

    A couple of things strike me immediately:

    1. It’s free (or at least not premium). So notifications are sent at a cost to FB…

    2. The have a non-standard shortcode. It is a measure of FBs clout that they secure a shortcode outside of the 6XXXX, 7XXXX and 8XXXX range, using 32665 instead (FBOOK in US-typical phone number speak)

    The sign-up process was nice and smooth and the range of capabilities and configurability look good too.

    You mention Google’s use of QR so it is good to see that FB look as wide as possible – allowing anyone with a phone rather than just those that can and do have a barcode reader…


    • Murat

      You could also link experiences too right?

      So create a shortcode for yourself with a call-to-action such as ‘Text-to-like us on Facebook and get a chance to win a car’. The user sends in there name/address/whatever, you take that info and use their MSISDN and forward a message to Facebook from them.

      Getting a ‘like’ and a new customer!

  • http://www.thirdscreen.com.au Simb

    Thanks for this, not sure whether this has been launched anywhere else in the world? I think its great that FB is using its ‘like’ as a means to interact with the physical world, I think this holds huge potential into the future. However I do think the QR implementation is a slightly better way to interact? It is a little easier than sending an SMS and the code is a little more inticing thatn the above sign. See here for the comparison – http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/18/likify-qr-code/

    • Murat

      I think that shortcode works in a number of countries right now, have you tried it in Aus?

      Personally I think QR codes is definitely a more inferior way to like, especially considering the authentication process, the average scenerio could be

      See code > Open QR Code Reader – Take Picture > Get Taken To Link > Log-in Prompt For Facebook > Like

      However SMS is

      See Code > Send SMS > Like

      And one thing to remember is that you can get really smart with the SMS stuff. For example lets say you want consumers to Like something but you also want them to sign up for newsletters or enter a competition, you can do all that from just one inbound SMS. You can link experiences by creating your own shortcode and forwarding the users number to the Facebook one. That way you don’t lose that MSISDN to Facebook (warning the user first of course)

      Facebook covers a huge demographic and QR codes are still relatively unknown with normal consumers that’s why I think text-to-like offers much more.

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