Recently Skype has participated in several technology sharing activities with Facebook: Facebook Video Calls, Facebook Chat sessions through the Skype client, a Facebook news feed on the Skype client home page and most recently video calls from the Skype client to your Facebook Friends.
However, until now Skype has been somewhat weak on using Facebook for social networking’s real power – user engagement. Even so over 5,000,000 Facebook users had “Liked” Skype’s Facebook site.
Three weeks ago Skype launched its new Facebook Fan Pages site with a focus on building user engagement. According to Jennifer Caulkin, Skype’s Social Networking Manager,
“We revamped the Skype page on Facebook because its about engagement with our fans. We want to give them compelling content, access to product information, the latest Skype download, exclusive deals, unique promotions and fun stuff.”
One of Skype’s marketing challenges is to make users more aware of Skype’s broad feature set beyond basic voice and video calling. Skype’s Facebook page is one step in this direction with its focus on allowing users to more readily learn about these activities, experience some Skype features and provide feedback.
Several new tabs have been added (click on”More” to see all tabs). For instance, Skype and Facebook provides a promotional video about using Facebook from the most recent versions of the Skype for Windows/Mac clients. “Stellar Deals” describes a few “bundle” packages involving hardware and Skype calling plan subscriptions. (However, would be more useful to have these specials offered beyond the U.S.)
Say It With Skype provides a way to experience Skype Group Video calling by using Skype Group Video to send a birthday greeting. More on this in a post to follow.
Much of Skype’s Facebook site is promotional, encouraging use of services, purchases and having fun. However, here’s where the reality hits the fan: the Facebook Support tab is one channel for entering issues with using Skype. When an entry is made onto the Support tab it is immediately also copied over to Skype’s new Community Forum for a response. Replies posted to the item in the Community Forum are then also copied back to the Facebook Support page. Click on the tabs below to see how one entry is mirrored on the two support venues.
Basically the Community Forum mirrors any entries on the Facebook Support page where Skype personnel and Community Forum members can respond to an issue.
Eventually it will also be possible to post Replies directly onto the Facebook Support page; however, due to a recent change in Facebook’s requirements for Fan Pages, Skype is working on the adjustment required to adhere to Facebook’s new policy re Fan Page security.
Bottom line: many businesses are feeling their way to determine how Facebook’s Fan Pages can be used for user engagement and as a marketing tool. While there is certainly going to be a lot of self-promotion, providing opportunities for customer participation or user feedback is critical to maintaining the integrity and credibility of Facebook Fan Pages and, most importantly, repeat visits. Only time will tell how successful Skype can be with their Facebook presence but at least there is now a concerted focus on engaging users through social networking activities.
- Skype Now Using “@SkypeSupport” on Twitter (disruptivetelephony.com)