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Will more Facebook integrated iPhones in the hands of consumers be the turn around the social network needs and enable more efficient marketing on the platform?
Virgin Mobile has announced the roll out of a prepaid, no-contract iPhone line up later this month, following on the lead by Leap Wireless. While the initial outlay may be too much for some at $400 to $649 for the phone, significant overall savings and another alternative for AT&T haters could seriously boost market penetration.
While "Facebook for kids" and Airtime seem to have been about as beneficial to Facebook's success as the IPO, the integration delivered via the new iOS 6 and soon for OS X Mountain Lion could be just what was needed to bring Mark Zuckerberg's fortune back to life.
Facebook has been slammed for the absence of a solid mobile strategy but this could be the surprise secret weapon that makes all the difference. The constant integration and more iPhones in use could well significantly boost social networking as well as improve marketing opportunities and advertising effectiveness for businesses.
Constantly connected accounts are expected to make things a lot easier for app developers as well as bolstering marketing results. However, with new concerns about the future of mobile data availability and the challenges associated with prepaid smartphone customers keeping their phone lines always on, timing will become more critical and make a huge difference in maximizing marketing ROI.
So what's the bottom line for business owners? Keep marketing on Facebook, especially with crossover campaigns with solid business phone numbers, backed by flexible toll free services, though don't underestimate the need to jump on Google+ and to keep pushing better mobile app development. However, for most enterprises there is still a strong argument for maintaining an offline marketing presence as well.