The Swedish software company 3L System Group has acquired California-based Pagenator LLC, a company that has built software enabling the automatic production of social media fan pages at high volumes. This deal enables 3L to offer directory publishers the ability to get any or all of their customers up and running on Facebook quickly, complete with a map and Twitter feed.
The broader implication, according to 3L, is that publishers can treat Facebook as another, perhaps easier, path for establishing a sticky online presence for their small business customers. SMBs can use the fan pages to connect with customers, learn more about their preferences and push targeted offers to them.
Once the fan pages are built, publishers can choose to organize them into local directories that reside on Facebook as another way to drive leads to their customers.
“This [Facebook presence] may be more valuable than being online [with a website], because you are not competing with Google,” said 3L CEO Joakim Richter. Facebook has recently passed the 500 million user threshold, and its engagement figures are enviable, with members typically spending more than 2 hours a day on the social networking site.
The Pagenator acquisition signals a shift for 3L, which will continue to offer its Core directory publishing system (clients include Eniro and Local Insight Media). However, Richter told us last week that the Pagenator acquisition opens up a new opportunity to help directory publishers develop an online strategy that requires little effort or investment to launch.
“This is very similar to selling an ad, and it is easily adapted to the sales force,” Richter told us. “It is also not cannibalistic. It is pure new revenue.”
One of the key features of the Pagenator process is that in in the same process that develops the the fan page, the system also generates microsites (landing pages), smart phone ready microsites and rich media ads.
Jeff Whitehead, Pagenator’s founder, has now joined 3L as its head of product area-social media. One of his most interesting Pagenator projects, pre-3L, was helping create the social media application for Tweak Footwear, a new shoe company that was built entirely on social media, including soliciting design ideas from its Facebook fans.
Whitehead will be speaking at BIA/Kelsey’s Directional Media Strategies 2010 conference, Sept. 14-16, in Dallas, on the panel, “Web Sites: The Basic Listings of the 2010s?” The panel takes place on the event’s second day.