Most retailers, and other selling services, look to drive traffic in-store, to their mobile app, or to their website. But why not engage your customers where they already are, on social networks and media platforms like Facebook and The New York Times. Mobile allows you to do this.

Facebook’s F8 announcements today put forward new tools to do just that.

This is the notion of “borrowing mobile moments” that we talk about in our new book, The Mobile Mind Shift. For brands that don’t already own their customer’s mobile moments or can’t manufacture mobile moments effectively, third parties like Facebook, with large audiences and minutes of use, can offer instantaneous engagement. It’s highly contextual and offers a great mechanic to engage with your customers – where they are and where they want to be.

Facebook has driven 350M app installs through their mobile platform. For those of you looking to generate revenue, 60% of the top grossing ads use Mobile App Ads. (Source: Facebook’s Ime Archibong)

One quick case study:

 “Facetune” – tweak and tune photos before you share

#283 to #2 in under 5 days in the US with $500 in marketing budget

#1 in 78 different countries (now in 94 countries they are the #1 slot)

You want to increase the engagement in your mobile app

One solution – and the most common – is to drive engagement in your app directly through push notifications.

Consider how you can use this notion to drive engagement. What about a storing a coupon directly into a wallet or iOS Passbook? What about completing a reservation or purchasing a ticket and putting it directly into Passbook? Borrowing mobile moments isn’t limited to Marketers – it can also be for eBusiness professionals.  (Still confirming, but hopefully their AppLinks will do this.)

Facebook is able to drive usage through their “Engagement Ads” – target folks based on likes, in-app events (events happening in your app – unique to your events in your app), etc. within the FB app. The Engagement Ads have buttons that enable immediate engagement. 

Two examples:

1) Beats Music – can put a “Listen Now” button in FB. You can drive direct engagement in your app from FB.

2) YPlan – ran an ad for a Rooftop party in SF – with a “Book Now” button within the FB app. They achieved 20% increase in paid bookings and a 215% return on investment (mobile ad engagement ad product).

Facebook reaffirmed its focus today on creating a stable platform for mobile app developers. For a company that has gone from generating 0% of its revenue to 59% in two years, they offer phenomenal credibility.