In 2018 we started our collaboration with Føroya Tele to implement a proximity city app named Sona in Faroe Islands. Sona is based on Zoniz proximity platform and this engagement tool allowed institutions and businesses to connect to citizens and tourists and build a real community.
Faroe Islands is a small archipelago in the North Atlantic where about 50.000 citizens live and 200.000 tourists visit. After one year of implementation, Sona had 35.000 users all driven by word of mouth advertising. Among these, 30.000 where citizens and 5.000 tourists.
Føroya Tele were looking to replace their initial golden pages app (Nummar) with an app through which they could connect to people. They were also interested in offering extra marketing services to their clients. Therefore, we have created the new Sona app, based on Zoniz core functionality, to which we have added integrations of various systems to make it more attractive.
Next, we set up GPS areas and beacons covering the islands and Føroya Tele added content and involved institutions and businesses with new campaigns and offers.
Users could find a calendar in the app with all the important events on the islands. Festivals used Sona as well to promote their activities and create contests. During football championships people could answer polls before every match about who they think will be the winner. They could also follow team rankings and live scores. Gas stations had created loyalty campaigns and restaurants offered vouchers to attract customers. The app also featured all the important points of interest on the islands. They could be accessed as an info campaign that displays a short history about each one.
As an extra feature we have integrated the events platform Whatson, bus schedules and live tracking, Yellow pages services, Sprotin dictionary to translate Faroese into English, a weather feature and Augmented Reality content.
Word of mouth advertising
Føroya Tele included municipalities, public institutions, organizations and businesses into this project to create valuable content on the app. People started receiving notifications with engagement campaigns on their phone, based on their location. Using proximity technology, citizens and tourists could see all the points of interest, offers, projects and events on the islands in just one app.
Sona became popular only by word of mouth advertising. In the first 3 months after the release, there were already 9.900 users who downloaded the app with 11% of these being daily users.
There were a lot of reasons for people to stay in touch on the app, because the content was useful and engaging. At the same time, for the municipality, cultural institutions and restaurants it was an easy way to reach people, communicate and get important feedback from them.
There were a few campaigns that contributed to spreading the word about Sona. One contest offered an iPhone X as a prize and in 2 weeks there was a 43% participation rate. G! Festival held a contest in which participants could win a 4 day festival pass. In 11 days there was a 74% participation rate. During the FIFA World Cup, there were 64 polls in total and about 1200 unique engagements for each match. Cadbury organized an egg hunt on Easter which had a 57% participation rate. During Christmas the app offered a series of Advent scratch off tickets that drew in over 1000 participants daily. Also, one restaurant voucher for free drinks had 37% participants.
Each smart city project created on Zoniz proximity platform can be unique because of all the customization options, different functionalities and integrations that are possible. Involving institutions and businesses helps adding better content that creates new experiences for people and drives citizen engagement. Sona app has been launched in March 2018 and we are still adding new functionalities each month. Today, 70% of inhabitants in Faroe Islands are using Sona.