Monday, April 25, 2011

Facebook Commerce Blog Revision

The idea of Facebook commerce is becoming a new trend. Companies like Wal-Mart are jumping on the bandwagon. It is helping to promote and also allowing large companies to interact with their customers like never before.The number of shoppers from Facebook adding products to a cart is 3X the average.

But information regarding facebook commerce is not always positive. There are very little success stories as of now because of how new the idea really is. Facebook’s storefront also does not allow transactions within Facebook either which also makes things difficult for businesses.

Three examples of businesses that are using Facebook commerce to today are, Livescribe, and Ettitude. Facebook Commerce is more than just another Facebook page, vice president of partnerships and platform marketing at Facebook Dan Rose says, “We now have a direct link between sharing on Facebook and revenue generation at e-commerce sites.” When thinking of Facebook Commerce like this, it is clear as to why this idea for a popular business might successfully work.

 I came across an article in the Business Insider regarding this topic and it contained tips on "How to Make More E-Commerce Money with Facebook." I am on Facebook and use it all the time so I decided to rate these tips by Cathy Halligan by applying the tips to myself.

1. “Deliver on the fundamentals of commerce.”
             (Common sense) Ettitude did just this and their sales increased dramatically. But by delivering the fundamentals of commerce on Facebook Commerce, Ettitude was able to display inventory on their own personal website and within the world of social media as well.

2. “Facebook ads are not great.”
            I agree 100% percent. When I am on Facebook interacting with my friends and family, I hardly ever notice the ads on the side of my site, and if I do I never click on them because I am not interested in learning about a random product advertisement on MY page. But there are different ways to advertise using Facebook Commerce. Managing Director from Ettitude Phoebe Yu says, “You can update [the storefront] frequently, and if your content is interesting, people will ‘Like’ it or share it… you can’t send out newsletters that frequently — that will annoy people.”

3. “You can do traditional marketing but that’s not enough.”
            I think giving customers early access to new products is a great idea. This gives people a reason to add you to their facebook. It’s exciting rather than just advertising and marketing companies everyday products.

4. “Engage your customers.”
            To me this is the most important tip of them all. Having real conversations on Facebook with your customers is building a relationship. Owner of BabyAndMeGifts, Jacquelyn Myer posts her most popular items on her Facebook page, and even places several deals particular items contain if people buy an item by clicking the link on their Facebook page. This is engaging customers to use her companies Facebook Commerce page to buy merchandise because of the several deals each item contains on Facebook.

5. “Have great content and the best content is user generated”
            Actually listening to you customer’s comments, and keeping track of how many people like certain products is a great idea. This allows companies to really review what are the most popular products are and vice versa. It gives large businesses the inside scoop. Having a Facebook page is a great way to do this, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says, "you have to be where customers want to buy." By creating a Facebook Commerce page, a company is allowing themselves a platform to place the great content they create while Facebook allows their content to be user generated.

6. “Integrate Facebook into your site.”
 Livescribe integrated Facebook into their site by rebranding their Facebook page after releasing their new audio-recording smart pen. By letting your customers interact with a company’s facebook page, they are actually doing the advertising for the company. This is because now everyone they are friends with can see what they commented or liked on the companies page. Livescribe successfully advertised their audio-recording smart pen by simply opening up a Facebook Commerce site. Livescribe’s Senior Marketing Manager Brett Kaufman reaffirms my explanation by explaining, “Allowing fans to ‘Like,’ share or tweet their interest in a certain product has helped us distribute our message to even more consumers. Allowing our fans to interact with our products within Facebook before purchasing has made a big impact.”

7. “Most important experiment”
Another common sense piece of advice and not the most important to me. 

When used correctly, Facebook Commerce is an amazing tool for companies to increase sales. doubled in revenue in two weeks after adding the Facebook like button, and American Eagle’s Facebook users spent 57 percent more than average by simply using Facebook Commerce.

When asked about Facebook commerce Myer’s from BabyAndMeGifts says, “It is a great way to stay in front of customers. I believe it has been as effective as e-mail marketing for”  Facebook Commerce is free for businesses to set up, and only offers benefits from its use.

But others argue and say that Facebook Commerce is pulling traffic away from companies websites by only leading them to their Facebook Commerce page. But I disagree this is a negative outcome, Facebook is just another way to engage customers and advertise a store or business. I don’t believe that people will no longer visit a companies website, especially since Facebook does not offer anywhere for customer’s to purchase merchandise from the site itself.

However online traffic of visitors within a company’s specific webpage should be monitored just in case this is happening. This idea should not be ignored simply because Facebook Commerce does not offer Customers the chance to purchase items. Social Media metrics is always important. CEO from ecommerce also explains, "all companies are working with Facebook to sell more things on Facebook and do customer support." If Facebook does begin to sell merchandise from its site then companies could begin to worry.

What do you think of these tips? Do you agree or disagree with my opinions.

Photo from On Ideas

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Engaging One Last Time

It’s about that time again, time to discuss some chapters in the book Engage. This week I will discuss chapters 19-23.

We have now reached the end of the book; even though all the topics are “new” the ideas are essentially the same. Here are some short but sweet points from these chapters.

This time chapter 20 opened by explaining the importance and significance of linking items on a webpage. Brian Solis calls this “the human network.” Solis also says an “inbound network represents the individuals who respond to us publicly and the outbound network is representative of those to whom we reply.”

The most important topic I noted in chapter 21 was that your brand cannot flourish unless you have a “human emotional connection” with others. This makes sense in a lot of ways, it's like trying to get donations, you must pull at peoples heart strings to really get that donation.

Last but not least, in the long run all that matters is what others are saying about your brand not what you say about it! So remember this if your thinking about creating a social media presence for your brand!

photo from Pierce Mattie PR NY


While stumbling this weekend I came across a website I am unfamiliar with. Because I thought it was pretty cool I decided to write this weeks blog post over the specific website. The website is called Bebo and it's a social networking site that allows users to share pretty much anything. It has almost all of the capabilities both Myspace and Facebook provide but with additional features!
Bebo allows users to customize the background of their page, add music and videos the user is interested in, add pictures, and comment on friend’s posts. Bebo users can also blog, play games and share information about themselves! Users can even generate questionnaires, or polls to share with their friends. Like most forms of social media you can choose to make your profile private or public, and can send personal messages to anyone you would like.
Bebo is an acronym meaning blog early, bog often and was launched in 2005.
This website seemed pretty interesting to me and I was surprised that I had never heard of it before. I believe the reason why I have not heard of it before might be because Bebo users are quite young.
I will have to look into this social networking website some more, and maybe one day I will even make myself a Bebo account

Picture from Media Explored

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Time For Some More Groundswell

This week's reading was over chapters 12-18 in Engage.

The first topic I found interesting was over real-time Internet searches. Real-time web helps users during searches to find the most recent and relevant information that is currently available. It is helping people save time and captivating their attention one detailed search at a time. 

Brian Solis explains this as "real-time web serves as a telltale source for trends and represents a leading indicator for any topic related to your interests or business." Now that's pretty cool!

Solis also talks about the evolution of media and communication in chapter 15 calling it, "perpetual and timeless." Social media is a very influential tool for business’ it can be a huge help but also show a lot of a company’s flaws because people can make their own decisions on your own page. 

People will make judgments based upon what other people are saying on your own personal page as well. It is important for a company to be monitoring these things. Brian Solis says, "Transformation begins with observation."

Solis even recommends creating a social media handbook for your business with a list of guidelines and rules.  If a company does these things monitoring and being careful about how their social media is being run, then they are successfully using this tool. 

In reality what you say about your own company is not the only thing that matters in the world of social media. What others are saying is just as important, if not more important! People have conversations and listen to word of mouth more than a statement directly from a brand. So it is imperative for companies to be actively listening and observing!

"Active listening resulting information engagement plants seeds that flourish into meaningful conversations and relationships."

Photo from Changes in the Languages of the Web

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Adventures of YouTube

Rebecca Black is so 2 weeks ago! There’s a new YouTube sensation that’s taken over the web, and it features 2 boys who can’t even pronounce a word yet!

Last week a video of twin boys having an adorable conversation together took YouTube by storm. It started off with the boys parents first adding it to YouTube to show their family and then escalated from there!

It’s amazing how fast a video on YouTube can become popular! With 14,138,780 views and counting, these boys have become famous! Late night talk shows have shown clips and people are sharing the video left and right.

Not only is YouTube a great way to become famous over night, but it can also help to spread an important message. It might be useful for the government to look into using YouTube in times of crisis. A video on YouTube might become viral quicker than if the president where to send a message out on TV! That’s crazy to think about.

These twins are famous, and they don’t even know it! Now if only we knew exactly what these two adorable babies were talking about!

See for yourself. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Communicating With Your Audience

This week our class read chapters 6-12 of Engage by Brian Solis. In these chapters Solis shares new information but by tying it in with information we have learned from previously read chapters.

If a brand creates a social media account for their company it is imperative that the company focuses on gaining an audience in an effective and personal way, and then hold that attention for as long as possible. Without keeping the audience having a social media account for a business is worthless.

Social media allows users to connect with almost everyone, but this is not as easy as it sounds. “Everything requires promoting through consistent and vigorous acts of connecting profiles and pages.” If a business is using social media they need to be constantly involved and updating their site.

Brian Solis says using groups seems to be extremely effective in helping your audience to connect with your product or company. Micronetworks like Twitter is an easy way to do this. Brands can share information with large groups of people quick and efficiently.

Solis also explains how apps can be extremely effective for broadening network communities.  I have never heard of a company using apps but after reading more about this, it seemed like a very compelling idea!

Solis explains again and again how a conversation with your audience is the most important key to having a successful social media presence! However, in order to gain an audience tags and headlines are a great way to make your page and information visible to the huge online presence today.

I was surprised to hear that “less is more” regarding social media. Whether that means a brand creates multiple small accounts or not, this is important. Solis says ask yourself, “who do you want to be as defined by different groups of people with whom you wish to connect over time.”

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Power of Social Media

While checking out websites online, I came across an article by Michael Sebastian titled Mobile Marketing. This article contained several interesting statistics regarding social media and other forms of communication.

I discovered there are 4 billion mobile phones currently used in the World today. More than likely, this number will only continue to grow. Out of these 4 billion cellphones worldwide, 1.08 billion are smartphones, which means the users phone contains Internet.

This number is so significant because it shows how easily getting to different forms of social media is!

Americans spend 2.7 hours a day socializing on their phones. That’s twice the amount of time Americans spend eating!

Over 1/3 of Facebook’s 600 million users use Facebook Mobile, and out of Twitter’s 165 million users, 50% use Twitter mobile. These statistics show PR professionals how important it is to have some form of social media for their business!

This article is proof that today people world wide are constantly using social media to get their news and communicate so get out there and join!

Photo from The Nonprofit Quarterly