Articles in the Facebook Category

May 9 2011

Will Facebook Become the New Online Shopping Mall?

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It seems that Facebook is getting in on all the action nowadays. They received more visits than Google in 2010, according to TechCrunch and they have there own movie. They may soon add being a top shopping site to their list of achievements.

Last year I wrote a blog about JCPenney launching an ecommerce store on Facebook. In a nutshell, visitors could like, share or purchase products without leaving the Facebook site. Since then, other retailers have joined JCPenney. It may not seem like a big deal, but this could be the start of a growing trend. Remember Facebook pages? Only a few companies had Facebook pages in the beginning and now many companies, big and small have them.

The second half of the shopping puzzle is consumer purchasing trends. Will people feel comfortable making purchases on Facebook for a brand name product they want? It seems that retailers think the answer is yes. Some retailers feel that consumers are more likely to buy a product or service if it comes to them rather than vice versa. According to Direct Marketing News, Jim Wright, Express’ SVP of CRM and e-commerce says, “We need to be where customers are having their experiences and sharing information. We need to take down the barriers preventing a shopping experience.”

The thought here is to not interrupt the environment of Facebook users, but rather engage them to purchase while they are in their Facebook setting, communicating with family and friends. Think about it, if someone goes to a company site on Facebook they might just browse their inventory. Instead of leaving Facebook or opening up another window or tab they could whip out their credit card and make a purchase.

In the end, revenue will decide if companies will continue to pursue and develop shopping capabilities within Facebook. There may come a time that someone says, “I’m going shopping at the Facebook mall.” The only question left to ask is Will your company be located in the Facebook mall?

April 29 2011

Facebook Launches Social Deals

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Facebook has entered the daily deal online market with its recent launch of “Social Deals” to compete against daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social. In the past, Facebook originally rolled-out “Facebook Deals” to offer deals to its users when they “checked-in” to places. “Check-in deals” has replaced Facebook Deals and is directed toward both national and local businesses, whereas the new “Social Deals” focuses on bringing the online social experience into the real-world by focusing more on local businesses. The goal is to keep deals more social with events and classes in users’ local areas than traditional daily deals like tanning or massages.

Facebook Social Deals are different than other daily deal competitor sites because they must be purchased up front using Facebook Credits. What are Facebook Credits, you ask? According to Facebook, they are a virtual currency you can use to buy virtual goods in many games and apps on Facebook.

One major difference between Facebook’s Social Deals and other daily deal sites is that deals will not always involve a discount.  Daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social have become leaders in the industry by advertising their 50 to 90 percent discounts. Unlike most traditional daily deal competitors, the merchants will also be permitted to set caps on the maximum number of deal vouchers that can be purchased.

Also, merchants will be required to have a Facebook Page before they are allowed to participate in the deals program. By requiring merchants to have a Facebook Page before engaging in Social Deals, the network is pushing businesses to be able to reach out to Social Deals buyers for repeat business after the first social interaction.

Social Deals is currently only open to five cities: Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco.

See below for a snapshot of Facebook Social Deals:

April 28 2011

Do You Like Facebook’s Send Button…?

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First there was the “Share” button, which was then replaced by the “Like” button, now Facebook has added the “Send” button. The Send button is a new feature Facebook is hoping will be the next trend in sharing and a counter-part to the Like button.

The idea behind this Send button feature is to allow users the ability to share content with selected friends, and not spill the beans with the entire network.

As opposed to the extremely trendy Like button, Facebook’s new Send button gives users a level of privacy and convenience. Users will find that when they use the Send button there will be fewer required steps. Also, users will not need to look up email addresses of those they are sending too; instead, the feature will offer “auto-suggesting” for friends and Groups. Thus, as a user, you can kick-back and send content with only members you have approved to see.

Adding the Send Button to Your Website:

You can easily add the Send button to any existing Like buttons on your website, or you can add it as a standalone feature.

– If you are currently using the XFBML Like button, just include the send=”true” attribute in the code and you will create the combined Like and Send button.

– If you are using the iFrame version of the Like button will need to upgrade to XFBML to display a Send button.

 

You can generate the <a href= “http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like/“> Like and Send button here</a>, or you can use the following code to create the combined

Send button:

<div id=”fb-root”></div>
<script src=”http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1″></script>
<fb:like href=”example.com” show_faces=”true” width=”450″ send=”true”>
</fb:like>

Developers can add a standalone Send button with the following code:

<div id=”fb-root”></div>
<script src=”http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1″></script>
<fb:send href=”example.com”></fb:send>

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