There’s been a whisper in the air that Facebook could be a formidable foe to Google, but few have dared to believe that rumor. For most, Facebook is a social network where friends meet to chat, online games are played, businesses build relationships with customers, and where a few successfully use ads to lure Facebookers off the site to buy or sample a product or a service. However, many forgot about Facebook’s versatility, except for a few businesses who are putting Facebook’s capabilities to the test.
Most businesses have used Facebook for the basics, such as the ability to offer coupons, hold contests or get customer feedback on a project, but JCPenney took it a step further. They are using Facebook’s flexibility to their advantage. According to Direct Marketing News, JCPenney recently launched an ecommerce store on Facebook.
The beauty is that a Facebooker never has to leave Facebook to purchase JCPenney products. They can chat online with friends, while browsing through JCPenney’s inventory.
Even better is that there is a share button, which acts like an instant word of mouth.
This could work out great around the holidays, for birthdays and any occasion that requires a gift. Instead of people having to describe the apparel or items that they want, they can simply hit the share button and add a comment that says, “This would make a great present, hint, hint.” In fact, another Facebooker could purchase the product without every leaving Facebook.
JCPenney has tapped into a newer realm on Facebook and many businesses will probably follow their lead. Ecommerce as well as lead generation sites can create calls to action that allow Facebookers to interact with their business without leaving Facebook. Plus Facebookers can share the lead generation form or the product with their friends. So for those who think Facebook is just for social networking, don’t count them out just yet. They may have a lot more to offer than you realize.
Everyone likes to get incentives for following through on an action. Think about it, how many times have you signed up for a newsletter or given a company your e-mail address in order to get a discount or a particular item in return. The world of social media is no different. Many companies lure in customers with special offers on social media sites.
Social media sites are the new place to hand out incentives in order to reach more potential customers. In fact, many companies offer incentives that can only be accessed through social media sites. Take the Cheesecake Factory for example. July 30th was National Cheesecake day and every slice of cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory was being sold for half price. However, The Cheesecake Factory decided to sweeten the pot even more. On July 29th only, if a Facebooker clicked the Cheesecake Factory “like” button they would receive a coupon to buy a slice of cheesecake for $1.50.
This was a great incentive for consumers, but the Cheesecake Factory also benefitted. When a Facebooker clicked the “like” button on the Cheesecake Factory Facebook page, they were notified that their information would be accessible by the Cheesecake Factory. They were asked if they consented to their information being captured. If they said yes, they were taken to $1.50 coupon. In return for the $1.50 coupon, the Cheesecake Factory received a lot of fan “likes” that day, but they also were given access to information about the people who “liked” their page. For those who clicked the “like” button, they’ll continually receive notifications and updates from the Cheesecake Factory in their status section.
The Cheesecake Factory is not the only company to capitalize on the friendliness of the “Facebook” network. Einstein and others have run promotions that encourage Facebookers to fan or “like” a page in order to receive an incentive. If a company creates the right strategy, then they too can benefit from offering potential customers incentives on Facebook.