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Facebook and Social Commerce

October 13, 2011

There are currently many different merchants who are experimenting with Facebook as a means for them to make money. They includes Best Buy, Home Depot and Levis Jeans. But this may not necessarily mean that Facebook is going to be the next big online commerce platform. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article where the author talked about how many social media technology vendors found little benefit from using Facebook. The article goes on to state that Facebook’s click through and conversion rates are much lower then those of more traditional methods such as email marketing. This could be due to the fact that people who log onto Facebook are often not looking to make purchases as the article Wall Street Journal article suggests.

However, it is the opinion of many who are versed in the world of social media e-commerce that this may not be entirely true. Often Facebook pages of companies are not set up to utilize the potential that Facebook offers its users. A Webtrends study by Dennis Yu and Hope Frank lists ten common shortcomings with Facebook pages. Some of the points they mention are not having enough fans, having the wrong kind of fans and having a dead fan base. When a Facebook page only has 100 fans and you consider the low conversion rates it is unlikely your sales will be what you are aiming for. Increasing your fan base and making sure they are the right type of people for your company are both necessary. If people have joined your page merely because they are interested in the contest you are holding then it is unlikely they will become paying customers. Using analytics to see how active your fan base is will also give an idea of how you are doing. Impressions and feedback per post are pertinent statistics that can give a measure of how active or “alive” your fan base is.

Facebook has set up a page that contains tools needed by companies to ensure that they are getting the most out of their Facebook experience. Its three main sections are: managing your budget, deepening your relationships and reach your target customers. There are also testimonials and a contact the Facebook Advertising team tab. Definitely a must visit if you are marketing on Facebook!

 

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