Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Using Social Media to Provide Exclusive Deals to Consumers

November 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Oscar de la Renta Perfume Ring

More and more company’s are using Facebook as a way to sell their products to consumers. Oscar de la Renta’s Facebook page is offering a $65 flower perfume ring exclusively on its Facebook page to the company’s fans. This is a unique shopping exclusive and picked up some buzz this morning from sites like Mashable and Forbes.

Many of the brands I like on Facebook have areas on their pages where you can shop directly on a shopping tab. Two examples of companies providing shopping capabilities on their pages are Banana Republic and Express. Express also offers an online version of their catalog on their Facebook page.

Companies have been using social media as a way to communicate directly to consumers and to create a community. Many retailers also offer exclusive deals and offers to fans or followers, which is another great way to build a community around a social media page. Offering not just the capability to shop but offering exclusive items online is a great way to target consumers that are highly engaged in the brand and may be more likely to be excited about this type of offer. Exclusive offers on social media can increase not only the sense of community around a brand, but also move that brand liking into the possibility of sales for the company.

However, according to many companies are losing money on these initiatives because of the costs to create a unique Facebook shopping app. As the cost of producing these application begins to decrease however, this trend is expected to reverse. Brands like Oscar de la Renta will be some of the first to see if this sort of social media e-commerce can be used effectively and be profitable.


Facebook: The New Groupon? By Marissa Gladstone

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

You have probably heard that today, Facebook announced its launch of Facebook coupons. What does this mean for us as consumers and what does this mean for other coupon providers, namely, Groupon?

As we know, Facebook is a powerhouse. It has access to all our personal information and therefore has the ability to specifically target us with advertising and coupons that affect us, individually. Groupon, Living Social and others similar sites do not have such a luxury. They rely on us willingly providing our emails for the sole purpose of getting these coupons. This automatically eliminates people who don’t have the time, interest or energy to think about coupons. Facebook has already bypassed this step. Since companies know the amount of access that Facebook has to potential customers, will they abandon their current coupon companies and instead offer coupons exclusively through Facebook?

Well, that would seem to make the most sense. Why rely on companies that can only access customers that are actively looking for deals — those who have actually given their email addresses? Instead, why not specifically target customers who haven’t willingly given their email addresses for the sake of getting coupons, but are merely yet another Facebook user? This is a much larger customer base — more receptive and more accessible.

I’m excited and curious to see what is to come with Facebook coupons — mostly eager to see how Groupon and similar companies will stay alive. I believe they will; either because they were the originators or because Facebook coupons will be in such high demand that companies won’t even have access through this new provider.

Is tweeting good for the soul?

March 24, 2011 1 comment

What’s so great about Twitter? This platform turns the idea of communicating with the people who created Kung Fu Panda (for example) into a reality.

There’s always that person who lives on Twitter, tweeting “good morning” to their favorite celebrities, tweeting throughout the day about what they had for breakfast, lunch and dinner and who (God forbid) was torn away from their smart phone for a moment would either a) freak out or b) tweet secretly as to not draw too much attention to others, or won’t care what other people say and tweet WHILE spending time with others.

Addicted much…

Technology is becoming a necessary part of everyone’s lives and has vastly changed their behaviors. As of last year, 55 percent of American adults used the Internet every day. Most people with access to the Internet are part of a social network community. More than 500 million people are active users on Facebook and 50 percent of these active users log on to Facebook on a given day.

There’s this constant need for people to stay connected and engaged with others and while Facebook is extremely useful for staying in touch with friends, reconnecting with old friends, lovers, and family members, it can be just as lethal as it is useful. According to Sarah Perez of ReadWriteWeb, 32 percent of online teenagers have experienced cyberbullying. Over the past year alone, a number of suicides were linked to cyberbullying, including the incident with Phoebe Prince from western Massachusetts and Alexis Pilkington from Long Island.

Despite unfortunate cases, like cyberbullying, people are still engaged with technology and even prefer it to the more traditional counterparts. Many people and most business prefer using email to stay in touch with others opposed to the postal system (a.k.a. snail mail). Millions of people have an email address and it isn’t uncommon for people to have more than one email address these days.

Most of this is common knowledge and call for the “well, duh” reaction but what I’m pointing out is merely the fact that at one time, no one needed this or even utilized it to the levels that people use it today. Technology has many helpful features but its most important contribution to human life is that it’s facilitating evolution.

Technological innovations are happening constantly and it’s driven by human minds. It’s taking us to levels that were once unimaginable. Now the main question here is: how long will we be able to keep up with it before we burn out?

Sources and others:

Statistics – Facebook Press Room

More Cyberbullying on Facebook, Social Sites than Rest of Web – Sarah Perez, ReadWriteWeb

Mean Girls: Cyberbullying Blamed for Teen Suicides – Yunji De Nies, Susan Donaldson James & Sarah Netter, ABC News

Alexis Pilkington Brutally Cyber Bullied, Even After Her Suicide – CBS News

Stop Cyberbullying – Facebook

Email and webmail statistics – Mark Brownlow, Email Marketing Reports

How the World Spends Its Time Online – Visual Economics

Facebook Ads and Facebook Page 101

February 3, 2011 1 comment
The Wall Street Journal recently published the article How Much Does A Facebook Fan Cost? $1.07, provided some interesting statistics about Facebook Ads. Based on the research done by Webtrends, brands are paying $1.07 advertising cost for encouraging people becoming a fan on Facebook. Did you know that your “like” actually cost that much money? I’ve always thought the “like” is just a button that I can click. But, in fact, it’s a lot more complicated than that.
Brands use Facebook page rather than Facebook profile for a variety of reasons, and one reason is that having a Facebook page allows brands to place Facebook Ads on Facebook. A Facebook page is actually very different from a Facebook profile as a Facebook page is much more flexible than just a profile. Through a Facebook fan page, brands can update their news, communicate with their fans, create contest pages, provide coupons and use other kinds of promotion tactics. More importantly, a Facebook page provides insights. How detailed are the Facebook insights? They are VERY detailed.
There are two sections: users and interactions. The graph is a page insight overview. On the top right-side you can choose the time period to see the results, and the insight will show you how many new likes, lifetime likes, and monthly active users you have during the time period you’ve selected. It also shows you the interactions such as how many people view your posts and how many people post feedbacks. Well, that’s not it!
If you click the “See Details” beside Users or Interactions, you can see a the Daily Active User Breakdown (# of people view the posts, # of people post on the wall, # of people like the posts, and # of people leave a comment) with a graph provided. There’s also a graph just for New Likes (daily likes and daily unlikes), and provided with like sources (e.g., page, search, request). Then, there’s a demographic section: age, gender, countries, cities and languages. The last section in user details is Activity, which shows the page views, tab views and external referrers. In the interaction details, in addition to the # of post views and # of feedbacks, it provides the impression (# of views) of your every post and the feedback (in percentage). The insights are important for brands because then they are able to see the user’s demographic breakdowns and how their page is doing.
Facebook Ads is a way to drive traffic to the Facebook page, and it allows a brand to select its own target, from user demographics to user interests. The narrower the target is, the higher bid (higher cost) it would be. There’s two ways a brand can pay for the ads: one is to pay per impression (1000 views), and the other is to pay per click; pay per click would be more expensive than pay per impression, but then a brand only needs to pay when the ad gets a click (like). Depending on the purpose of the ad campaign, brands need to measure which one is more suitable/cost-effective for them.
However, does a “Like” or a fan essentially mean anything at all to the brand? Will the fans keep coming back to check the fan pages? Brands need to carefully monitor their Facebook page and insights. See 4 Common Mistakes Brands Make on Facebook.

A new way to shop: F-commerce

December 13, 2010 Leave a comment

As Facebook has grown over the last six years, it has become a significant part of over 500 million people’s lives. It has gone from social network to what Zuckerberg calls a “social utility”  – Facebook is more than a community, it is a hub of online activity (kind of reminds you a bit of AOL in the 90’s). In a 2007 interview with TIME, he stated: “What we’re trying to do is just make it really efficient for people to communicate, get information and share information. We always try to emphasize the utility component.”

Facebook has gone from the trading of virtual goods (a la Farmville, Mafia Wars and Cafe World) to a marketplace and connection to the purchase of real, tangible goods. As previously written, Starbucks has now made it possible to check the balance on a registered gift card, and even give a gift over Facebook (in the form of money on a gift card) to your friends. Facebook commerce (F-commerce), which has been best defined by Brian Solis, includes both the internal use of Custom Tabs within a Facebook fan page, utilizing FBML (Facebook Markup Language) and on external sites through the use of Open Graph. Pampers and sellers on Etsy have already taken advantage of the Custom Tab “store” options, as has Starbucks.

In early November of this year, Amazon made a move similar to Starbucks. Now, when purchasing a gift card through, a shopper has 4 gifting options: a mailed physical card, sending an e-mail, printing out at home, and finally, gifting via Facebook. Amazon uses Facebook’s Open Graph to broadcast this present to not just the recipient, but his or her friends.

Four different options are now available for sending a gift card

Amazon also does a great job of educating the customer about the process and the use of the user’s Facebook information.

Once signed into Facebook, a gift card can be designed. Customers can then type in a friend’s name in the “Facebook friend” box, which will auto populate, similar to Facebook’s search function. Additionally, a user can select the “See a list of my friends” link, which opens up a separate dialogue box. The default view shows your friends, sorted by their upcoming birthdays. This makes it pretty convenient to remember to buy a gift for a friend. The “sort by name” option lists your friends in alphabetical order (by first name). Gift cards can also be pre-ordered, up to a year in advance, making it easier to do bulk shopping.

This new form of commerce makes it easier to directly track the amount of revenue associated with an interaction. While not exactly the “value of a fan,” the exchange of real goods via Facebook is becoming more prevalent, proving the importance of the social network (and its wealth of personalized information) to companies, brands and marketers.

Measuring ROI within Social Media campaigns – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

October 24, 2010 Leave a comment

This year Proctor & Gamble’s Old Spice and the ad agency Weiden & Kennedy (W+K) received significant attention with their innovative integrated marketing campaign which started with tv broadcast spots and then moved into the social media space. Many hailed the creative effort, but some industry experts, including BrandWeek and Fast Company initially questioned the effectiveness of the campaign asking if it drove revenue. (Once updated figures were released, several publications quickly made corrections).

While there are many different ways for determining a campaign’s success (awareness, demand, increased likelihood to purchase), in most cases, Creative has to prove its value and that the work must positively contributed to the bottom line. W+K and P&G took great care in monitoring the Old Spice campaign in the digital form (views, tweets, unique page views and engagement) and in the form of a ringing register (sales, market share, share of voice). This enabled them to correlate the social media effort (as a part of the overall IMC strategy) with an increase in brand awareness, engagement, market share (both for body wash, and in a ripple effect, other Old Spice product categories), and finally and most importantly to the CFO – an increase in sales and revenue.

The video made by W +K (post below) is a great case study for not just a social media campaign, but also how an agency/marketing team can show how a campaign can effect the bottom line. The Old Spice campaign, with W + K’s help, has been able to do something rare in the industry today: combine memorable, outstanding creative with the almighty dollar.

In addition to the increase in market share and profits, the campaign has received accolades and awards, including an Emmy). The idea of the “Man your man could smell like” has even taken on meme status, and truly has gone viral, enough for even Sesame Street to notice.

Hopefully this creative success will lead to more innovative campaigns overall that are smart and resonate with the target audience, making just a bit more of all that communication clutter worth paying attention to.


Facebook & its ALWAYS Changing Privacy Settings

April 24, 2010 Leave a comment

So, I’ve been meaning to write something here for a long, LONG while. And today, I finally got some great inspiration for me to break my own EComm blogging ice.

Everyone that knows me know that I am an avid Facebook fan. Back in 2006, I had a broken computer and I used Facebook as my hard drive to save all of the pictures I had in that computer. Since then, more than 200 albums have been created, 3000+ photo tags, and 6000+ pictures have been uploaded, becoming my friends scrapbook-making a lot simpler.

That was 4 years ago, and since then Facebook has changed, obviously. But what has changed the most (other than the grandmas that want baby pictures creating accounts) is the privacy settings. I am (or was since Fan Pages are now likes) a fan of Facebook Bill of Rights and I am always on the look of new privacy settings  and new rules they invent to let marketers know a little more about us – because those happy birthday ads on my birthday were not a coincidence.

But today, when I logged to Facebook a lot of my friends had this as their status:

FACEBOOK is at it again…violating your personal information: As of today, there is a new privacy setting called “Instant Personalization” that shares data with non-facebook websites and it is automatically set to “Allow.” Go to Account > Privacy Settings > Applications and Websites and uncheck “Allow”. Please copy & repost!

But what is “Instant Personalization”? This is a copy of what it says:

Instant Personalization helps you connect more easily with your friends on select partner sites.

You’ll find a personal and social experience the moment you arrive on our select partner sites —, Pandora, and Yelp. We’re working closely with these partners so you can quickly connect with your friends and see relevant content on their sites. These sites personalize your experience using your public Facebook information.

When you arrive on these sites, you’ll see a notification from Facebook at the top of the page.

You can easily opt-out of experiencing this on these sites by “No Thanks” on the blue Facebook notification on the top of partner sites.

Allow select partners to instantly personalize their features with my public information when I first arrive on their websites.
Please keep in mind that if you opt out, your friends may still share public Facebook information about you to personalize their experience on these partner sites unless you block the application.
Well, thank you Facebook! I am pretty bothered by the ‘if friends use this partner sites (or third parties) can still access to your information’. But why? It’s not my fault that my friends like to take care of their farms on Farmville, or that they take EVERY quiz imaginable! Why should I be penalized by my friends’ lack of things to do during the day?
This made me go a little further and the New York Times published this yesterday. The first sentence gave me reasons to laugh: “founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company was removing restrictions on user data retention within Facebook applications.” Sure, for the people who create applications this is great news, but not us!
And that same article recommends you to remove some of the Applications you now don’t use, or that you’ve authorized without knowing. I also always block applications my friends use because I don’t care Which Disney Princess are you or When Will you get Married. Hey, every little bit helps.
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Son Sues Mother for Hacking his Facebook

April 9, 2010 Leave a comment

“Because the son is 16, he isn’t being named in the press, but we do know that his mother’s name is Denise New, and we know that she’s shocked about getting a lawsuit dropped on her after breaking into her son’s Facebook account and posting slanderous messages about him.  Here’s what she had to say to the Arkadelphia News upon hearing that she’s getting sued:

“You’re within your legal rights to monitor your child and to have a conversation with your child on Facebook whether it’s his account, or your account or whoever’s account.  It’s crazy to me that we’re even having this interview.”

So, what inspired Denise to break into her son’s Facebook account?  Well, she alleges that someone tipped her off about some untoward things her son had posted to his Facebook feed, and then she was off and running:

“I read things on his Facebook about how he had gone to Hot Springs one night and was driving 95 m.p.h. home because he was upset with a girl and it was his friend that called me and told me about all this that prompted me to even actually start really going through his Facebook to see what was going on.”

“To see what was going on” allegedly included: changing his password for him, writing a series of hurtful things about him through his Facebook feed, and generally acting like a toolbox while presenting herself as him.  New’s son lives with his grandmother (shocker), and once he discovered what his mother had done, he went downtown, filed some paperwork, and slapped her with a lawsuit.”  (Full Story HERE, for further, unrated, commentary, check out Schmucklife)

Personally, I am thrilled to hear about this. If this woman is so immature that instead of confronting her son face to face she changes his Facebook, she deserves whatever punishment she receives. We’ve all had our FBs hacked by a friend or roommate, our status changed to “It’s complicated with” whoever, but when a mother does it to her own son, with obviously malicious intent something needs to be done. Why cause your own flesh and blood that kind of embarrassment?

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Yes we can COUNT, sort of…

March 31, 2010 Leave a comment

This will be a really short blog, I hope. Yesterday riding the T, I was struck by all the commercial billboards advocating the Census. Forgive me if somebody already mentioned this, but this looks like a job for …. wait for it…. a super Social Media marketer. C’mon Son, to borrow a line from Ed Lover, in the social age we can’t figure out a way for people to fill out this stuff and email it in? Aren’t there enough people, and we’re in the 10’s of millions by now, using online media from facebook to twitter., to warrant exploration of a field test mixing social media and record data like the census? I realize this argument sounds vaguely familiar to the one U.S. citiznes have every four years at election time, “Why can’t we email our vote?” or  “why can’t we do this on Saturday?” but NOW I am really serious.  The commercial’s mantra is “We can’t go forward, until you mail it back.” I admit, the slogan is very catchy. I have even seen a newer spin on “Yes We Can” ala the President’s campaign for the Census entitled “Yes We Count!” I like this spin also. I believe we could go one more step further. How about “Yes E-Can Count!” or “United E-Stand.” I know its not the greatest slogan, but you get the idea. Those of us emailers and mobile users UNITE. Imagine you could go online, fill out your census, and fewer trees are used. Sorry, mail carriers, there about to phase out Saturday anyway, so its one more piece of mail you won’t be delivering. But according to analysts, we’re not mailing them in either. How cool would a social media campaign around the Census be? I think very. Or how setting up e-kiosks in malls. During your Easter, if you commemorate, shopping you stop by the kiosk fill out the info, done.

Well those are my two cents. Before you ask, I snail mailed my Census in already. Did you? Do you wish you could’ve emailed it? Just asking. 😉

The Risks of Changing Facebook’s Security Standards

December 8, 2009 Leave a comment

In the FastCompany article “Facebook Locks Up Its User Safety With Global Advisory Board”, the author talks about Facebooks plans to drastically improve safety standards on the social media platform.

Facebook greatly announced in a press release this morning that it plans to set up a Global Advisory Board on Security.
There can be no doubt that online safety is of fundamental importance for a social networking site. In the German speaking market (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), the social media market leader has ever since been a site called StudiVz. In terms of its functions and user groups, this platform seems like a copy of Facebook adapted to the local market conditions.

About two years ago, negative press about personal information being passed to third parties have led to a fundamental shift in the highly private sphere wary German consumer market. All of a sudden, users changed to invented profile names on the site and by that taking the essence from the tool- to find each other and connect. The medium suffered irreparable damage by these shifts. It appears to be only a matter of time until Facebook will take over market leadership.

Now, could this scenario happen to Facebook as well? I don’t think so. There have been similar issues about privacy in the past, but it does not seem to affect the US user environment. In spite of a high general awareness of potential misuse of private data, people still keep posting highly personal information as well as pictures on the site. There seems to be a large difference in consumer culture regarding private sphere.

With Facebook expanding largely internationally and soon reaching 350,000,000 users, these consumer insights undoubtedly have to be taken into consideration. Nevertheless, the company has be careful not to create more problems than before through the enhancement of safety standards. First of all, the security deficit might not be perceived as such by the current Facebook audience. Large-scale PR announcements might therefore evoke an unnecessary suspiciousness among users: “What is wrong with the current Facebook security structure?” Secondly, the past has shown that users are highly attached to the current system of the site and any changes in layout have usually led to a large uproar.

Facebook therefore has to carefully think about how to go about changes in its safety standards as well as how to communicate them. There has to be a fine balance in being more appealing to international markets without jeopardizing its value in its home market.