Apr 09

Facebook Social Commerce for Birthdays

Facebook has always tried to understand new ways to generate revenue and increase the interests between business by providing new way to interact with the final user. A lot of effort has been used to pursuing the will to create a Social Commerce (or Facebook Commerce), to enable companies to generate revenue trough social networks and make them justify the relative marketing investments.

Facebook Ecommerce

As can be seen form the screenshot above, Facebook launched a new feature (only for US Friends) that allows users to send a real gift to their friends trough a message on their birthdays’ reminder section. This feature can appear as a simple feature, that in my opinion can have a great success potential, as for the following reasons:

  • Conversion Rate: the conversion rate can be high, as can be taken in consideration the psychological impulse purchase factor, and the provided possibility to buy an important last-minute gift.
  • Reason Provided: along with the previous point, to generate a purchase the user needs a valid reason to use its resources. By using this delivery method, Facebook provides this element that is often forgotten by marketers.
  • Sponsored Gifts: those gifts (I haven’t tested this first person) is a feature that can be used along with the Facebook’s offers, that an user can redeem on a fanpage. But differently, those aren’t a discount codes but vouchers that the final user can use to redeem on a brick and mortar shop or in an ecommerce website.
  • Always a Gain: due to the nature of the voucher, the sponsoring company has always a gain. If its redeemed, a “new lead” is gained or the loyalty increased, if not the company will have a full economical gain as the product/service isn’t requested.

As expressed in the analysis before, this can be a further step toward what can be called Social Commerce. This is because by definition, this should be an environment where the user would be able to buy goods seamlessly with their social activities, and not by using methodologies aiming to push tab-stores or offers, there is the need to remember the different roles and aims of Social Networks and Ecommerce Websites.

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Jan 16

New Revenue for Facebook via their “like” based Search Engine

Today Facebook presented, after a lot of buzz on the internet, as its new feature a “like based search engine”. Regarding the ranking method there is nothing really new, as we see something similar with the G+ button on Google, but here we have as value the “like” that everyone does on pages or groups.

The search itself is divided in two different aspects, a Semantic Search where every user would be able to write a simple phrase and get the best result about their Social Networks, and a Search partnership with “Bing” where the user would be able to search for information outside Facebook, as can be seen from the following video by The Verge.

This new feature strategically provides Facebook the possibility to generate more revenue, in two different (but similar) ways:

  • Time on the Social Network: This feature is mainly done to maintain the user active and for a longer time on Facebook. Time and user actions for Facebook, means “page views” that mean “ad impressions” for Facebook. Resulting in a bigger and potential revenue.
  • Partnership Revenue: The partnership with Bing is an important win-win possibility, because Bing get more visibility, and very probably Facebook get a share of the ads clicked by the users during their search.

In other words and as expressed in the scheme below, Facebook is slowly creating an environment where users doesn’t have any excuse to exit the Social Network to make their activities, they can search what they want and stay connected with their friends at the same time. More an user stays on the Social and generate actions, more chances of revenue Facebook has.

How Facebook make money

Even is I hadn’t the possibility to test it on first hand, there are some considerations that in my opinion are important for the success of this feature (to clear on the short-mid term):

  • Marketing Implementation: Marketing pros are expecting from some time new ways to leverage and generate revenue from Facebook, that was something that its needed. Probably this feature will provide the possibility to make you sponsor the result on specific user queries, but why not giving the opportunity to pay to suggest specific queries?
  • Privacy: As can be seen on the video every user data can be used to fulfill the query results. This brings a privacy concern, where everyone would be able to cross my “likes” within a query, but the users would be able to choose to be excluded on the query or results?
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Dec 11

Email Design Lookbook 2012

Email Marketing means delivering pieces of art and custom information, to a specific segment of your customer base. This channel is probably one of the most difficult, that’s because you decide to push a piece of content that represent you and your company, to people that allow you on their privacy.

Sending a DEM or a newsletter in a TQM (total quality management) perspective takes an effort that not everyone is aware of. Here are some sharp points:

  • Useful Content: No-one care about things that doesn’t consider interesting and they are going to evaluate you on what you share. So to keep the interest high, make niche of your DB and communicate with them on a custom way.
  • Representative: When you push a content, it means that this is the best you can do, so good that you want to share it. So everything you share is a perception of what you consider quality.
  • Beautiful: There is only one possibility, to make a first good impression
  • Safe: There is no relationship if your message don’t get to the inbox. So check your delivery reputation and use a good ESP (Email Service Provider), usually you get what you pay for.
  • One-Shot Optimization: despite a webpage where there is contact traffic, optimizing an email message takes more time and study. That’s because you get feedback (by tracking) only when you do the delivery of the message, results that has to studied and used to shoot an improved message.

Something that can help the marketing professional (and noob), is a document that Responsys released, where they analyzed a total of 20 email marketing messages, providing an insight on what can be done to reach the target. This eBook is a “Pay per Contact“, where you get it if you give them your contact info, making it a great example of content marketing, where you can get a return on free personal contact, free promotion and free backlinks.

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Oct 02

Google Tag Manager

Today Google released a new tool, the “Google Tag Manager“, that will make marketers job way easier and giving them the possibility to speed up their conversion tracking techniques. The revolution of this method, is that the Tag Manager consolidate different tags through a simple and easy snippet code, giving the possibility to professional to use a web interface to add or manage tags, without asking any IT guy or departments to make a change.

The video above explains is a great and simple way how this works, but the features are:

  • The tags would load asynchronously, without slowing down your website and eliminating the conflicts on tag implementations
  • An easy to use interface and templates that would support custom tags
  • To limit implementation errors, there is a preview mode, a debug console and a Version History
  • The tags could be implemented by different users with specific permissions, so that agency and in-house marketers would be able to work together
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Aug 17

A Facebook “Like” with an SMS

Social Networks generated a whole new meaning on promotion. First by making traditional marketing pros realize that customers own a voice, and that are not fearing to tell what they think about you. Second, what’s important is not to gain as much likes as possible, but to get likes from people who care and like your brand or activity.

One golden rule on marketing, is to integrate your marketing mix so to drive all different traffic and get the best redemption, as for example a good quantity of hi-quality Facebook like. To reach those results, you need two things: something good to share (that can be considered useful by the target) and clear and usable CTA (so to use at best the action impulse).

On the digital side of marketing, you can easily apply different techniques (some ethical and other not so much) to get those likes, but the real challenge is to bring likes via traditional media, like print or street advertising. As everyone knows we as humans pass just a small part of our life online, as we interact constantly with the real (and analogical) world, so a marketer mission is to target people also on those moments. To cover this digital-analog gap, we can use a technology that people use everyday, Text Messages (SMS).

Facebook indeed gives users to like pages (and receive status updates) just by sending a simple text message with a query “fan yourpagename” to a specific country number (provided by Facebook) that for Italy is 342 4860900. To do that:

  1. Your page needs to have at least 25 likes on a page
  2. Your page needs to have a custom Facebook URL “www.facebook.com/cocacola” so that users can write it inside the text message “fan cocacola
  3. The user need to have its mobile number registered and configured on Facebook

This feature can give businesses to generate new marketing campaigns and improve the coordination of their marketing channels. Think about the possibility to generate a QRcode that you can attach on your street ads (example above), so to allow people to scan it and subscribe without hesitation to your page, or even make people without a smartphone giving you their “like“.

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Aug 11

Tribe or Community. Ask Lady Gaga.

Some days ago, I have subscribed to www.littlemonsters.com a new Pinterest-like social network owned by Lady Gaga, and in my opinion this is a genius work, not for the idea itself, but the way has being used.

Before discovering the aim of this move, there is the need to say that every “Social Media Expert”, talks about communities as a collection of people that gather together to share their opinion, but they have also the need to understand another relative of this word, Tribe. A tribe is a close community that gather, protects itself and their similar, that its leaded by a patriarch or a matriarch. Someone that is part of a tribe has a stronger relation with the group than he can have with a community, meaning that a tribe is something that people identify in a deeper level and are able to create a bound.

After the subscription, you receive a message, that is able to describe in a few points the reason why of the community and at the same time defines clear rules, here is a screenshot of the message:

On this message there are some important words that gives an insight to everyone about the purpose of this tribe:

  • Mother: everyone needs a mother and in this case someone that leads and that its full of acceptance. This is able to cover the psychological part of everyone of us that needs security on what we are and a leader.
  • Acceptance: This is a place where people are able to express themselves and feel accepted, every single person is different from another and needs to feel free to be.
  • Home: Every tribe (as everyone) needs an home, a place where to feel safe. This word is used wisely and is able to identify a place where people can feel safe.

I’m sure that Lady Gaga’s first idea and will is to help people feel themselves and don’t feel excluded. On the other side, she is a brand and a music and fashion business and this project is also a mean that she has to create a community aimed to provide a great customer retention (along with free promotions and product feedback). This is double genius, because its a CSR and also a marketing platform.

On a business way this can teach us that we have to identify and understand our customer base, what they think, fear, want and then become the leader that can satisfy this need. By understanding that they managed to create a platform to make people meet together, people with the same needs and of course with the same passion for Lady Gaga. Now if she decides to deliver a new album, she would be able to promote (with a great redemption) its album inside the community, making the tribe explode the promotional message.

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Jul 03

12 Things to do after a New Blog Post

I have found this good and simple infographic, explaining what to do after a New Blog Post. This list even if it’s not so deep in details, its a good example on what are some of the basics that some professional forget to do. As its said “Content is King“, so if you produce some good content, why you shouldn’t give it the best opportunities?

12 Things to do after a New Blog Post

Here you can find the brief list of what need to be done with every piece of good content you produce:

  1. Keyword Optimize your Post
  2. Syndicate your content
  3. Shorten your Post’s URL
  4. Tailor your status Updates
  5. Post teasers on other sites
  6. Bookmark your content
  7. Comment on other Blogs
  8. Seek and Assist on Twitter
  9. Add to Email Signature
  10. Share your Blog Post with target Customers
  11. Add your Blog Post to your next Newsletter
  12. Ask other Bloggers to Mention you Post

Thank to DivvyHQ for the great resource.

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Jun 27

What President Obama can Teach us

I usually don’t write about politics, because I’m convinced that everyone has the right to believe what he feels right and has to be free to follow its dream and objectives. But with this post I just want to underline how President Obama can teach us about the real meaning of leadership.

By looking at the picture above of President Obama (available with other beautiful pictures here) I can feel a sense of true leadership. I’m convinced that a definition of leader is “Walks among us, but its not one of us“, its someone that is able to integrate himself on different social levels and understand approach it in the most constructive way, hearing what people need to say, experiencing their habits and learn from every single interaction.

A leader can be find in every part of your life and not only in politics, but also in business, your company and your home. Having the gift to listen is not something common, because it also brings the will to care about the person you have in front of you, to feel sympatheia, that is what really makes people understand that there is the need to make a change.

People that care and that listen are true leaders, and usually their next step consist in taking action.

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