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Top 5 reasons Facebook will become an E-commerce giant and Top 5 reasons it won’t

May 25, 2012 Comments

Image: Brain Sins

Yesterday it was announced that Karma, Facebook’s new gift app, will be instrumental in its e-commerce success. No doubt social data is an incredibly powerful e-commerce tool yet there are many reasons both for and against for arguing that Facebook will become the dominant e-commerce force.

First off, here are 5 reasons that Facebook will dominate e-commerce.

1. Captive Audience: Facebook already owns the lion’s share of social media eyeballs and as platforms proliferate, more and more users will buy through the social network they know.

2. Social Search: As consumers become increasingly overwhelmed by amount of information and advertising available to them, they are turning to their peers (as opposed to Google Search) for purchasing recommendations, choices, and sharing.

3. Seamlessness: The ability to find, buy, share and be rewarded for what you buy is being baked ever deeper into the Facebook platform reducing the need to ever leave.

4. Real + Virtual: Facebook’s ability to sell both virtual goods and physical products using virtual and real world currencies creates a stranglehold on the growing merger of the on and offline world.

5. Targeting: While advertisers clamor for great and more dynamic advertising real estate within the platform, Facebook remains true to the wishes of its users by designing the size of the ads and leveraging data driven targeting.

Yet, with all this great opportunity, Facebook faces 5 equally compelling challenges:

1. Saturation: With almost every imaginable intersection between a person and product now covered within a single platform, users may tire of Facebook once advertising overwhelms the experience.

2. Mobile: Much discussed before and after the IPO, mobile remains a great challenge for Facebook despite the purchase of Instagram, Karma and Glancee.

3. Competition: Rest assured there are dozens of platforms designed purely for mobile consumers that are currently in stealth mode and primed to be the next Facebook.

4. Pollution: Shopping is an important but small part of the relatedness between people and the more that Facebook co-opts that relatedness for commerce, the greater the risk that the connective tissue it rely on will atrophy.

5. Shareholders: It is one thing to reinvent the way commerce is practiced and another to balance the competing demands of users and shareholders.

Stacked side by side, it’s easy to see why the jury is out on the future of Facebook especially in a mobile-centric marketplace. But their dominance and iterative business strategy bode well for continued success, as long as they never lose site of the fact that they must serve their users first.

Do you think Facebook will become the dominant e-commerce force? Or will too much advertising be its undoing?



Today’s social media landscape and where you fit in

May 21, 2012 Comments

When you look at this rather frightening infographic of social media landscape from Buddy Media/Luma, it’s easy to feel lost and overwhelmed. And it’s true that each day presents new opportunities and complexities for social media engagement and management. Yet this infographic also provides a rare chance to see the largers social media landscape and examine where your business or brand fits in.

Here are several key questions to ask:

1. Which of the categories, strategies or tools listed above are you not using and why?

2. What platforms, tools or apps could you use to unlock new customers or engagement around your product and services?

3. Is your business and its strategies well-suited to benefit from the broader landscape of social media?

4. What platforms or tools could you use to lighten your load or establish systems to help you manage real-time engagement with your community?

5. How engaged are you with the latest in social media or are you falling behind the technology and your customers?

It’s true that social technology is a hard and tireless master but each new platform or tool unlocks new business opportunities for those that apply them to your business. So take a seat, take a tour, and take a few minutes to identify technologies, platforms or tools that might be just what your business needs.


How your brand wins over empowered customers to profit from social commerce

May 16, 2012 Comments

I recently had the pleasure of speaking at there First Data ‘Engaging Today’s Empowered Customer’ Summit in New Orleans where we discussed in detail the shifts that financial institutions, credit card associations, and merchants across all industries must make in order to command the attention of the social customer and earn the loyalty, trust, and goodwill that translates to profit. We discussed the new co-creative relationships between brands and customers, the importance of authentic purpose, and the ability of brands to architect communities that build their business with them. Here’s my answers to a few questions including the pitfalls, trends, and rewards of social commerce.



How social ads are winning over advertisers and consumers

May 14, 2012 2 Comments

Over the last two years we have seen a steady shift from Google Search to Social Search as consumers, faced with an overwhelming amount of choices and information, are turning to their peers within social networks for trusted recommendations as …

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Why you need more than good intentions to build a purposeful brand

May 10, 2012 1 Comments

One of the most encouraging trends in today’s social business marketplace is the demonstration of greater social responsibility by brands. At one extreme you see large brands showing a greater commitment to their purpose, and at the other a growing …

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What Facebook is worth to your business and brand

May 8, 2012 0 Comments

As the Facebook IPO Roadshow shifts into high gear, it seems relevant to consider exactly what value Facebook can offer your brand and business. While the addition of Instagram and Glancee has done much to sure up their mobile capacities …

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Biz Stone on the powerful role of social media in business and social change

May 2, 2012 0 Comments

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking in New Orleans at the First Data conference. It was a fantastic event and the other speaker was Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter, who said something that struck me deeply. He put …

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When virtual worlds collide: Facebook meets 3D shopping

April 24, 2012 9 Comments

If brands and ad agencies were already struggling to create seamless, real-time shopping experiences built around customers’ multi-screen lifestyles, their work just got harder. It is one thing to migrate seamlessly between the on and offline world across multiple devices …

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About Simon Mainwaring

We First training and consulting helps the world’s most innovative brands tell the story of the good work they do in ways that build their reputation, employee productivity, sales and social impact.

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