Facebook may not be a retailer, but that doesn't mean the company can't sell gift cards. Starting September 5, Target will start selling Facebook Credits gift cards in stores nationwide.
Consumers don't necessarily need easier ways to spend money on Facebook, but it is a great trick to introduce more consumers to Facebook games. Free marketing for Target, too.
MySpace may not have as many users as Facebook, but the company is trying to reposition itself (again) as a place where brands can find traction online.
The trouble is, brands usually follow users. Can MySpace flip that equation on its head and use great brand partnerships to attract users?
MySpace executives hope so.
Digg may have been a Web 2.0 pioneer, but out of all the mature startups loosely grouped into the 'social media' category, it's one of the companies some might argue is well past its prime. While other upstarts born around mid-decade, such as Facebook and Twitter, continue to rise, Digg seems to be treading water.
That, of course, is not to say that Digg isn't very popular. It is. And that's not to say that it can't do wonderful things for publishers who hit the front page. It can.
But for both consumers and publishers alike, the Facebook and Twitters of the world have largely become more important when it comes to sharing and discovering interesting content on the web.
In a world where social networking is key, I was glad to be involved in the Engaging Times summit in Chicago last week.
According to Engage chairman Stan Rapp, 'today’s consumers are the most narcissistic in history. We’re all looking after brand I.', while Don Peppers, head of Peppers & Rogers thinks that companies should not 'waste money on social media until your organisation can competently handle a customer phone call or email.'
The event was thought-provoking for a number of different reasons but the stand-out message is summed up nicely in these two quotes.
Analytics isn't easy, but just about every marketer knows how important
it is. That's why so many companies have invested significant
sums in their analytics strategies.
Unfortunately, the rise of popular consumer hangouts that are walled
gardens, namely Facebook, has created multiple 'internets', and according to AdAge, that
poses a number of challenges for companies and their analytics
Five years ago, one of the last things an entrepreneur with a hot consumer internet startup wanted to hear was "Google is launching a new service just like yours." It's 2010, and that has changed to "Facebook is launching a new service just like yours."
But that's precisely what Dennis Crowley, the founder of the increasingly popular location-based service Foursquare, recently heard.
Social media is a lot like a car: it's easy to buy, but harder to maintain. Just as many of us buy a new car, only to neglect the day-to-day maintenance that will keep it running smoothly for years to come, many individuals and businesses buy into social media but fail to do what's necessary to make the most of the investment.
Case in point: Britney Spears. The pop singer has more than 4m fans on her Facebook Page, making her one of the 50 most popular musicians on Facebook. But as detailed by Wired, the people running her Facebook Page are apparently "asleep at the switch."
Facebook's foray into location-based services launched last night. And while Places borrows heavily from existing services available on Yelp, Foursquare and Gowalla, one difference is the way that Facebook plans to grow its new product.
Facebook Places check-ins will be shared with users' entire network of friends. And if users wish, they can check other people into locations. Perhaps predictably, there are some privacy issues with this approach. But it ensures that people who may not otherwise interact with Places are sure to know it exists. And unless objections arise, Facebook's appraoach should be great for user adoption.
I love to see brands generating innovative, engaging and creative advertising online. Yet, I’m always surprised at how little effort companies put into Facebook from a creative perspective, especially given the noise they make about using the platform and the levels of engagement often put in.
Arguably, Facebook does have a static format that needs changing, but it’s not that difficult – or expensive – to come up with some great landing page manipulation through Facebook Markup Language (FBML)... And some brands are taking advantage of this, to great effect.
Here are a few examples from our How to Create Amazing Facebook Pages guide...
Facebook advertising appears to be a rising tide that lifts all social media boats. According to eMarketer, the ad spend on social networks is set to hit $1.7 billion this year. That's a 20% increase, and at least half of those ad dollars will be spent on Facebook.