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If you were wise enough to setup an online marketplace in the early days of the internet and also had great business chops, you might have been a very rich person by now.
Some of the world’s biggest ecommerce companies are those that don’t actually sell any of their own products, or rely to a large extent on third-party sellers.
Amazon is the most obvious example, while eBay has also taken great pains to rebrand as a marketplace rather than an auction site (try saying that eBay is an auction site in a blog post and see how long it takes for the PRs to knock on your door).
Similarly, in the UK Play.com shifted from being an ecommerce site to an “online trading platform” after being bought out by Rakuten, a Japanese tech company that is best known for its Rakuten Ichiba marketplace.
There is one Facebook page that all marketers fear (or should fear). Being featured on it can plunge a sometimes unsuspecting brand into a serious industry reputation problem.
Welcome to the Condescending Corporate Brand Page: loved, hated and completely unapologetic.
Overcoming initial doubts about whether the world needed another social network, in just 15 months Google+ has grown from nothing to having more than 250m users.
On average users are on G+ 12 minutes a day, which is just shy of Facebook's average of 14 minutes a day and more than 1m brands now have G+ pages.
It has been helped in no small part by the fact that a strong presence on G+ has SEO benefits, but its continued growth is still testament to the fact that the network offers brands methods of communicating with consumers that can't be found on Facebook or Twitter.
The most obvious example is hangouts, which give brands a unique way of speaking to consumers face-to-face.
We recently trialled hangouts ourselves for the first time in a live chat about email marketing, and is certainly something we will be looking to do more of in future.
So with more brands starting to see the benefits of G+, I decided to compile a list of brands that had been quick to embrace the social network and are reaping the rewards...
The future of Google's greatest social networking effort to date, Google+, may be debatable, but the search giant hasn't found it very difficult to lure brands to Google+.
And for good reason: Google+ has been Google's most respectable social effort to date and brands have learned that getting on board services before they get big is often a far better strategy than waiting until it's too late.
Facebook’s brand pages will transition over to the new Timeline layout later today, and data from Vitrue suggests that brands could see fan engagement decrease if they are not properly prepared.
The data shows 52% of brands that initiated the switchover before today’s deadline saw a reduction in engagement rate.
However, 27% saw greater than a 20% increase in engagement when implementing best practice for brand pages.
Vitrue defines best practice as having sharable content, improved visuals that take advantage of the new layout and prioritised content for brand milestones.
Following in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter, Spotify is attempting to further monetise its platform by creating brand pages.
20th Century Fox is the first advertiser to sign up, with a page customised to promote the forthcoming release of Titanic 3D.
It encourages users to add their favourite songs from 1997 (the year the film was released) and links to a playlist of number one songs from the 1990s.
The page also features a Facebook-integrated app that allows users to create their own film trailer and include three friends in the credits.
According to latest figures, Google+ now has over 100m users. A phenomenal feat when you consider that the network has only been around for a little over six months.
So it's no surprise to see more and more brands getting in on the act.
The challenge many brands are facing with Google+ is how to use the network as a business communications tool and what use they can find for it that they would not be able to find on other similar networks.
A few brands are already making interesting moves, using it in effective ways to engage with their audiences...
After weeks of speculation, Facebook has finally unveiled its new brand pages as we discussed earlier today.
Here's a further look through some of the most notable changes in more detail including the loss of landing tabs, and what it means to you and your business.
After several weeks of speculation, Facebook today unveiled admin previews of its Timeline for brand pages update.
Speculators (including more than a few in the Econsultancy office) have seen the move as inevitable for some time. Here’s a quick run through of the changes, highlighting the most important points.