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Social Connections And A Move Away From Google

Facebook needs to monetize their vast user base and they have been steadily progressing towards a fully monetized site for quite a while. Their efforts to monetize include the addition of their ad network and credits system mostly used for in game purchases are some of the big successes they have had.

In the last couple of months they have made one massive stride and this is with the introduction of their Fcommerce platform. Some of the largest brands and retailers had been playing with the idea of selling directly to its fan base on Facebook, but development costs were excessive and were only really an option for the largest brands with the deepest pockets. This changed with Mark zuckerberg’s keynote speech at F8.

Since November we have seen the introduction of a dozen or so highly customizable Facebook shopping carts, full analytical systems and safe and secure online checkout.  This is all done without ever leaving the fan page.

If this can happen in the space of a few months, is it possible that within the next year we as ecommerce owners see a definite shift away from how we sell online. Could it be a case that we may not need to rely on Google to drive traffic and sales?

Ok this may not be the case in the foreseeable future, so I would suggest you keep your Adwords campaigns running for the moment. But Facebook do not plan on stopping their!

Also mentioned in his keynote speech was the idea of the Semantic web and if this does come to fruition there is the distinct possibility that Google may no longer be the driving force in how much traffic we receive, how many leads or how many sales we make.

There are a number of ideas which are tied up in the semantic web, firstly it’s the semantic web it’s self but maybe more importantly is the idea social commerce.

To explain, Facebook want to intertwine the web and interlink all of the sites and pages of the web using social connections, it will then make suggestions on what a user may like based on those social connections.

The web is a big place and is growing bigger by the second so how can it possibly connect everything back to Facebook? Well by using its half a billion members to spider the web for it. If a member of Facebook is browsing a site and clicks the Facebook “likes” button this information is passed back to Facebook, thus making a social connection with that page.  Within the space of 20 minutes these buttons are clicked nearly 8 million times with a further 1 million links shared among its users. Basically we are doing the work for them, all they need to do is figure out is how to offer the most relevant suggestions to its members.

But maybe more importantly for ecommerce sites, is the idea of social commerce.

I think we all understand how valuable positive reviews of our products can be and how they can help to drive sales. Social commerce builds on this idea, instead of taking the reviews and opinions of strangers, members of our social groups that have previously “liked” that product will show up on the page, giving the browser a more trusted opinion of the product from people that they have a connection with. I believe that this is where the power of a social web will really come into play.  Taking the trusted advice of people you know will, I believe lead to more sales.

Fcommerce should be a real incentive to an ecommerce owner, having a captive audience of 500 million and the ability to checkout without the need to ever leave Facebook should be a real driving factor  to either build your fan base further or launch your own Fshop.

But I believe that this is only the first step in what will be the bigger picture, where the web as a whole moves closer towards a social entity that is connected by what people like.  Google may still have an important part to play, even though their attempts at social media have failed in the past it is likely that they will follow the lead of Facebook and will begin to look at the web as a more social place and something that has a deeper connection than just links pointing from one site to another.

This is a Guest Post by Neil Jones, head of marketing for eMobileScan. One of Europe’s leading providers of handheld computers including the Motorola MC9090 or Motorola MC75

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