When it comes to social media platforms, Facebook is arguably the biggest - pulling the most weight. The site has 500 million active users (at the last count) who spend 700 billion minutes a month logged on. It's therefore rather hard (and probably inadvisable) to ignore Facebook out of hand if you're looking to buy into social media advertising or looking for a new e-commerce platform.
Earlier this year, popular online fashion webstore Asos announced they were to open a fully fledged store on the social networking site. The ambitious plan was to take the entire Asos catalogue and adding 1,300 products to the store every week.
James Hart, Asos e-commerce director, told Marketing Week why such a plan made sense:
"We have millions of visits and millions of pounds coming from Facebook to Asos. At the moment the Facebook shop doesn't have real targets as such but in theory fewer clicks and barriers to purchase should mean greater conversions. We'll have to see if it does lead to increased sales."
Whilst reviews have been mixed, I think we'll see many more online shops taking the jump. I recently noticed Fat Gold, a small, independent clothing company from Malta, have a Facebook store on their company fan page - so it's not just the big guys who can do it.
It's early days yet, but as Facebook's reach is so great it makes great business sense to combine social media and e-commerce. It's a fantastic traffic funnel so why not effectively cut out the middle man? Allow your customers to purchase direct from Facebook instead of directing them to your online store. Chances are they'll be on Facebook anyway.
More recently, Facebook have launched a new venture aimed at targeting potential advertisers.
Facebook Studio is a place to learn, share your work, and find inspiration. We created Facebook Studio as a way to showcase how agencies and marketers can make an impact by marketing with Facebook. Here you'll find great creative ideas from around the world, as well as the resources you need to find answers and create your own campaigns.
Facebook Studio both celebrates and rewards popular advertising campaigns. It provides tips on the marketing tools available on the social networking site and provides a library of current campaigns. The Facebook Studio 'Gallery' can be used to search for campaigns with the most likes, shares, comments, feedback or by region or agency.
The new Facebook Studio seems to be a great tool with which to base any foray into a Facebook advertising campaign. It should also act as a deterrent to campaigns of lower quality; these don't serve the interests of either Facebook or advertisers. It remains to be seen if Facebook Studio does the job but it's a commendable start from the biggest social networking site in the world.
If you'd like to develop a e-commerce platform or would like to start advertising on Facebook or would just like to have a chat about social media, why not try our Free Fridays offer?