Social Commerce

A Brief History of F-Commerce from Facebook.

Way back in 2004, when Facebook was just a glimmer in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye, who would have thought that F-Commerce (Facebook’s virtual money) would generate $30 billion in social transactions by 2015? I know I wasn’t thinking that. For some time now F-commerce has been billed as “The next big thing”, “The thing that will change social networking forever”, etc. It might, then again it might not. Things change so fast on the internet, and with social networking it is a bit hard to predict. One thing for sure, right now Facebook is the 800 pound gorilla, and F-Commerce carries some weight. Below is a great info graphic from Social Media Influence that gives a brief history of F-Commerce. It gives a nice break down on the history, and talks about the number of brands actually interacting with the system so far. Interestingly enough, it’s not as many as you’d think.

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Paws Up. Hoedown. Lady Gaga and Farmville.

Since Farmville is one of the hottest online games going, it’s no surprise that Lady Gaga, or her massive marketing team has jumped on the the Zynga band wagon to promote her latest album.I have no idea what this cost the Gaga team, but you can bet it was a pretty penny since Zynga is all about building co-op deals that crank out millions for them in a short time frame.

GagaVille is a promotional game inside FarmVille that lets you grow all sorts of Gaga crystals, which  allow you to buy selected songs from the new album before they are officially released using Zynga Game Cards. Gagaville will run until May 26th when the official album drops worldwide.

I’m going to assume that this campaign is doing really well based on the 600,000+ views of this clip so far on YouTube. Zynga hasn’t released any information on how many songs have been purchased, or how many people are playing Gagaville, but I have a feeling it’s quite a few which means this is money well spent by the record labels marketing team.

The excellent promotional video “Paws Up. Hoedown” was produced by EVB. Credits for the team are below the video.

Title: PAWS UP. HOEDOWN. Lady Gaga goes to Farmville.
Client: Zynga
Agency: Evolution Bureau (EVB)
Executive Creative Director: Stephen Goldblatt
Creative Director: John Reid
Art Director: Stephen Goldblatt, Aaron Feiger
Copywriter: John Reid, Jean Morrow
Motion Designer: Devin Croda
Executive Producer: Craig Batzofin
Agency Producer: Eric Rasco
Account Director: Martha Jurzynski
Production Company: Moxie Pictures
Director: Seth Gordon
Executive Producer: Lizzie Schwartz
Line Producer: Mary Rohlich
Director of Photography: Joshua Hess
Editorial: HutchCo
Technologies Editor: Jim Hutchins
Assistant Editor: Joaquin Machado
Executive Producer: Jane Hutchins
Post Production: Method Studios
Flame Artist: Pete Mayor
Producer: Ananda Reavis
Executive Producer: Robert Owens
Telecine: CO3
Colorist: Siggy Ferstl
Music: Lady Gaga “Born This Way”
Additional music: Beacon Street Studios, APM
Mix: Rohan Young, Lime Studios

Valuing Social Commerce.

This morning when I checked my email, a friend had sent me a link to a great infographic about the value of Social Media. Not all of the figures in it are new, but some are, and all are pretty damn impressive. These are some pretty compelling statistics as to why brands are sitting up and taking notice of the potential Return On Investment that social commerce can drive for them. The infographic was created by Spinback, which is now part of Facebook marketing company Buddy Media.

One of the things that I like about this infographic is how the numbers have been grouped together. The groupings show how brands can start thinking about integrating social commerce into their marketing plans in a more effective way. And one thing that really stands out is the predicted revenue generated by social commerce is expected to be over 30 billion dollars by 2015.
That is a huge figure, and businesses are starting to take serious note of the potential here. We may not like it, and social commerce will definitely change your social media experience, but get used to it. With numbers like these there is no going back to the way things were.

Walmart and Social Commerce.

One of the advantages of being the worlds largest retailer, is ability to take risks where others can’t, or won’t. Risk taking leads to innovation and Walmart thinks it’s worth a $300 million to find out how social and mobile commerce is going to pan out.

On Monday Walmart signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kosmix, underscoring its commitment to social and mobile commerce. Walmart plans on using Kosmix “Social Genome” platform to help fuel and drive in-store purchases via social networks connected via mobile devices.

“We are expanding our capabilities in today’s rapidly growing social commerce environment. Social networking and mobile applications are increasingly becoming a part of our customers’ day-to-day lives globally, influencing how they think about shopping, both online and in retail stores. We are excited to have the Kosmix team join us to accelerate the development of our social and mobile commerce offerings. Eduardo Castro-Wright, Walmart’s vice chairman.

Kosmix’s innovative technology platform searches and analyzes connections in real-time data streams to deliver highly personalized insights to users. The platform powers TweetBeat, a real-time social media filter for live events with more than five million visits last month; Kosmix.com, a site to discover social content by topic; and RightHealth, one of the top three health and medical information sites by global reach.

Other retailers should be asking themselves what are they planning on doing in the new mobile social space? How they can use real-time data to leverage and improve the overall experience for their customer? This kind of thing is much more complex than a strategy for something like foursquare, and it is going to require building and experimentation with a variety of platforms, which won’t come easy or cost nothing. You have to hand it to Walmart for being smart enough to take the plunge. What will be more interesting is to see who recognizes the importance of what Walmart has done, and follows their lead. The potential here is huge for anyone will to take the risk and go for it.

“The world of social media is exploding and for millions of consumers their social connections matter hugely in their daily lives.  Our work has focused on developing a social genome platform that captures the connections between people, places, topics, products and events as expressed through social media — be it a feed, a tweet or a post. We are thrilled to join one of the world’s largest companies and combine our work with Walmart’s vast online and offline retail businesses.”  Anand Rajaraman, co-founder of Kosmix.