September 1, 2010 – Facebook was already profitable in 2009 with the influx of advertising revenue that came about as the social media site topped over 400 million members. Now at an impressive half-billion served, new e-commerce tools are popping up on business pages, and the Facebook Credits program is going strong, but these are just two ways the social media king is bringing in the bucks.
Facebook’s latest profiting methods are in two different schools of thought:
- Make it easy for customers to buy things online as they see them.
- Create a one-stop method of payment.
Facebook is becoming the Internet’s new cash cow.
They’ve realized that consumers want less hassle and more accommodations when it comes to shopping online. In February Facebook partnered with PayPal to integrate the worldwide payment platform into its ad and developer tools. Soon, all of your Farmvilles and Mafia Wars were able to accept payment for their virtual currency via PayPal accounts.
Not satisfied with just adopting an existing payment platform, Facebook took it a step further with the creation of Facebook Credits. Many of the heavy hitters in the world of Facebook games, Zynga and Playfish are the two that come to mind, adopted the new platform with great success. Players who participate in several games from different developers only have to buy their virtual currency from one source – Facebook – but they can spend it anywhere Facebook Credits are accepted.
The other side to all this online revenue is the fact that when customers are on a retailer’s website, they’re usually in a shopping mood. Developers have been put to work developing new e-commerce tabs for some well known brands, and they are finding huge success on Facebook among their fans. The latest success story is Pampers, whose new “Shop Now” tab allowed anyone who had “liked” their page to snag a pack of Cruiser diapers for $9.99. Within an hour they had sold out of the 1,000 test stock they offered.
The moral of the story is that if a Facebook user is on a brand’s page, they’re likely either a current customer or they’re researching. Either type has the potential for a sale if you market to them correctly. Current customers will be urged to buy when they see special sales or offers for those who “like” the page. Potential customers are actively searching to purchase, and will love the fact that they can do it right on the brand’s Facebook page.
Even if you’re not in the physical goods business, you can learn something from Facebook’s two new revenue strategies. Make it easy for your clients to learn about and request your services, and make it simple for them to complete their transaction with you.
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