f-Commerce: The Rise of Social Commerce

It is widely contended that f-Commerce transactions will exceed Amazon’s annual sales over the next 5 years.

f-Commerce, also known as Facebook commerce and f-comm, refers to the buying and selling of goods through Facebook. f-Commerce is a subset of Social Commerce, the use of social network(s) in the context of e-commerce transactions. These transactions can be completed either on the  Facebook, or off-Facebook using their Open Graph Protocol1, which enables the integration of Facebook-enhanced features on external websites or ecommerce shops.

As an f-Commerce developer the first decision to be made is how to deliver products and content within the Facebook environment. f-Commerce pages can be presented using either iFrames or Facebook Apps, each offering advantages and disadvantages.

1 Open Graph apps enable the developer to deeply integrate into the core Facebook experience, including Timeline, News Feed, and Ticker. See http://developers.facebook.com/docs/opengraph/



To quote the Technorati website:

Technorati currently track 112.8 million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media. They search, surface, and organize blogs and the other forms of independent, user-generated content (photos, videos, voting, etc.). They index the live web within minutes, providing their users with up-to-date information about the topics and authors they care about. Technorati is the authority on what is happening right now on the live web including the blogosphere. They can help bloggers by driving targeted traffic to their sites, and allowing them to connect to the millions of other individuals in the blogger community.

Lets see if it works.

Simon.Hibbott.com is currently ranked 8,911,336. It currently has no authority.

Here’s what that means and how it’s calculated:

Linked into LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business orientated social networking site which uses a “gated-access” approach to build trust and credibility amongst users. Registered users can maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business (called Connections). Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection.

I’d already registered with LinkedIn back in December 2007. Today, prompted by LinkedIn Profile Extreme Makeover by Guy Kawasaki, I updated my Profile and invited some existing user friends to become connections. I’ve also added a link to my LinkedIn profile from this blog. Guy Kawasaki’s article is actually more common sense than extreme. Essentially he advocates putting some effort into making your profile as complete as possible in order to make it an effective networking tool.

The Unofficial LinkedIn User’s Guide for Executives and Professionals is a more  comprehensive guide to LinkedIn and a call to action for senior executives and professionals to increase their understanding of LinkedIn’s incredible potential as a collaborative networking tool.

Social Marketing 101

Here’s an annotated list of the 10 recommended steps to starting a social marketing campaign that triggered this blog.

  1. Schedule some time each day to work on the social marketing campaign
  2. Sign up for the major social news sites: Digg.com, Propeller.com, Mixx.com. Don’t submit anything to these sites until you have filled out your profile completely and submitted news from elsewhere on the web to generate a real presence and avoid being labeled as a spammer.
  3. If you don’t have a blog, you must install one immediately. This is not an option. It is an absolute necessity on today’s web.
  4. Once you have your blog set up, join the following networks: MyBlogLog.com (install the widget on your WordPress blog), and BlogCatalog.com. (they also have a widget to install)
  5. Join groups, make friends, and interact with other bloggers on these networks. Especially the people who would be most likely to link to your blog and send you traffic who write about similar things or have an audience similar to yours who’d benefit by knowing you. You can even start your own group, promote it in the network, and send “shouts” to the group when you have announcements or need attention to a new post.
  6. Once you have established yourself on all the sites above, meaning you have a decent profile in each that shows you’ve been active and involved, move on and search for networks that are geared toward your particular market niche. There are a lot of new “vertical” social sites popping up that focus on much more narrow markets and their membership is far warmer to your kind of information than on the bigger, more general networks above. Add a new site to the mix as often as you can and repeat the steps for becoming established there as mentioned in Step 2 above.
  7. Join a group dedicated to social marketing to pick up tips from other social marketers and find new places you can sign up with to continue building your social authority. New sites pop up every single day. Follow places like Go2Web20.net to find new opportunities to connect with your market.
  8. Remote blog. Join blogger.com and put content there that is good, just not good enough to go on your main blog. This serves two purposes: 1) you get to use more of the great content you find as you travel through all the social news sites and 2) it gives you another place to link back to your main site and pass on traffic and link popularity over time.
  9. Track your progress diligently.
  10. Don’t freak out! You have other things to do and this needs to fit into, not dominate, your current business and marketing.
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