Leading social media site, Facebook, has signalled its intention to encourage marketers to maximise the potential of using its site to benefit from what it terms ‘social commerce’ or ‘f-commerce’.
Facebook is at pains, however, to point out that f-commerce is not the same as distance selling, but is rather what it sees as the creative exploitation of the unique power of social media.
Strategic partner manager with Facebook, Gavin Sathianathan, says that for his organisation:
“it’s really important we nail what we mean by “social commerce”’; adding that ‘at Facebook, we do not equate “social commerce” with opening a store within the network”.
Sathianathan explains that instead, social commerce or f-commerce is:
“about how we can bring social media to bear on the purchase process, be that in a Facebook store or not”.
A prime example given by Facebook of using the strengths of social media for marketing purposes is the incorporation of ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons within their advertising clients’ own websites.
Facebook says it is also keen to help retailers re-think the most appropriate ways of promoting their goods whilst active in a social media environment. Sathianathan says that this often involves helping retailers see the ‘social aspects of their products’:
“For instance’, he says, ‘a can of baked beans may not be social but the meal you have with them could”.
Interestingly, Facebook’s emphasis on helping advertisers move beyond establishing a virtual storefront comes just as retailers John Lewis and Reiss are reported to have said that social media was not part of their marketing strategy this year.