The first question that springs to mind, even before the question of who is likely to buy in a Facebook store, is why anyone would shop on Facebook? After all, there is already so much to do in Facebook. Updating statuses, posting pictures, making witticisms on friends’ posts, tagging friends the list is infinitely endless. People lose themselves for hours on end doing simply nothing on Facebook. After all, if the average Facebook user has 200 friends, it takes a whole chunk of time to read all of those updates and ongoing comments.
But we do live in a world where our actions are heavily influenced by the actions of others. The success of Facebook is based totally on this fact. Therefore, the tipping point of transactions inside a Facebook store relies on the ‘influencers’ making the initial jump into the realm of Facebook shopping. Once the ‘influencers’ start buying, everyone will follow right behind them.
So now, the aim is to either target the influencers or become an influencer, but how?
What creates an online influencer? I believe the answer is relevant, factual, interesting and constant information. The way blogs, twitter and Facebook work is all based on personal interest. If someone is interested in something, they will want to know more. This is why mobile applications such as the Pulse are so popular, where a person can choose their channels of information and view all the headlines in one snapshot. It’s also the reason why Facebook news feeds have really made Facebook into the most viewed site in the world. Therefore, becoming an influencer is all about the supply and demand of information.
Brands deciding to open a Facebook store and enter the world of f-Commerce need to influence their fans even before any kind of transaction can begin. This can be done by having a brand ambassador with a regular Facebook account. Even though the account is a personal account, the ambassador is the representative of the brand. The ambassador’s role is to accumulate friends. Not by spam, but by informative snippets of news, funny stories, even photos. This is a necessary trust building exercise between the brand’s official representative and future customers. Additionally, as the relationship builds between the ambassador and their Facebook friends, attention should be paid to the friends who are regularly posting and receiving a high number of comments and feedback on their posts. The next stage for the brand, after identifying these users, is to offer legitimate deals and savings to these ‘influencers’ to entice them into shopping. And perhaps even bigger discounts for talking openly, in Facebook, about the entire shopping experience.