Our new free f-Commerce White Paper, by Dr Paul Marsden, Syzygy's social media strategist

What do Lady Gaga, Coca-Cola, Batman and Pampers Diapers all have in common? They all sell on Facebook - offering friends, fans and followers a privileged and personal point of purchase on the world's largest social network.

Something else that all four have in common is that they're all consumer brands; they have traditionally outsourced the business of getting products into the hands of consumers to retailers.

For brands already selling direct to consumers on Facebook, the principal utility of f-commerce appears not to be about sales. Instead, they would seem to be focusing on one of five distinct non-sales benefits that can be derived from selling on Facebook; Facebook ROI; Brand Experience; Brand Insight; Brand Loyalty; and Brand Advocacy.

Whilst many brands today are focusing on the rise of the new 'social consumer', social is only one aspect of how technology is changing how consumers connect with each other and with brands. The other two in 'The Big 3' - mobile technology and location-aware technology - are equally as important.

In this sense, for f-commerce success it may make more sense to focus on the SoLoMo consumer  - consumers who experience brands through social, location-aware, and mobile technology. The SoLoMo consumer is changing how consumers connect and engage with brands; real-time, on-demand and on-the-go. Rather than a linear process of pushing consumers down a funnel with brand communications, the process is now consumer-driven, non-linear and built around real-time contextual needs. Consumers have access to trusted information networks made up of independent experts, fellow consumers, friends and family which means people rely less on marketing messages to build opinions and inform decisions, and more on each other.

It's f-commerce that can create the opportunity for brands to upgrade their understanding of brand building away from messaging and towards activating brand advocacy, a critical component of brand health and is known to drive sales.

Over the decades, research into brand advocacy has also usefully identified three key 'advocacy activators' that are available to marketers: Experience; Involvement; Incentives.

For more in-depth information on this and to fully understand how to drive f-commerce sales and grow brand advocacy via Facebook, download Syzygy's free f-Commerce White Paper written by Dr Paul Marsden, Syzygy's social media strategist, 'F-commerce; Selling on Facebook, The Opportunity for Consumer Brands'.

Based on an 18-month study tracking the emerging trend of 'f-commerce' - selling with Facebook, this report provides a critical overview of f-commerce specifically for consumer brands. It identifies the key risks and opportunities for brands in setting up shop on Facebook - and concludes that emulating the current trend among leading retailers to open up large e-commerce stores on Facebook would be a mistake for many consumer brands.

We hope that you find the white paper an insightful read. We always welcome your comments and feedback or questions we might help answer. Enjoy.

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