Facebook Stories for Retailers

Getting people to "like" a brand is important because it opens the door to a possible B2C relationship. Once a person likes that brand, the brand can post to their newsfeed with promotions, announcements, and surveys. At least for me, I "hide" the noisy brands and just monitor the ones that keep posts under 4 times a week.

Starbucks Likes.PNG

I see lots of people, especially with fashion brands, comment on postings at which point the posting is seen by their network. A metric I've heard (but not verified) is that for every person that comments, ten of their friends see the original posting. That's a pretty cheap way to communicate to potential customers in a viral way.

Over at mainstreet.com they compiled the a list of the top liked retailers on Facebook as of Feb 1, 2011. They are listed below:


  1. 19,414,892 Starbucks

  2. 11,302,939 Victoria's Secret

  3. 7,925,184 Zara

  4. 7,032,398 McDonald's

  5. 6,117,222 H&M

  6. 5,400,586 Taco Bell

  7. 4,665,760 Subway

  8. 4,494,849 Lacoste

  9. 4,185,570 Hollister

  10. 3,973,181 Forever 21


So I guess the public likes their fast-food and fashion.

To take this to the next level, Facebook is now displaying Sponsored Stories, which I saw for the first time on my page this weekend. I found this picture at the Wall Blog that depicits Sponsored Stories very well.

Sponsored-Stories.jpg

Over on the right-hand column of a person's page, where they see advertisements and such, Facebook will post stories involving their network of friends and their interaction with sponsored brands. Now their "likes" can suddenly become your ads.

"Jessica and Philip like Starbucks. What are you waiting for?"

This is another great way to take messages viral by accessing social graphs. As usual there will be a certain level of outcry from privacy advocates, but given the other more iniquitous issues, I believe this will fall by the wayside. Retailers should consider using Sponsored Stories to increase their Likes, and thus increase their voice in the social world.

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David Dorf, Sr Director Technology Strategy for Oracle Retail, shares news and ideas about the retail industry with a focus on innovation and emerging technologies.


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