Monday, November 22, 2010

Social Media meets Commerce

Giving further credence to the power of social networking, on the 2nd of November, eBay launched their Group Gifts service in the US (just in time for Christmas). See the above promo video from eBay which invites you to think 'Big'.

The service has been designed, say eBay to make “it easier for friends and relatives to chip in for gifts because it eliminates the headache of collecting contributions”.

How it works is: A gift is chosen, then others are invited to contribute to the gift via Facebook or email, they show their commitment via making the payment.

Should Group Gift Service make it to the eBay UK, I can see this working amongst my friends, for group payments for Hen Dos, Baby Showers, however I can’t see this working with older relatives, who unless this is advertised well may be sceptical about the security of this group gift option (if they haven’t heard of it before).

Group Gifts is just one of a number of social commerce tools currently being developed by eBay. Last week it unveiled a payment mechanism for digital purchases that allow people to make purchases through Facebook too.

It will be interesting to see how Group Gifts takes off in the US.

New Media Age recently reported that the UK market isn’t yet mature enough for social commerce, despite commitment from brands such as Dell and Disney.

Are we ready, time will tell.

Author: Sarah Griffiths

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Facebook Pages - Building the REAL community

Facebook say Facebook Pages allow you to: “Connect with your audience, share your story and participate in real-time conversations quickly and easily on Facebook”. Read more over at Facebook here;

The below provides quick tips from the Rocktime Flashlight team on how to build a community on Facebook using Facebook Pages.

Building the Authentic Community

Facebook for business should be about genuine, valuable interaction with fans the most effective way to build the community is by engaging with your customer base. Critical mass online often takes time, remember it was the "Tortoise (slowly but surely) that won the race, when the Hare took a little nap”. Talk to us more about this analogy if you like, basically it sums up that slow organic growth in social media is not a bad thing.

Your Facebook Page needs to be engaging and interesting to ensure your fans/customers/potential customers, keep you in their news feeds. It doesn’t need to be “wham bam wham” with production of chat on your page wall, you just need to talk to your fans at a time suitable for them (when they are most engaged).
Ads can be used to give your community a boost, perhaps expanding to a new demographic, but the key is content, content, content.

Lessons in Engagement
  • Give your fans a reason to visit
  • Get them to love your page so they can recommend you to others
  • Provide interesting insights of value (to the fan)
  • Share news
  • Competitions
  • Deliver informative information which indicates that you know your industry and don't constantly promote your products or service
  • Give people a reason to talk about the page
  • Introduce people to the reasons as to why they should be visiting or liking the page
  • Be chatty & human to encourage conversation and ensure ongoing interaction
  • When delivering Facebook Ads, keep the target audience in mind, deliver an ad that will resonate with your fan rather than shouting about how great you are
  • Advertise on the Facebook page to encourage further interaction on your site
  • Make a note of all your customer touch points (Newsletters, Lost password, Page 404 not found) and how you can advertise your networks of interaction there to encourage Facebook Page fan growth
  • Finally, keep it real (think topical stories and conversations)


People tend to join a community when they see it has many fans already. You may develop a campaign (on or off Facebook) to encourage fans to join, but you must always return to the quality over quantity argument - will you get return?

You will if you devise a campaign closely linked to your target audience, that will deliver value.
A biggy to consider is that when launching any campaign attention needs to be given to the resource of social media & a strategy established for this to work. Along with delivering Facebook Pages strategy the Rocktime Flashlight team can assist with these Social Media resource issues, talk to us to find out more.

If you would like to share any further tips for Facebook Page Growth, feel free to comment below. I am sure we could share more, re: Facebook Mark Up Language (Facebook HTML) and Social Plugins, Apps, Multi Channel Integration, but we simply wanted to provide a simple list of 'do's', that our readers can use to help them get on the right track to Fan Page growth.

Author: Sarah Griffiths

Monday, November 15, 2010

Amazon Black Friday hits the UK

We have been moaning recently about the premature Christmas adverts on the telly, which all seem to include dancing & singing this year (Iceland, M&S, We are pretty confident that they will all become very annoying by the time Christmas arrives.

But here's something that we're not moaning about; Amazon has brought the American "Black Friday" retail campaign to the UK. Yeah!! A popular campaign in the States, where shops (both online & offline) slash their prices to encourage shoppers to part with their Thanksgiving bonuses.

What does this mean to us? Whilst we might not have any Thanksgiving bonuses to burn, DISCOUNTS on the other hand are always a good thing.

Amazon state that for the first time ever, they will be replicating many of the deals for UK users on Friday 26th of November. They are promoting "unbelievable, pinch-me-to-prove-they're-real, Black Friday deals", the nature of which will be revealed on the 22nd of November.

We hope you grab a bargain, we will certainly be checking out their deals on tech and gadget stuff, cameras, consoles, games etc.

Here's hoping the deals live up to our expectations.

Author: Sarah Griffiths

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Geek Video of the month

Most of us have heard of augmented reality, but what about diminished reality? The name is pretty self explanatory, and here's a pretty amazing example! This video was put together as a research project by Jan Herling and Wolfgang Broll from the Illmenau University of Technology in Germany and gives a fantastic demonstration of a diminished reality in your own home.

Just think of the possibilities! Removing that annoying tall persons head from your view at the cinema? That ex you'd rather not think about from some video? Maybe even a camera where you can dynamically remove passers by from your photo before taking it? And thats just on the small scale...

Author: Alice Cheetham