By that I don’t mean that Facebook is going to release a search engine, but that it will become a more important source of traffic than Google for many brands. Not sure? Check out these truly amazing statistics about Facebook: 10 Eye-popping Facts About Facebook.
Still not convinced?
According to Hitwise, since the middle of March, Facebook overtook Google in terms of traffic. In parallel with this meteoric rise, Facebook released a new set of tools for marketers to use to optimize their websites for Facebook traffic.
Move over SEO
Facebook Social Plugins are the marketers ‘Facebook Engine Optimization’ tool kit, which can be easily deployed to drive deeper engagement on websites using Facebook Recommendations, Logins and Likes.
Of these, Facebook Like is undoubtedly high impact –one billion Likes were served in 24 hours following its launch. With Like, Facebook is effectively building an alternative index to the web which is already beginning to give Google a run for its money. As Facebook Like is deployed ever more widely around the web, Facebook’s index of the web, based on Facebook users’ Likes will grow in importance.
Facebook is highlighting some case studies with spectacular increases in referral traffic using Social Plugins:
But while many marketers have understood that Facebook Like is both important and easy to implement, there is only nascent understanding of the broader impact of these Social Plugins.
So here’s my attempt to accelerate that process.
These are the top three Facebook Social Plugins in importance for ecommerce:
- Facebook Like
The Like button lets users share pages from your site back to their Facebook profile with one click. Implementing it on your product detail pages allows your visitors to tag the page with a Like which then shows up on their wall. Depending on how you implement it, they can leave a short comment as well. Since this is at the heart of Facebook’s index, this is really important. If you don’t yet have Facebook Like implemented on your product detail pages, this should be a priority. At its simplest level, it’s just one line of HTML, and just like you optimize keywords for SEO, you need to let visitors Like your key pages.
- Facebook Recommendations
The Recommendations plugin gives users personalized suggestions for pages on your site they might like. What’s amazing is that you can test it out for your site here. Simply enter in your sites web address, and click in the grey panel somewhere (not the Get Code button) and it will show you the recommendations Facebook has already for your site. This works even if you haven’t yet implemented Facebook Like based on what your Fans are saying about you on Facebook and other social media such as Twitter (but all from a Facebook perspective).
Here is Target’s Facebook Recommendations Plugin:
Target has not implemented Like or any of the other Facebook Social Plugins (yet), but note how there are already some high quality recommendations, based on fans sharing. Also note how the top recommendation links to hot content, and specifically a product detail page with an ‘add to cart button’ inviting purchase.
- Facebook Login
The Login Button shows profile pictures of the user’s friends who have already signed up for your site in addition to a login button. Facebook Login replaces Facebook Connect, which now has over 100 million Facebook users logging in to other websites. While ecommerce websites have not been early adopters of Login, there is such a good fit that it is inevitable that Facebook Login will be everywhere in ecommerce within a year. Here’s why: 200% more site visitors will log in to their Facebook account on an ecommerce site than create an account. That means three times the number of visitors on your site that are now identified. And when an identified customer doesn’t buy, you can remarket to them, based on what they browsed, looked at in detail and abandoned.
If you’d like to learn more about Facebook’s Social Plugins, then I can recommend then following:
- Facebook’s Overview of their Social Plugins: http://developers.facebook.com/plugins
- Facebook’s Social Plugins Showcase with lots of examples in different sectors: http://developers.facebook.com/showcase/
- SeeWhy’s Conversion Academy On-Demand webcast ‘Leveraging Facebook to Drive eCommerce Revenues’ which is available here: http://www.seewhy.com/resources_conversion_academy.htm