Friday, February 1, 2013
Yesterday Facebook announced a new “Gifts” product – the Facebook gift card. An actual physical card, users will be able to send friends monetary gifts to various retailers that will automatically load onto the card. A single card will be able to hold balances for multiple retailers at once.
Right now there are four participating retailers (Target, Jamba Juice, Olive Garden, and Sephora) and money is only added by “gifting.” However, as the concept catches on and expands there could be some very interesting results to this experiment.
One problem social marketers continually bemoan is measurement of ROI. You spend time and money promoting products and services on Facebook, but there’s no airtight way to measure the full impact. Sure, if they click through a link to your website and buy you can use web analytics to trace that back to a Facebook referral and attribute the dollars accordingly. But what if someone sees a cool new item on the Facebook page and heads into the store to buy it?
The Facebook gift card could be a very real way to make the “Clicks To Bricks” connection between digital activities and in-store purchases. Imagine if Target were able to put a “Buy” button next to the “Like” button on a product image: if I click “Buy,” maybe I have an option to buy from their site or to load the correct amount of money onto my Facebook card to use at the store later. And when I use that specific card at the store, versus my own credit card or cash, Target will know that that buyer was influenced to purchase from Facebook.
Facebook hasn’t directly hinted at anything like the above, and of course there are some hurdles to clear in order to make that a reality, but it seems like a feasible direction.
What do you think about Facebook credits? Love it? Hate it? Have a different prediction for its future? Let us know in the comments!
Looking for ways to integrate Facebook into your cross-channel marketing plan? Check out the Field Guide to Facebook Marketing.