Facebook Fan Pages – Giving Real Gifts in a Virtual Environment

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Allison Linn, a Senior Writer for msnbc.com, reported on the growing trend in gift giving on Facebook. She cited two companies that allowed Facebook users buy coupons that could be redeemed for real products and delivered via Facebook – Cold Stone Creamery and Burger King. Both use an app called eGift Social – owned by payment processor First Data – to handle the payment and delivery.

With Cold Stone Creamery, there are five gifts to choose from with list prices ranging from $5.25 to $6.25. Burger King sells only the Whopper – at a whopping $7.00, plus the 50 cent handling fee.

Although the process for selecting a Friend, completing the transaction and the final “delivery” of the gift are similar, where and how the offer is presented is very different. For some inexplicable reason, Cold Stone Creamery has their eGift Social app on their website, buried under the Gift Cards navigational tab. The gift-giving service was not available in a Box on their Facebook Page, nor was there a mention of it or a link to it in the right sidebar on their page.

On the other hand, Burger King had a tab on their Facebook Page labeled BK eGIFT that opened up an inviting application. There were 18 gift cards to choose from – and all of them clever and well designed. Some of the messages could work just as well in the offline as the online world, and would be good for more distant friends known in real life.

However, many gift cards were targeted – directly – at Facebook users, and the special nature of Facebook relationships. This not only makes Burger King less like someone who is generically hawking their wares, and more like someone who gets the Facebook vibe, but also encourages the giving of gifts to people that would never have been on someone’s holiday list in the past.

“To the friend who’s always liked my status updates, even though I have no idea who you are.”

“Our friendship only exists on Facebook, but this Whopper, is in contrast, very real.”

“Happy holidays, and thank you for not tagging me in your pictures from that one night.”

Burger King eGift Facebook

These kind of gift messages are more likely to get a higher buzz on Facebook, as well as generate money that would not have been spent last holiday season.

Facebook eGift

The ROI on taking the time to develop a nice interface, and create some creative messages, has got to be pretty impressive – especially at $7.00 per burger!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Catherine Sherwood
Catherine Sherwood is a consultant specializing in social media, strategic marketing and common-sense search engine optimization. Her insights and expertise are backed by 20+ years of business experience at the senior executive level.

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