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Day 1 at ILM West came to a close with a session on how SMBs are using Facebook and social media. This most notably culminated with “3 big ideas” for driving social commerce, from Oodle CEO Craig Donato.

These are derived from Oodle’s work powering Facebook’s own Marketplace, and other things the company has done that are tantamount to a “social commerce experiment”.

1. Social commerce is rooted in discovery (not search): Amazon and others are rooted in search, but Facebook is more like television in that there is browsing and serendipity when people “tune in”. Marketers therefore need to engage users in a mindset of serendipity. Donato adds that the sweet spot for F-commerce is the top of the funnel, where intent is generated.

“I can see the things my friends are buying, get trusted opinions and get driven through the conversion process in and efficient way, he says.”

2. You need a footprint within Facebook to be effective: This boils down to the fact that users that engage within the news feed show 4 times greater conversions than those that are taken elsewhere, such as a company’s website.

Oodle also utilizes email to push things out for greater permanence, versus the news feed where things are pushed down more rapidly. The company sends 20 million emails per week within Facebook.

3. You don’t just need friends for commerce: Commercial and social intent don’t have to be coupled at all times.  To find something you’re interested in doesn’t necessarily have to be sold or referenced by a friend. Expanding the degrees of separation in a given social graph will lead to the scalability required for relevant connections to be made in a given marketplace.

“We think of it as more of a ‘commerce graph’,” says Donato.

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