Figures by Comscore shows that Facebook has surpassed Google in terms of “time spent”, “visits” etc. This spells good news for Facebook and not so good news for Google (kind of like a Prisoner’s dilemma’s situation) BUT wait. I feel, its different (in a way).
My view is people will continue searching and when they search in Google (or other search engines) they have an INTENT – they are hunting for information to act on (or digest). They know what they are searching for and marketers can capitalize on that very intent by having landing pages or content that answers their search and thus convert them.
On the other hand, in social networks (e.g. Facebook), people go there to socialize, get information – spook on what their mates are doing. Sure they may post on their status seeking assurances about a particular product but their intent is rather different as when they search online. When they search using a search engine, they will prowl through forums to see reviews and then act on the reviews. However on Facebook, they just tend to take a back approach to have fun. So their motivation to go to each platform is different I argue. So how does one convert in this situation?
On a slightly related note, in communities of interest such as forums and such – commerce can work very well because they are bonded by communities of interest and by engaging in say group buy – its a very natural extension of being in a community whereas social network not so per se, as the last thing they want is to have ads shoved up their face in a social setting.
On this note, I foresee in the year 2011 and beyond, we will be seeing a fair bit of group buying going on (especially on communities of interest) and gaining further traction – its not new I must – its has also been going on but I feel that it will grow bigger…
What are your views?
P.S. I tend to see forums as communities of interest bonded by a love for a brand or a hobby whereas Facebook on the other hand is a social friend network.
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