Getting More Facebook Fans and Monetizing Them

By: Chris Crum - May 10, 2010

It seems like Facebook is controlling more and more of users’ online time, and that doesn’t appear to be on pace to change anytime soon. Facebook is already on the path to controlling more content, online retail, and online identification, and who knows what all announcements we’ll see come out of the company’s F8 developer conference this week? To what extent Facebook will dominate these aspects of our web use (it’s grown a great deal in search too by the way) is yet to be seen, but the point is, Facebook is giving users a lot more reasons to use it, and in some cases it’s not really even a conscious decision. See the recent South Park episode for a good illustration about how Facebook continues to suck more people in. Facebook is where the people are online.

How important is Facebook to your online business? Share your thoughts here.

We’ve written several times recently about Facebook’s role in e-commerce. WebProNews spoke with Christian Taylor CEO of Payvment, which has been offering a Facebook storefront application to retailers since the beginning of November, and is now giving them a way to get people more interested in buying from them. It’s simple really – if a Facebook user comes across one of the retailers utilizing Payvment, they will be able to get discounts on merchandise for becoming a fan. That ought to drive some interest in Facebook e-commerce and user engagement with retail brands.

"As Facebook’s F8 conference approaches, many companies still wonder how they can transform Facebook from a "soft" relationship and marketing tool to something that will actually have an effect on their company’s bottom line.  For the first time, this new e-commerce solution will allow that to happen," Pavyment says.

Sidenote: A new study finds that questions businesses have about how they should be using social media have changed quite a bit within a year. Last year it was more about tactics. Now businesses want to know about ROI.

First, it’s important to understand how Payvment’s Facebook storefront app works. Unlike some of the other Facebook e-commerce apps out there, Payvment:

A. Doesn’t take users away from Facebook, and lets them pay via PayPal or credit card through PayPal (most likely Facebook credits as well before long)

B. Is completely free (in fact, Taylor tells me "it will always be free no matter what happens.")

C. Acts as a network of retailers from which customers can make multiple purchases across, all in one checkout process (money is then divided up among the retailers on the back-end)

D. Provides users with a way to discover additional retailers on Facebook as each retailer’s page provides a gateway to additional brand pages for shopping.

Now back to that new incentive feature. A retailer using Payvment can go in and simply set a certain percentage they want to offer as a discount in exchange for the user becoming a fan of the page. Here’s what a page utilizing the platform might look like to a fan and to a non-fan, respectively:

Payvment Retail Site as seen by a fan (with discount)

Payvment Retail Site as seen by a non-fan (without discount)

I raised the point that when a Facebook user "fans" a brand, Facebook automatically alerts that user’s friends that they have become a fan of said brand. I wondered if that might be looked upon as something of an endorsement, and if a fan is getting an incentive in the form of a discount to for being a "fan" of that brand, how would the FTC view that in light of its much-publicized guidelines on endorsements?

Taylor made the point that Payvment and its retailers aren’t actually giving the user gifts or paying them anything. They’re just taking money off for becoming a fan. He equates it to becoming a member of a club or joining a mailing list. Mailing lists don’t alert all of the friends of the person who signs up that they are fans, however. Taylor maintains that Payvment does not create such alerts, implying that this would be more on Facebook to address, if it were to be considered an issue at all. As we see more Facebook e-commerce platforms become available as I’m sure we will, and others copy this strategy (which also seems likely), this may indeed become something Facebook would want to address.

Either way, Payvment has a pretty interesting concept on its hands. "While Facebook has become an excellent platform to build or strengthen brand awareness and communities, companies and their enthusiastic fans have been unable to take that final step between being a fan and being a buyer," says Taylor.

The new version of Payvment’s Facebook e-commerce application lets Facebook users add comments and reviews to Payvment-enabled storefronts. The feature includes spam protection, so sellers can control inappropriate content in the comment and review section of their storefront.

Due to Facebook’s terms of use, Payvment users are not permitted to sell adult content, alcoholic beverages, tobacco product, ammunition/firearms, items that promote hate, criminal/terrorist activities, or items that infringe upon the rights of a third party.

On a related note, Facebook recently partnered with two offer providers so users can earn Credits without having to pay directly. As InsideFacebook’s Eric Eldon noted, "For users, this means another way to get Credits without paying — this may increase spending on Credits for social games and other applications on Facebook." (emphasis added)

Taylor expects a lot of talk about Facebook Credits to come out of Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference this week, and he said that Payvment would definitely integrate Credits into its system.

Whether you are going to use an app like Payvment or not, it shows you that monetizing Facebook fans can be done, and if social media ROI is one of your concerns, here is a good example to look at. Again, I would expect this kind of thing to become more commonplace within the Facebook ecosystem, which is growing across the web in general.

Would you offer Facebook users discounts for becoming fans? Let us know.

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

View all posts by Chris Crum
  • Plumbing Services

    hey that’s something cool… as we all knows that facebook‘s popularity increase day by day around the world at that time facebook take care to take any step towards new technology or new facility. So here one more very good facility provide by the most popular social networking site of the world FaceBook!!!!

    well i just wrote above that the world’s most popular SOCIAL NETWORKing site ! by saying this here I would point out the other services or applications those were used by users of facebook just like games and other applications.. well mostly facebook used to be connected to social word or for friends network, to express yourself or to introduce yourself to the world.

    But Along with that when facebook provide these kind of services, it may be turn to be E-Commerce site!!! here i don;t know anyone can agree with me or not but i must say in near future facebook will be more about E-Commerce less about Social media..

    would love to know your reviews too…. just healthy Reviews plz…

  • Concrete Floor Coatings

    Offering your products or services is still doable as an ecommerce platform. Just need to customize it correctly. Facebook is smart to use this to retain visitors and attract new. For businesses, its making it easy for marketers to monetize for yourself or a company. Facebook is great for any industry, ie carpet woodinville, epoxy paint, kitchens, underwater mp3 players, etc…..

  • anton

    It is very helpful for me who knew little internet marketing world.

  • Guest

    Ummm… dated article… it’s all about the “likeness” now.

    • Chris Crum

      Yes, Facebook has just switched “become a fan” to “like” in the time since this was written, but I don’t think it changes anything.

  • Sam Maloof

    how about customizing your facebook,twitter profiles and with that we will also boost your fan page with 1000+ targeted fansfor facebook and for twitter we will get you targeted 2500+ followers.

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  • Matt

    Being a based in a regional area of Queensland, Hervey Bay, Essence Limousines has to be more particular when advertising its wedding car and school formal limousine services.

    We first started with an Essence Limousines Fan Page, which turned out to be a great landing area as we have found most Brides these days almost send Google into a meltdown, trying to find new ideas, suppliers, prices, etc, down to the nth degree before even thinking of picking up a phone. We then dabbled in some of those facebook ads. You know the ones up the right hand side. Well those little ads have given us what one would call fantastic ROI. In the last 2 months, rotating ads, trying different layouts, wording etc, leeping it fresh, we have booked…

    1. 4 new clients from Brisbane
    2. 1 new client from the Gold Coast
    3. 3 new clients from Gladstone
    4. 18 new clients from the Fraser Coast & Burnett regions

    of these 26 new clients, 14 had their first contact with us through our facebook page 8 from word of mouth, and the remaining 4 from a google search and landing on our website at

    Factor in an average spend per client being around the $AU1000 mark that equates to $14000 in 2 months just from FB! for a total outlay of about an hour a day in time and $27.51 in fees for the ads. (OK if facebook wasn’t there they may have found us on the net eventually) that’s not a bad effort. Now consider we only started the business in Jan this year, and FB could potentially increase our turnover by $90k by this time next year (not even taking in to account the figures increased exponentially) as a small business owner you would be nuts not to at least see what it can do for you.

    Being a small business like us it makes sense to concentrate our efforts more towards FB, seeing as it accounts for over 55% of our enquiries. Anyway, I’m getting off my soapbox for now.

    Essence Limousines

  • Dipendra

    I want to know If there is any other way to earn from facebook.This Tip was helpful.

  • Wilfred Joseph

    I see the opportunities. However I feel that the whole concept will be up ended and become monetized and like everything and greed will dominate. We do it with everything. The social implications of making the world a better place wand connecting us will disappear and Facebook will lose it’s charm and people will make a lot of money. Look at MLMs and all the phony wannabees. A new social network that won’t allow itself to be monetized will take its place. We are moving in a different direction thatis open, connected and encourages cooperation.

  • Pagan Lady

    As my business is based on peoples beliefs and is not a “normal” business like selling kitchens, toys or other regular items, I find facebook really good for business. It helps build a little community. Customers can ask questions and write on our wall and we always reply.

    I know 100% that i have got sales from facebook, and not just with adverts, just by speaking to fans of our page and answering questions.

    If your business is a niche market then you will find fans will find you without much promoting. If you keep them updated with things like special offers etc, then they should stay fans of your page and keep buying from your business.

  • Kenny

    I have just started selling online and In the past few weeks I have built up a small fan base on my Facebook Fan Site. I will know soon enough if offering incentives helps pull in fans quicker or not or whether the Payvment’s selling system is powerfull enough to sell on Facebook.

    I have registered for the account and it should be live in a few days. Lets see if that increases sales over the website. It will be interesting to find out if ‘leaving’ Facebook to buy has been much trouble or not.

    I think Impulse buying will be the order of the day and that sounds good to me.

  • Britt

    Although I am not a huge fan of Facebook, as it constantly changes its interface, I do use it to listen to what’s going on with the online conversation, build relationships, and connect with prospects. It’s a great tool to use as a mini website and I enjoy the the real-time nature of it as well. Instant updates are always a wonderful way to share your story with others online.

  • David

    I think that E-Commerce will change the way that people interact with Facebook. Retailers need to remember the fine line between social marketing and outright selling. It will be interesting to see what products do well and which ones don’t. I would hate to see Facebook turn into a new way to spam for herbal enhancements or online pharmacy.

    I tested Payvment a few months ago. For the most part the application is easy to use and setup. I applaud the developers for coming up with a great idea and using it to enhance the Facebook experience. Lets hope that garbage retailers don’t ruin the Facebook experience.

    • Jason

      For visual artists, Facebook is definately the SM site of choice. It is more visual artist friendly than twitter because its easier to let people see your work via the photo albums. I started a fb fan page about 5 months ago… my fan base has ben growing steadily, without the help of paid advertising. My FB page gets about twice as many visitors as my website and I always see a spike in the number of visitors to my website when I post a new link on my FB page. FB has helped me to expose my work to thousands of potential customers and it is starting to lead to sales and commissions.

  • Guest

    I have changed my privacy settings and cut off what ever I do not want to receive at Facebook. Therefore your advertisements are sent out but many are not read. Most times there are too many messages on a stream and you have to be in the right place at the right time too for me to see you..

  • $$

    I have found facebook a good place for me to share and do online business. There is not much restriction yet for you adding people around you or worldwide thus everyone is a chance for you and your shop, but of cos there is not much tools yet for you to do so, all the thing you need to do it by your hand and time.

  • Kara

    Up until this year, Google Adwords was the source of 98% of my sales. And despite the fact I tweaked it the best I could, it is still very pricey! But only 4 months into this year, and Google Adwords has only made up a very small percent of my sales! YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are the key right now. On Facebook, the key is, your customers being able to interact with you. I have made a good number of sales, after having answered customer questions in one-on-one PMs. And also in the message inbox and on my Fan page(I refuse to call it a “Like” page!) People feel more comfortable buying from a company where they can see the company interacting on a frequent basis with its customers. Have you ever chosen not to buy something from a website, because you were unsure of when it was last updated and if it is even really still in business? Facebook, takes all that wondering away.

    Conversely, as a company, you have to stay on your toes. Because, just as much as people can praise you, they can just as quickly post angry, dissatisfied remarks/reviews on your Fan page wall. I think this is what will weed out the bad eggs. And hopefully have this new turn towards e-commerce be successful on Facebook. I’ve just setup a Payvment storefront. I have not unleashed it yet, but I’m really thinking it may be quite a boost in sales.

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  • Krystal

    Offering the ability to purchase products directly from facebook is definitely a convenient and effective service. Since so many people have become members of facebook, it is a good idea to make it easier for those users to stay in facebook, yet still be able to take advantage of purchasing from vendors who offer their products on the site. I have taken advantage of Payvment’s service and look forward to what it offers in the near future.

  • crema

    Good tips but only long term, I prefer working on my business and I bought 10000 facebook fans on for my Business Fan page and I immediately started seeing the conversion rate of Orders/Visitors on my online store increase dramatically ! That was the best advertising investment I made !

  • Guest

    I agree. It is extremely important in todays day and age to have a fanpage for your business or organization.

    It allows you to instantly connect to nearly 500 million people across the world.

    The hard part is reaching those people. But from what I hear, there are actually social networking marketing agencies that now can drive traffic to your fanpage, how cool is that?

    Two off the top of my head that I remember hearing were called

    idk maybe even ill give it a try for my business!

  • kidsbatterycars

    I have only recently been aware of facebook and what it can do for businesses but I wasnt aware of this software facility. Payvment seems to integrate seemlessly with Facebook. Have never really fuly understood how to use Facebook to monetize a business.

    My store, Kids battery cars is an on online shop recently developed (you will see its set up purely for shopping), so the Payvment ecommerce system is something that may well be suited to and beneficial particulary considering the user demographics of Facebook

  • Sahil

    Heyy.. Nice informative post buddy. I was thinking to purchase fans on facebook to increase my business. Thanks

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