Online Poker and Social Networking – The Relationship

Social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace are revolutionary tools that have had a global and dramatic impact on many areas of life, including e-commerce and online gambling entertainment. These types of tools are not simply ways to keep in touch with friends and family, they are portals of access to reach millions of potential customers, players, partners and clients that normally businesses would not have access to. You would be hard pressed to find an industry which has not been touched by the mega Internet presence of social networking sites and tools, and online poker is no exception. As our lives become more and more mobile, we are seeing a transformation occur that places the needs and wants of our daily lives right at our fingertips, including our appetite for the excitement of poker.

As part of this social networking revolution, we are not surprised to see that Texas Hold ’em has hit the Facebook scene in a powerful way. We are not talking thousands of participants, we are talking millions. So, is this powerful impact a good one? The consensus among most experts in the field agree that its a very positive boost for the poker industry as a whole. It is being compared to the explosion of the game of poker in 2003 when Chris Moneymaker turned a $39 PokerStars satellite event into a $2.5 million WSOP Main Event win. The boom that Chris’ win brought to the poker industry was phenomenal. Instead of seeing poker as a game for the untouchables, people were able to relate to Chris and were able to picture themselves playing poker, and things just took off from there.

There are several experts who believe that the Facebook Texas Hold ’em application could be the same type of catalyst. Facebook Poker has 15 million players, which rivals the customer base at several huge online poker rooms who have sites dedicated to online poker. Being accessible through social networking, Facebook Poker is reaching a whole new audience, a completely different demographic of people who normally may not give poker a second thought. Zynga, the creator of Facebook Poker, cosponsored a promotion which allowed players to compete for spots at the WSOP 2009. Two lucky Facebook players won seats, and one of them made it to day 3 of the event. It is foreseeable, and quite likely that in the future, we will hear of up and coming pros who obtained their winning skill set from playing Facebook Poker with their pals.

When creating the application, Zynga’s goal was to enable Poker Night with your friends regardless of geographical constraints. Thanks to the social networking phenomenon, Facebook users from distant corners of the country, or even the world can enjoy playing poker with each other online! Not only has Facebook Poker introduced millions of new players to the world of poker, but has definitely provided a boost to the online poker industry as well. New players are realizing that online poker is one of the most convenient and thrilling venues by which to enjoy their favorite poker game. Along with Facebook Poker, there are many superb online poker rooms to choose from when players are looking for some hot poker action.

Social Commerce – Are You Using it to the Maximum?

E-tailers are constantly searching for new ways to connect and build a long lasting relationship with their customers. However, a close examination reveals that they fail to use even the existing social commerce tools to the optimum.

A quick look at some e-commerce websites reveals desolate picture. Most of them have initiated community-building tools like forums, ratings, reviews and even blogs. Sadly, they suffer from want of active intervention from the e-tailer. The forums reveal sporadic participation, the ratings and reviews appear wanton and the blogs either are too verbose or carry only terse company news.

All of this reflects a lack of consistency and shallowness in their attempt to engage with their customers. Instead of running after the latest fad, they can maximise the usage of the existing tools.

Blogs, reviews and even ratings are still good enough to connect with customers and build a strong and lasting relationship. They are virile enough to build brands and provide an incentive to customers to revisit the e-commerce website.

If used innovatively, they can create the much sought after ‘seal of trust’ that will tip the scale in an e-commerce sites favour. All of these social technologies can improve customer experience and turn even a mild customer into a ranging brand advocate.

This is not to say that anything newfangled is worthless, instead this is an attempt to make an e-tailer understand the value of the tools he already posses. There is nothing wrong with integrating new social commerce tools, if it is used to the maximum. In addition, it may disorient a customer to find that the website he frequents replace one tool with another just for the sake of novelty.

Social Commerce – The Shift to Social Media Shopping

Social Commerce – The Evolution
Social commerce is different from traditional e-commerce, or more of an extension of e-commerce. Social commerce basically makes use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. The method that is employed in this type of commerce is rather simple in its essence. Business owners or people who are related to sales use these sites to interact with the potential and existing customers. They make use of several techniques to encourage online selling of their product or service. To simplify the concept, one can say that when e-commerce is conducted using social media sites, it is termed as social commerce. But what differentiates social commerce from e-commerce is commerce through social media evolves from a relationship basis where e-commerce is more transactional.

Social Commerce = Opportunity
There is a growing trend among businesses to use social media for commerce to increase their sales. This is without doubt a great opportunity for businesses. The system of social commerce is based upon interaction. This gives a business much better chance of increasing sales because through these sites they are actually able to convey their message and motto to their customers.

The question that now arises is what is the point of social e-commerce? Using these sites a business can create a platform where potential customers can get advice from other people. There are many products and services that are for sale today and this very large variety can be a source of confusion for the customer who can’t decide whether to go for the product or not. Using social media, the business creates an environment where the existing customers serve as an important tool in convincing the potential customers to buy the product there and then.

Relationships Matter in Social Commerce
This is done through a series of product recommendation and building relationships though customer interaction, after all social media drives relationships which breeds trust which enable social commerce. Using sites like Facebook and Twitter the business sets up its product or service for reviews or ratings. Through this system it is able to generate feedback about its products and this in turn serves as ‘trusted’ advice to the new client. When the client sees that other people are making use of product/service and are benefiting from it, they are encouraged to buy the product. Since commerce through social media is an extension of e-commerce, the product can be bought online.

Facebook Commerce
When it comes to Facebook commerce or commerce through other sites, the product is sold using these sites. There is the facility of shopping carts available that allows the customer to buy the product there and then from the site without having to visit any other site. Facebook for instance uses Facebook Open Graph that allows the trade of goods to be carried on using Facebook. To help businesses, the site has also introduced tools such as I frames that allow businesses to learn more about their clients. Although the idea of social commerce is relatively new, there are many businesses that are currently making use of this service, and are benefiting from it. There are more firms that are taking up this concept and from the looks of it social commerce is going to get more developed as firms come to realize the fact that it has a lot of scope and potential.