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Tim Peter

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August 16, 2013

Facebook Isn't Offering a Mobile Payments Platform. But What They Are Offering is Far More Interesting.

August 16, 2013 | By | No Comments

Facebook moving into commerceOn yesterday’s podcast, I mentioned that Facebook was launching a PayPal competitor as reported by AllThingsD. Turns out, not so much.

But, what they are doing is really interesting all the same.

TechCrunch clears up the confusion noting Facebook’s payments test is a companion that fills in billing info. Key story highlight:

” The feature pre-fills credit card and billing info for making easier purchases through PayPal, Stripe, Braintree or other payment processors in third-party mobile apps. It’s not a payment processor itself, but could help Facebook prove the ROI of its ads.” [Emphasis mine]

Now, clearly there’s a need for this kind of app. I’ve mentioned before how poor usability hurts the growth of mobile.

But the bigger trend, one I’ve mentioned in the past is that “he who owns the data, owns the customer.” (You can read more about that in my presentation on where marketing and online distribution are headed below):

Companies like Facebook, and its AGFAM brethren—Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, plus eBay who deserves an honorable mention—recognize the value of customer data.

You’d think Facebook would love to get a piece of the highly profitable payments pie. But this move shows where they believe the real value lies.

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of marketing on the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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July 25, 2013

Facebook's Mobile Money and the Streisand Effect: Thinks Out Loud Episode 36

July 25, 2013 | By | No Comments

Facebook in stream ad

Headlines

And, as promised in the podcast, you can register to receive a free copy of my special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here. While it’s targeted to the hospitality industry specifically, most of the lessons apply across verticals.

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using a Shure SM57 microphone
through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 14m 05s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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April 11, 2013

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March 7, 2013

Tim Peter

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February 6, 2013

Can Facebook Deliver Sales?

February 6, 2013 | By | No Comments

Can Facebook deliver sales? Zappos says yesMashable looks at Zappos Facebook activity over 2 months and finds it drives 85,000 website visits. Money quote:

“Overall, each status update during the period had a conversion rate of 1.75%, meaning that roughly one person in 50 clicked from the update to buy something. Bryan Eisenberg, a marketing ROI expert, says Zappos’ results are decent since the average conversion rate for retail is 2% to 3%.”

So, Zappos isn’t just getting traffic from their Facebook marketing, they’re also getting sales (though I would caution most people from reading too much into “industry average conversion rates”).

Again, the key point is that they’re getting sales. Today. Right now.

Social commerce (much like mobile) maybe something you’re looking at “in the future.” Just remember that the future’s already here.

Interested in more? Sign up for our free newsletter and get more information on how to build your social, local, mobile marketing strategy.

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Tim Peter

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January 25, 2013

Tim Peter

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October 25, 2012

Thinks Out Loud Episode 7: Should You Still Like Facebook?

October 25, 2012 | By | No Comments

Should You Still Like Facebook?Headlines:

Tip:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using a Shure SM57 microphone
through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 10m 13s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed or download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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September 28, 2012

Social Success? 9+ Tips to Think About This Week (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – September 28, 2012)

September 28, 2012 | By | No Comments

Social marketing success tipsIt’s been a huge week on the social, local, mobile web. What, you think the NFL referees are the only big story this week? Seriously, there’s lots to talk about, so let’s dive right in:

  1. Leading off, Business Insider has a good look at the ROI of social media for direct sales.
  2. On a related note, MediaPost shows how social media leads to email and search conversion.
  3. Of course, not everyone’s a fan. The Wall Street Journal talks about CEOs on Twitter and how fear makes some executives leery of social media.
  4. What’s to fear? Well, Techcrunch reports Facebook is deleting lots of fake accounts, leading many Fan pages to lose followers.
  5. Privacy is another challenge on Facebook. But I argued earlier this week that Facebook’s supposed privacy problem may not be this big a deal (this time).
  6. Chris Abraham has a great post on Biznology explaining how business tweeting is a life-sentence.
  7. Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic details Urban Outfitter’s recent switch to iPads and asks whether this is the end of the cash register?
  8. Speaking of Apple, CEO Tim Cook has issued an apology for its disastrous Maps app. Thinks looked at the what you can learn from Apple’s Maps mess earlier this week and also dug into the issue in more detail during this week’s podcast.
  9. Mashable is reporting that Instagram now has more daily active users on mobile than Twitter.

And I’d like to welcome back the regular NFL refs. It’ll be fun to boo the real officials, instead of the replacements, for a change. Hope your weekend rocks, Big Thinkers! And I’ll see you back here next week with more social, local, mobile marketing goodness.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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September 25, 2012

How Big a Deal Are Facebook's Privacy Problems?

September 25, 2012 | By | One Comment

Privacy and FacebookYesterday, I dove into what you can learn from Apple’s Maps debacle. Now, let’s take a look at Facebook’s latest privacy kerfuffle. It wasn’t my intent to spend this week talking about screw-ups, but, here we are…

It seems some Facebook users were seeing posts on their wall that looked like private messages. Uh-oh… cue the privacy police.

Except for one thing. The bug wasn’t showing private messages. Old public posts were reappearing instead. In other words, “move along, nothing to see here,” right?

Well, apparently not.

Some bloggers are suggesting that Facebook’s privacy concerns will make social business a tougher sell. Money quote:

“The thing is, when you look at [enterprise social tools] Chatter, Yammer or similar tools, it’s impossible not to at least think of the word Facebook. Which may lead more users to wonder about moments like this week’s alleged privacy breaches. The onus will be on IT departments to provide assurance that sensitive business data will be far more secure than anything on a public service.”

OK, first things first. I’ve had plenty of problems with Facebook’s treatment of consumer privacy (to say nothing of Facebook in general) in the past. And IT departments will need to ensure security of their firms’ proprietary data before putting too much super-secret, highly classified information in the social sphere.

At the same time, let’s be clear: Social is here to stay.

Suggesting that consumers and companies won’t adopt social because of privacy concerns ignores history. I worked for a large financial services company back when email and the Internet generally started coming on the scene. And, at the time, companies like mine had enormous concerns around whether they could incorporate these new tools without risking customer data, regulatory oversight, decreased productivity, increased costs or some combination of all four. Guess what happened.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. My father loves telling the story about working in a bank back in the early 1950′s (What can I say? He’s really old). It seems the company didn’t want their clerks using new-fangled technology to update their ledgers and accounts. The “new-fangled” technology? Ball-point pens (they worried the ink wouldn’t last as long as the ink from fountain pens). True story. Again, guess what happened.

Technology wins out in the long run, given one major criteria: Consumer adoption. If consumers use it, businesses will, too — whether they want to or not. It was true of the Internet. It was true of the web. It was true of email. It was probably true of the telephone (I wasn’t there, though I suppose I could ask my Dad). A much bigger threat to social in the enterprise is whether businesses make any money from it.

I’m not suggesting Facebook will be the ultimate winner. It might be Twitter. It might be Google+. It might be Foursquare or Path or Instagram or Pinterest or The Fancy or some site we’ve yet to hear about.

A better plan for your business is to figure out how to protect yourself and your interests while using social to interact with your customers. But unless privacy concerns keeps consumers away, they won’t keep businesses away either.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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June 26, 2012

Facebook and Google+ Are Not Blogs

June 26, 2012 | By | 3 Comments

Social media blogging on Facebook and Google+A client of mine and I have been developing their content strategy and we’ve come to the point of setting up a blog for their business. After talking through options for where to host their blog, I was surprised when my client asked, “Can’t we just blog on Facebook?”

It’s an excellent question.

Can’t you just blog on Facebook? Or on Google+ for that matter?

I’d suggest you can’t.

But why?

If you think about the 4 “P’s” of marketing, your blog content — actually, all of your content — represents one of your products. Your content exists to address customer needs.

Facebook and Google+ represent either a marketing channel (promotion) or distribution channel (place) for that product. (Of course, the only practical difference between a marketing channel and a distribution channel online is whether there’s a “Buy” button). So, in theory, there’s nothing wrong with using Facebook or Google+ as your blogging platform.

In practice, however, they’re another matter.

Here are three reasons why:

  1. It’s unlikely all your customers have a Facebook or Google+ account. While this is particularly true for Google+, there are still plenty of people who aren’t on Facebook. Additionally, there’s a big difference between having an account and using it actively.
  2. SEO of Facebook pages is, um… interesting. Google clearly indexes some content within Facebook. But not all of it. How Google indexes Facebook has changed several times (and will likely change more going forward), based on Google’s algorithm, Facebook’s privacy settings, the relationship between the two companies, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera…
  3. Google and Facebook can change their rules at any time. For me, this is the biggie. Your content needs to be the hub of your customer interaction, the one true place your customers can find that helps answer their questions. And while Facebook and Google+ make it somewhat simple today to tell your brand story on their platform, there’s no guarantee they’ll make it equally easy tomorrow.

Despite these reasons, I still highly recommend using Facebook and Google+ to promote your content. After all, lot’s of customers do have accounts on Facebook and an interesting group of people have accounts on Google+. Google+ pages absolutely have search engine value. And FB and G+ undoubtedly want to attract brands to their platform.

But for the reasons I mentioned above, I wouldn’t recommend putting all your eggs in Google or Facebook’s baskets.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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