Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Are you spending real money on virtual social games?

November 30, 2010

I just heard of a new partnership between American Express and Zynga, the company who builds and runs such Social Games like FarmVille.  What do these two have to do with one another you may ask?  Well, American Express is now offering member rewards points to let users pay for virtual currency and goods. (Read the article on Mashable) So, all those years we have been saving up credit card rewards to spend on tangible goods such as airline miles and other retail products, we are now going to spend, spend, spend to receive points towards intangible goods like virtual food for your virtual pig on your virtual farm.   

Working in Social Media, I have a good grasp on the benefits of Facebook, Twitter and the like, for businesses of all shapes and sizes.  I even understand the enjoyment one may get out of playing games like FarmVille (even though I do not play them myself).  However, what really blows my mind is that people will spend their actual hard-earned money to feed Betsy, their virtual cow, or to build a bigger and better farm for their virtual horses and chickens to run around.   In an August 2010 article by Mashable, they reported in 2009, an estimated $2.2 billion in virtual goods were sold to consumers globally, and that number is expected to rocket to over $6 billion by 2013. That’s a LOT of zeros.

Ok, so I know that Social Media sites like Facebook need to make money, and from what they say, advertisements just aren’t cutting it.  But what really makes me concerned, is we (individuals, America, the World) have WAY over $2.2 billion in debt, over and over and over again; we are engaged in war; we are fighting poverty in every town and city in all corners of the world, including our own here in the States; we are unemployed; and we are sitting at home, spending what’s left of our money on virtual games.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the value of entertainment and I know gaming systems have been around for years, but somehow this just takes it to the next level for me!  You aren’t just buying a game once and playing it over and over again.  You are spending money daily to support your virtual gaming habits.  It almost ranks up there with spending money daily on a bad gambling habit doesn’t it?

I’d love to hear your opinion.  Do you play FarmVille or other similar games?  Do you spend money on them?  What do you feel you get out of it?  Do you ever feel guilty for spending money or do you find it’s just another form of entertainment?

Written by Ashley Loftin, Marketing Specialist at AdLinea, LLC

Facebook fan page confusion

April 22, 2010

Yet more changes from Facebook… now it’s Community Pages versus Fan Pages. What should a small business choose when employing social media? No worries; we’re here to help understand the difference between  Fan pages on Facebook and the new Community pages.

Right after Facebook changed the way you connect with a page from “Become a Fan” to just “Like this page”, they announced a new kind of page. This new Community page is designed to serve a very specific purpose. Facebook is telling users “the owners of an entity should create Fan pages for that entity” and “people who are interested in a topic or an entity but do not own it should create a Community page.”

That boils down to businesses creating Fan pages for their company, product or brand and individuals creating Community pages to talk about certain topics or interests. It seems Facebook is pulling back from the general public being able to create a “Richmond Flying Squirrels” fan page and leaving that up to the actual owner of that entity. Consumers and the public can still create a page to discuss “Richmond Flying Squirrels”, but it can’t be a Fan page; it has to be a Community page since the it wasn’t created by the owner.

Facebook is certainly aiming to reduce the number of Fan pages that aren’t actually representing the companies behind those products and services. As Facebook connects to more brands on more websites via the extended Like plan they unveiled at the F8 conference, it will be more and more important for them to restrict who can create a Like-able page that isn’t the real owner.

So, if you are a small business and you want to create a Facebook page to assist in branding, to be your cornerstone in reaching your audience via social media, and to provide a place for your customers to talk to you, you should still be creating a Fan page for your company. We have guides for creating Facebook Fan pages for business on the AdLinea website. For individuals, you’re limited to Community pages and Group pages.