Enabling Product Catalogs on Facebook – By Marc Phillips

by Colleen on November 14, 2012

So you’re an affiliate manager who relishes new opportunities to monetize traffic. You know Facebook is huge, yet conversions are low, and you’re curious to test monetization options.

Good news. Facebook App developers are enabling distribution of product feeds on Facebook.

The magic number is 900 million users who spend over 20 minutes on average each day on Facebook. While Facebook has not formalized their affiliate marketing strategy publicly, they have enabled their developer platform to build apps for brand Facebook pages that suit affiliate marketers.

Facebook pages for brands commonly feature Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram app. There are also Facebook store apps, which enable transactions within Facebook and Product Catalog Apps.

However, affiliate marketing on Facebook is still very nascent. Affiliate networks, as well as advertisers, have not yet capitalized on the vast opportunity of traffic which visits Facebook every day.

There are many Facebook commerce (F-Commerce) technology solutions which can be deployed, yet all have a subscription billing model and a percentage of transaction volume.

However, the game is changing. Affiliate marketing applications are emerging and charging how affiliate marketers like it, on a performance only basis. That’s right, on a CPA basis only.

Specifically, data feeds of advertisers can now be fed through approved third party developers and deployed within Facebook on a CPA basis.

This is where your product data feed comes in. Your feed has everything Facebook needs to display product catalogs. Facebook users like to browse images, comment on colors of products in the catalog as opposed to transact within Facebook.

Makes sense, right?

Most customers have existing relationships (not to mention their credit card details) on the merchant site. Shopping inside Facebook is not working for many merchants.

Yet, enabling a product catalog on Facebook by importing product feeds from affiliate networks on a CPA Basis can be powered now by third party applications.

These applications not only surface brand names, prices and product descriptions into Facebook, they allow users to share product images and details with friends, as well as including the deep links of each product with affiliate IDs into Facebook.

There are some caveats. Facebook apps are difficult to develop. They take time. Facebook can be hard to work with, as their platform continually evolves, and changes occur constantly without Facebook giving notifications. Finding third party developers who have already built applications to enable for Facebook is a smart move to avoid lengthy technical development cycle.

Monetizing Facebook traffic is a very important component in not only Facebook’s future, but for affiliate mangers and brand marketers. There is no silver bullet to Facebook, other than adding compelling content to your advertiser or merchant’s Facebook page.

But providing product data feeds from affiliate networks onto brand Facebook pages via third party product catalog and social shopping apps is the ideal way for affiliate marketers to increase distribution and of course sales revenue.

This encourages greater engagement, discovery of content, and extends affiliate marketing into the Facebook social network.

Marc is the CEO of SKUmatic.com and founding shareholder of CommissionMonster.com

Download the entire FeedFront issue 20 here – http://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/feedfront-20

FeedFront issue 20 articles can be found here as well: http://feedfront.com/archives/article00date/2012/10

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