Sunday, January 06, 2008

Local Social Network Commerce -- taking us back to the old days?


In a previous post, I suggested that local businesses and government services could enrich our lives by taking part in the social networking phenomenon. I was already aware of an application (that's such an inappropriate word given the power it brings) called Business 3.0, that allows you to create a profile of your business, your products and services and sell them on your social network site.

Facebook Pages allow businesses to connect with theirr customers on Facebook similar to the way they connect with their friends. Through a Facebook Page, users can show their support by becoming a fan, writing on the business' Wall, and other actions that automatically generate News Feed stories.
It's designed for all types of businesses:

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Cafes
  • Health and Beauty
  • Pets
  • Local Stores
  • Parks
  • Attractions
  • Sports Teams
  • Games
  • Artists
  • Musicians
  • Politicians
  • Non-profits
  • And many more...
So start your business, build your business profile, install the B30 app, and get busy, right?

What can we imagine with this? I'm thinking a back-to-local movement for businesses who are tired of losing business to the Amazon's of the world. Roll back the local business strategy (before my time) where everyone knew everyone, and those who lived in the town shopped in the town. Could it be that we could see a resurgence in local shopping? Is it time for the Mom and Pop stores that were pushed out by Wal-Mart to push back?

I'm thinking a local presence in my Facebook neighborhood, where the gas station lists their current prices (one can hope!), and the local grocery displays advertised specials. The library can send you a text message when that video you wanted gets returned, and the barber shop posts their mood as "bored, come get your hair cut now).

The local nursery can post receipt of a bunch of new shrubs as a bulletin on their profile, the local newspaper (if they are still around) can have "top friends" based on who gave them the scoop on news, and the local bank can tell all their customers that a new branch manager was hired and they are having a meet-and-greet this afternoon.

Reservations at the best restaurant in town can be made with a text message, the pavilion at the local park can be reserved in seconds, and you can schedule a yard-waste pickup from your pda. Local politicians can share their vision for the community with minimal cost, and the local car dealer can post "just arrived" specials.

The sky's the limit . . . but it's only for those with vision.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Patrick Higgins said...

Carter,

I am thinking of something entirely student-centered here: internet marketing as a high school elective. We are teaching students economic principals and marketing strategies that are sound, yet completely learned in a vacuum. Why not expose them to something as globally useful, yet locally profitable as this?

My position as Director of Curriculum puts me in a place to help design new courses for the school district I work in, and this is one that has been on my mind for a while. Your model fits nicely. Thanks for the springboard, and I will be documenting its progress over at my blog.

Cheers.