Forget about the X-factor, does your brand have the F-FACTOR, the talent needed win the battle for profitable friends, fans and followers in Facebook (and other social media)? That’s the subject of this month’s briefing from – well worth a read.  But here’s the speed summary in 5 key points, along with a summary video from Facebook and a natty little infographic from digital insight and marketing agency One to One.

Our key takeout for social commerce is that the f-factor is not about technology, it’s about value: f-factor = talkability + utility (offering something genuinely worth talking about to in a way that’s worth genuinely talking about (instant personalisation, discovery aids, decision aids).  Miss either of these – and you don’t have the f-factor.

  1. What is the F-FACTOR? The F-Factor is the trend of consumers increasingly tapping into their networks of friends, fans, and followers to discover, discuss and purchase goods and services, in ever-more sophisticated ways – in other words the f-factor is word of mouth on digital steroids
  2. Why does the F-FACTOR matters to consumers? Shopping with your social graph helps make shopping more efficient, more effective, more relevant, and more interesting – and less risky than relying on untrusted (read: brand-driven) information. People trust recommendations from friends and family – 90% of people trust the recommendations of their Facebook friends, and 31% of daily Twitter users ask their followers for opinions about products and services
  3. Why does the F-FACTOR matter to brands? It makes word of mouth scalable, measurable and manageable.  It allows you to harness the word of mouth value (referral value) of a customer – in addition to their purchase value (LTV). Whilst consumers have always relied on word of mouth to discover and decide what to buy (83% of consumers state that they tell their friends if they get a good deal), what has changed is the emergence of digital platforms that unlock word of mouth – for consumers and brands – amplifying its importance and impact
  4. How can brands harness the f-factor? There are two ways brands can harness the f-factor. First, offer something remarkable – something worth talking about – and put in place the technology to allow people to like, share and comment with their social networks. Second, use social network data to enhance user experience via instant personalisation
  5. What errors should brands avoid with the F-FACTOR? It’s not about throwing up a store in Facebook or bribing or even compelling people to “Like” your Facebook page. The F-Factor is about being remarkable in what you offer and how you offer it (personalised discovery and decision tools, tools for social sharing)

Facebook on why the F-FACTOR is best harnessed on Facebook

Note how Facebook is now promoting itself as a next generation word of mouth marketing platform. Expect more f-commerce agencies to position themselves in this space… Facebook stores designed to drive brand advocacy.

One to One on why the F-FACTOR is best harnessed on Facebook

Here’s an infographic from One to One, summarising the case for harnessing the F-FACTOR on Facebook (500 million active users spend over 700 billion minutes a month on the site, more than 250 million people engage with Facebook across more than 2.5 million external websites.  Average user clicks the ‘Like’ button 9 times each month. (Facebook, 2010), three quarters of Facebook users have ‘Liked’ a brand, Juicy Couture found that their product purchase conversion rate increased by 160% after installing social sharing features; Incipio Technologies, a gadget accessory retailer, found that referrals from Facebook had a conversion rate double the average.