Social network gifting has arrived. It started with virtual gifts in the gaming, virtual greeting and family tree communities and now companies such as Facebook have begun to experiment with gifting of real physical gifts and gift cards. The idea is that you can send any “friend” a real-life, delivered-at-her-door and tied-with-a-ribbon gift. You won’t even have to know her address, favorite color, or size… and you won’t have to send her an impersonal gift card. Your “Friend” gets notified that you want to send her a scarf and simply needs to accept it.  Once accepted she can provide an updated shipping address and choose the style and color.The convenience and potential for impulsive and timeline-initiated gifting is compelling. If you’re a merchant, even if you don’t provide social network gifting, your customers can still be encouraged to post images or Pinterest pins of gifts given or received on their timeline, sharing their good taste in gifts … and good taste in friends… on their social network.

Social Media’s Opportunity

Social media, in whatever context you engage, has the inherent opportunity to know a lot about the individuals you are connected with, including the nature and depth of those connections.

Whether knowing that your 5-year anniversary is coming up next month, that your mother’s birthday is next week, or that a co-worker has just been promoted, social media can act as a reminder and serve as a facilitator in the gift giving experience.

But The Gifts Haven’t Changed…

With all the potential of a social network, providers of Social Gifts, such as Square WalletGyft and Wrapp have focused on purchasing, sending, and redeeming old fashioned gift cards. Sesame Gifts and Giftagram have picked up where Facebook Gifts left off and offer a growing array of tangible gifts – yet there is still something missing.

The next step in social gifting is the creation of non-traditional gifts made with social media itself. Storyselling where the story and the product is you!

Some Facts About Social Media

Users on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube are uploading and sharing media at an astonishing rate. Consider the following:

  • 13.5 million profile photos are changed every day.
  • 60 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube every minute. 10 days = 1 century of videos.
  • 60% of videos have under 60 views, which means that these are not professionally produced videos made for the general public, they are personal videos made for friends and family.

User Generated Content Is The Key

Self-expression and storytelling are the most powerful motivators in social media. User Generated Content (UGC) is the engine that increasingly powers social media. Enabling gifts which incorporate UGC is the ultimate promise of social media gifting.

We believe that social gifting will only reach its true potential when its gifts are transformed by user generated content into social media gifting. The gift-giver can use images, sounds, music, and even video that have already been self-qualified as part of a user’s timeline, circle of friends and “likes”.

The addition of an individual’s personal “brand” to a gift increases the perceived value of the gift in the eyes of both the giver and receiver and diminishes the likelihood of abandoning the transaction. A gift that includes a personal picture, favorite music or video of a shared moment no longer belongs to the gift vendor. The prospective gift-giver has already taken ownership minutes before the final purchase.

Gifts That Share A Little Bit Of You

Social media gifting provides a platform where physical gifts can be exchanged conveniently yet in the living color we have grown to expect from media-rich communications. Social media gifting envisions a global gifting platform where physical gifts can be delivered same-day anywhere on the planet, while incorporating a personal touch and self-expression.
If an image, sound or video can be digitally transmitted, then these personalized media files can be displayed or played on a self-playing media gift product. A gift that you can touch, feel, hear, and even smell, as well as see is able to impact and deepen the emotional connection of a relationship in a way that virtual delivery cannot.

What You Can Do

Weave the tangible back into the gift giving experience. If you’re a vendor in the social media gifting space, look for ways to incorporate palpable, self-playing media into the delivery process. If your a social media provider, ask your vendors what they can do to deepen the impact of the gift giving experience through self-playing media.

Examples & Ideas

Here are a few ideas to incorporate self-playing media into the social gifting experience:

  • Greeting Cards – Offer the ability to embed high-quality recorded sound into the greeting card process, allowing Grandma to not only see a picture of her family, but hear them sing and share their love with sound.
  • Delivered Gifts – Use a light sensor to trigger music when the gift box is opened (immediately setting a positive mood) and draw attention to a voice message attached to the gift.
  • Video Screens – Use a self-playing video screen to allow your customers to send personalized video greetings embedded in a physical card. (Note: The technology for video is still cost prohibitive at a mass market scale, yet there certainly market specific applications)

How Voice Express Can Help

Voice Express has deep roots in the gift giving industry. We’ve worked with partners like FTD and Build-a-Bear to incorporate self-playing media into the gift giving experience. We are an enabler, working behind the scenes to deliver the technology and supply-chain expertise to help you incorporate self-playing, tangibly delivered media into the gift giving experience.

Contact Us Today

Are you ready to get started?

Are you ready to incorporate self-playing media into your social media gifting user experience? Contact Us Today