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, 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.
With all the potential of User Generated Content and social networks, providers of Gifts and gift cards have focused on conveneince in purchasing, delivery, and redemption. Jifiti, Loop, SmartGift and Giftagram offer a growing array of tangible gifts and gift card solutions – 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!
Users on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube are uploading and sharing media at an astonishing rate. Consider the following:
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”.
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.
Here are a few ideas to incorporate self-playing media into the social gifting experience:
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.
Are you ready to incorporate self-playing media into your social media gifting user experience?