I’m just hanging out with friends at the bar

In amongst all the loud noises about the opportunity that Facebook offers businesses, there are a few contrary experiences.
A number of high profile organisations have closed ‘storefronts’ on the social networking site. The latest of these, Gamestop opened in April last year to sell to the 3.5 million or more people who had declared themselves ‘fans’ of the video game retailer. Now they’ve closed the site.
Last year Gap (5.6 million fans) opened and closed a storefront, finding that customers preferred shopping on their own site.
In an article published yesterday, Bloomberg identifies JC Penney and Nordstrom as others to have opened and closed storefronts, and quotes Wade Gerten, CEO of social media developer 8thBridge “It was basically just another place to shop for all the stuff already available on the retailer websites, I give so-called F-commerce an ‘F.’”
Sucharita Pulpuru, and analyst at Forester research said “There was a lot of anticipation that Facebook would turn into a new destination, a store, a place where people would shop, but it was like trying to sell stuff to people while they’re hanging out with their friends at the bar.”
This suggests to me that as with any form of marketing or selling, we need to be clear in our understanding of customers – is our great new idea really adding anything that they value; does this media channel give us access to new audiences; are they really going to be receptive to our message?
Best wishes, Chris