ADOTAS – “For a lot of Facebook users, 50 credits feels more significant than $5 off a purchase,” says Scott Silverman, cofounder and vice president of Ifeelgoods, a humorously named virtual goods incentivization platform.
This has become even truer as the social network has expanded the functionality of credits — paying for crops on FarmVille are so yesterday as you can now rent and watch new DVD releases on Facebook with Credits.
Via an integration with the Credits API, the Ifeelgoods’ technology platform enables brands offering Facebook Credits as rewards for purchases and other activities to deliver Facebook Credits right into user’s virtual wallets in one step — a simple app-to-account transfer. Ifeelgoods claims to distinguish itself through its secure processes that prevents fraudulent awarding of credits — e.g., to Facebook users that did not complete a rewarded activity. Facebook Credit fraud is a growing problem, and prove quite costly for brands trying to use them for incentivization.
The rewarding of virtual goods through Facebook is about far more than driving a purchase. As a case study with online jewelry Ice.com shows, rewarding purchases with Facebook credits can build brand loyalty and help identify those highly sought-after social influencers.
Interestingly, Ice.com actually ran a hybrid discount/virtual goods incentive campaign. With the goal of pushing likes to its Fan Page, Ice.com used Facebook display ads to target based on interest such as jewelry, likes of competitors and interest in fashion-related entertainment (e.g., “Sex and the City”) for a Mother’s Day campaign. The deal? A Like got a user $10 off any purchase plus 100 Facebook Credits once they completed that purchase. Those transactions were powered by Ifeelgoods, whose revenue was generated through a combination of a technology fee plus a surcharge for the Credits.
When the costumer clicks to redeem the credits, he or she is offered the chance to share the offer with friends. Silverman makes the point that Facebook’s rules ban incentivizing sharing via Credits — instead brands can only encourage. To that effect, this social sharing feature is a bonus for clients as it offers insight into true social influencers.
The results of the campaign for Ice.com were record click-through rates for Facebook ads (three times the average), higher on-site conversion rate (three times), a record low cost for acquiring fans (down 65%) and — most important on the loyalty angle — lower fan abandonment (35% below other campaigns).
While Ifeelgoods has typically worked directly with brands (look up their tab in the Facebook directory), Silverman — former executive director (and newest board member) of Shop.org, the digital division of the National Retail Federation — is excited about the prospect of collaborating more with agencies in the creative process to promote more interesting ways to reward users with Facebook Credits. A good example is the “Heist It Back” campaign for the Eddie Murphy/Ben Stiller caper comedy “Tower Heist” from Universal Pictures, in which users can “steal” 1 million Credits (which is technically $100,000) across Facebook.
By clicking “Heist” buttons and completing the tasks assigned, including posting creative content to a stream, users can earn up to 10 credits a shot. Already 700,000 credits have been claimed, with the leaderboard showing a several-way tie for first place — 500 credits. The movie opens in theaters on Friday
Also, the company is branching out into other types of virtual goods for incentives — in particular, credits for Skype. Considering that Skype accounts for a large chunk of all global calling, it makes sense for Ifeelgoods’ growing global presence. Currently the company is operating in the U.S., U.K, France, Spain, Germany and Turkey, which Silverman notes is the country with the fourth highest amount of Facebook users.