Category Archives: Facebook

YellowPages.ca Expands Facebook Integration

This is a follow-up on a post that I did back on July 19 – titled “YellowPages.ca Launches Facebook Integration for Local Businesses” in which I profiled that yellowpages.ca had included facebook as part of their save and share functionality. However, in September, yellowpages.ca expanded one step further by integrating the “add to facebook” directly into the search results as well as the merchant page for each and every business in Canada.

Here are some screen shots of what this looks like. I used my mom’s business in Calgary called TheBraLady.ca. Here are the steps of how I got these screen shots:

First visit yellowpages.ca and do a search for bras in calgary. This actually loads a full page of results, but I captured just the result listing. As you can see, from the listing level you can add to facebook.

Add to Facebook on YellowPages.ca

If you click on the company name this loads the merchant page for TheBraLady.ca. As you can see from the following screen shot there are two locations where you can “add to facebook” including the logo in the top right hand corner. Sorry for the small size – click on the link above to see the live version.

Add to facebook within YellowPages.ca Merchant Page

This is what it looks like inside of facebook.

YellowPages.ca Inside of Facebook

As far as I know this is one of the first times that a company has allowed every single business in a country the ability to brand itself inside facebook – if you know of another integration – please send me a comment.

From a user perspective this is a great way to share a meeting location since all the merchant pages on yellowpages.ca have a map – when an address is available. From a small business perspective – this is a great opportunity to brand yourself within facebook.

Imagine – you set up a small business profile in facebook and invite your customers to connect to you. Why would they do that – because you are going to send out messages, promotions, coupons, etc. You use the add to facebook functionality to continue to update your friend list of these promotions. There is very little investment to make this happen and you potentially create a great viral tool.

If I had a small business – I would definitely take advantage of the many opportunities that could come from this integration. But that is just me – I tend to think a little differently.


FaceBook Camp Toronto

This is a live post at the FaceBook Camp Toronto – which is a collection of presentations and information for Facebook developers. You might be asking the question – why I am here? Simple, I am looking for ideas on ways that you can use facebook application development to build meaningful applications that can be used by local businesses to drive more business.

What I am not suggesting however, is that a local business simply puts something up on facebook and they will gets lots of business. Frankly the only person who cares about your business is you – facebook users certainly don’t. However, if you can build an application that has meaning for users – then you can probably turn this into real dollars.

Over the coming weeks, I am going to test out applications on facebook that have been developed by companies interested in making money but that have real application for users. I will keep you posted.

YellowPages.ca Launches Facebook Integration for Local Businesses

Coming soon to a Facebook profile near you – your favorite local business in Canada? YellowPages.ca – Canada’s largest online directory has launched their integration of Facebook for customers who want to save and share their favorite businesses by using their link function on Facebook.com. This is a good follow-up story to a blog posting from 2-weeks ago – Can Local Businesses Florish in Social Marketing.

So I did a test this evening and here is how the process works:

Step #1 – Visit YellowPages.ca and do a search query. I happen to look for a dentist in Calgary.

YellowPages.ca - Find a Business Home Page

Step #2 – Locate the business of your choice that you want to add and select the “Save and Share”. In this case, I selected my dentist – Optimum Dentistry.

Dentists in Calgary as Seen on YellowPages.ca

Step #3 – This launches a window where you select how you want to “Save and Share”. In this case, I selected Social Bookmarks and then Selected Facebook.

Social Bookmarking in YellowPages.ca

Step #4 – The listing is added to your facebook profile.

Facebook Profile With YellowPages.ca Listing

What I like about this service is that it is a simple way to share businesses in Canada with friends and family on facebook. For example, if you are planning a night out – you can add the link to facebook – share it with your friends to view the map and or driving directions for your business. A good example of a IYP leveraging social marketing to promote its customers.


Am I Media – Are You?

I have been reading the following posts about Facebook; the first one was Robert Scoble is Media as posted by my friend Sebastien Provencher who was blogging about the second post I have been reading tonight by Robert Scoble – titled Why Facebook, Why Now?

The profound statement coming from Sebastien was the fact that he considers himself “MEDIA”. This completely makes sense to me – if in fact you share information and use the Internet as a way to distribute that information. In this case, I suppose I am considered media as well.

This got me thinking – how can local businesses get involved with this. When I was with KS2 Solutions – I spent a lot of time coaching businesses that information can be a powerful tool to increase the number of relationships they have. These relationships, when nurtured properly will pay some very handsome dividends through word of mouth and referral marketing.

This was the strategy we used at KS2. We did not have a large marketing budget to do traditional advertising; however, what we did have was knowledge – knowledge that other people were willing to take time to listen to. So we starting blogging (many of those posts actually exist on this blog), holding seminars and doing an incredible amount of networking. However, we never asked for business in those forums, we simply provided information – we never tried to connect this type of networking with selling – those were two distinctive processes.

It worked well, our referral business grew and it had a direct impact our bottom line. We doubled revenue from 2003 to 2004 and then again in 2005 before we were finally bought out.

Now that I think back to what we did from 2002-2005 – facebook would have a been another forum for us to provide information. Facebook and other social networking sites – really do have the potential to help the individual blogger, small businesses and even large businesses if they act in a manner that is cooperative and knowledge based and not sales based – you might be very surprised at what comes of it.

Facebook – Can Local Business Florish in Social Networking?

Social Flowers
Recently launched is Social Flowers – sending flowers though social networks. Well, one social network for now – Facebook. This is the start of a trend as we will see in the next 12-months many of the leading online retailers – building applications specifically to sell products through Social Networking – at lease that is my predication. If you want to read more about how the Social Flowers application works – please visit Social Flowers – Send Flowers Through Social Networks – this is an article written by Pete Cashmore.

On a more local level (here in Toronto) – a recent article on the Globe and Mail from July 5, 2007 written by DAVID GEORGE-COSH discusses one Yoga teacher whose class size has doubled since posting in the Facebook Marketplace –

Jane Clapp takes a moment between teaching fitness classes in Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park to reflect on her unexpected windfall. In the span of a month, her class size has doubled to 15 participants, amounting to about $3,200 in new revenue.

Even more surprising is the source of Ms. Clapp’s good fortune – Facebook. Using a new feature on the popular social-networking website called Marketplace, Ms. Clapp promoted her classes and almost immediately former clients and old friends on her contact list noticed. A month later, business is booming.

“I love it,” said Ms. Clapp, whose ad has been viewed about 127 times. “I’m completely fascinated with how I can create an online business without any overhead at all.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.

This article also provided us with some interesting numbers regarding Facebook in Toronto.

By the numbers

7,715,040 – Users who have added the Top Friends application, the most-added application on Facebook

680,729 – Number of users on the Toronto network, the largest regional network on Facebook

15,714 – Total ad postings on the Toronto Marketplace network

My Thoughts:

To answer the question can local business florish in Social Networking – the answer is absolutely. However, the challenge for is the time and expertise required. Most small and medium sized business owners are very time starved and if they have the time, they may not have the technical expertise.

However, as a starting point, I would encourage any small business owner to build their profile on Facebook.com – just to start their understanding of what Social Networking is all about. Then invite your best customers to join and have them talk about their experiences with your business. In fact, if you have a unique product or service, build a group and really generate the buzz around it – one very interesting aspect of Social Networking is that people want to hear what other people have to say. Just ensure that you do it in a manner that is consistent with the forum that you are in.

Here are the top 5 Social Networking sites in Canada as reported by ComScore MediaMetrix – May 2007 – the numbers represent millions of users.

1) Facebook.com – 10,501
2) Windows Live Spaces – 7,481
3) Blogger – 6,720
4) MySpace.com – 5,200
5) Yahoo GeoCities – 3,986