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Master the art of interaction

Connecting with customers using word of mouth is easier than ever with tools such as Facebook Connect.

Interaction is the buzzword that everyone is talking about, but how can it be done effectively? Facebook Connect may be the answer.

The recent launch of Burberry’s Artofthetrench.com is a perfect example of how this social networking functionality can be integrated into a fashion site. Artofthetrench.com was launched by Burberry to celebrate its iconic trench coat. Visitors to the site can upload their own pictures of people wearing Burberry trench coats via Facebook Connect.

Visitors to the site who sign into their own Facebook account are given the option to comment on or rate any of the photos on Artofthetrench.com. Any interaction on the site will then appear on the individual’s Facebook Wall as well as on their news feed to their Facebook friends.

If the retailer/brand has a fan page, as Burberry does, all comments on the Artofthetrench.com site will also appear on Burberry’s own fan page.

To date, the site has had 200,000 unique visitors from 177 countries. 2,300 of these have logged in via Facebook Connect.

This volume of traffic confirms just how successful the use of social networking can be. Not only does the link with Facebook build brand awareness, it can also harness the power of word of mouth. Potential customers are much more likely to trust in the opinion of their Facebook friends than in traditional forms of advertising and the large audience on Facebook also helps to extend the brand’s reach. 

The only disappointment in Artofthetrench.com is that while the option is given to “Submit your trench”,  these pictures are vetted by Burberry and only the photos deemed suitable by the brand will be uploaded onto the actual site. Burberry’s statement that it is “creating a body of images reflecting personal trench coat style across the globe” appears slightly disingenuous when the majority of images on the site are professionally shot (Burberry commissioned photo blogger Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist website) rather than personal home snaps.

However, Burberry has shown the effectiveness of a free tool like Facebook Connect and just how easy it is to implement.

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