According to the article “eBay Falls in Love With Social All Over Again,” eBay plans on returning to its roots to create a greater sense of community among its users and thus attracting new users. Since eBay’s concept is based on users interactions, it’s as VP of Social Product Don Bradford states, “an inherently social experience…it’s about people exchanging ideas, exchanging passions and interests”. Consequently, eBay is leaning towards an even greater “customer-centric” and focusing more on the consumer themselves and their interests and specific lives. Bradford discussed these efforts in a series of panel discussions.
eBay also demonstrated these efforts around Valentine’s Day this year, when they produced various couple videos based on real couples via Facebook. These videos had more than 230,000 views on YouTube. They also hosted a Valentines Day Twitter Chat Party that had 4,800 users participated and had a total of 4,300 mentions and 1,700 retweets. To draw more consumers in, there was a sweepstakes to win a $1,000 eBay shopping spree by using the hastag #eBayWithLove. eBay’s CEO John Donahoe plans to eventually integrate similar market moves with Google +, in order to continue with innovative social experiments.
eBay’s new guide on “social media selling” has tips on practices on how to develop the social experience. Examples include “in a nutshell, Facebook is for staying in touch, Twitter is for ‘breaking news’, blows are for telling the story, and YouTube is for videos”. The guide also advises sellers to “genuinely contribute to the conversation” and to not span the followers and not be controversial.
At the same time, eBay continues expanding its partnerships. New York State Governor Andrew Cuorno announced that the state would sell 500 Surplus state vehicles, furniture and supplies on eBay this spring. Although New York has had a eBay site for various years, in April there will a new sales platform called NYSSTORE to sell unwanted items such as cars and a Vietnam-era communications tower.