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Getting Personal - Visitor Groups Meet Facebook

With EPiServer CMS you can create personalized content for different audiences by creating visitor groups based on a wide range of criteria, such as geolocation, referral, search keywords, etc. This in itself is pretty awesome and should put a happy tear in every marketeers eye, but there's more...

As more and more businesses create Facebook pages and “likes” are the new web currency, it would be plain stupid not to tap into the knowledge that you as a business owner can gain from these “likes”! 

Imagine dynamically adapting your content based on the user’s age, gender and/or personal interests. Well, by integrating EPiServer visitor groups and Facebook creating Facebook criteria, you can.

A sample of business page on Facebook

A sample business page on Facebook

Facebook Criteria

When your EPiServer page is running in the context of Facebook, you potentially have access to a significant amount of information about the current user. In order to create a fully personalized user experience, you will typically need access to the user’s basic information. There are several Facebook SDKs you can use for automating the approval process.

An example of the default authorize dialog

An example of the default authorization dialog.

If your app needs more than this basic information to function, such as e-mail address, you must request specific permissions from the user. See http://developers.facebook.com/docs/guides/canvas/#authfor more details about authorization.

Now that your app has access to the basic information, you can start building your custom visitor group criteria. See Facebook Graph APi for a list of available information.

Let’s say you run a hotel in the Swiss alps. You provide a wide range of experiences such as great skiing, a fantastic cuisine and a spa department that gives the best rejuvenating massage. How do you market these experiences? Does the user prefer spa and relaxation or skiing in the great outdoors? Well, based on other things the user “liked” on Facebook you actually know this and can tailor the message accordingly.

Edit Visitor Group

Adding Facebook criteria for ski lovers.

Creating Personalized Content

Creating personalized content.

If you are like me, a skiing enthusiast, this is how the page would look...

Personalized content for a skiing enthusiast on Facebook

Personalized content for a skiing enthusaist on Facebook.

A person liking spa pages on Facebook would be presented with the following view...

Personalized content for a SPA-lover on Facebook

Personalized content for a spa lover on Facebook.

How to set it all up

Creating a custom visitor group criteria in EPiServer CMS R2 is well documented. You can read more about it here:

Developing Custom Visitor Group Criteria - Tech Note.

More custom Visitor Group criteria: Role - blog post by Mangus Rahl (né Paulsson)

I used the Facebook C# SDK from CodePlex for easy access to information about the current Facebook user.

For how to create Facebook pages and apps, setting up canvas pages and more, please visit the Facebook Developer Pages.

Useful links

New EPiServer Composer Blocks and Facebook integration - article by Peter Sunna.

Facebook Marketing Tactics: 3 ways of Pinpointing Your Audience

Thanks to Stein-Viggo Grenersen for help with article concept and text.

( 8/2/2011 2:58:38 PM)

Excellent and powerful!

bkb
( By bkb, 8/9/2011 3:22:39 PM)

Very good, thanks!

Elena Gonzalez
( By Elena Gonzalez, 8/15/2011 10:46:55 PM)

Here is a link to see a video demo with Click+Talk in place of Overlook Hotel.
http://youtu.be/ZQLMCMbZiXg

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