|Why They're Hot:
RangerUp.com, a manufacturer and e-retailer of patriotic apparel, uses Facebook as a testing ground for new ideas. The merchant lets shoppers weigh in on potential T-shirt designs by posting a T-shirt mock-up, and encouraging consumers to offer comments and suggestions. Staffers then use a custom-built algorithm that takes into account the number of Likes, shares or comments to determine whether to put the design into production. Contributing to creating a better product allows RangerUp's customers to feel invested in the brand, says founder Nick Palmisciano. "Facebook has gone from being a great tool that we used to interact with our customers and get design feedback to an instrument that generates some $750,000 a year in online sales. The key to this is that we have a page worth visiting."