So let’s skip the pleasantries and go right to the meat. Facebook has a new “deal” option called Offers. Using the system, a business can place a coupon on their Facebook page. Fans click the coupon to claim it, they get an email with the coupon code, and hopefully they use the coupon to spend money at your business.
Here’s a sample:
Facebook only just made the announcement official, but one Facebook marketing blogger, noticed a few of these offers back in February. She has a great post outlining the whole claiming process with lots of graphics. As she points out, these ads are one-click simple and they work on Facebook mobile, which is huge.
What’s not so wonderful is that they’re currently only available to managed advertising clients. It’s a good bet that once they have the bugs worked out, offers will be available to everyone, but not yet.
As for bugs, they appear to have some. Look at the response Einstein Bros. Bagels got to their Leap Year B1G1 offer.
Of 205 comments, quite a few were complaining about not getting the email. Some found it hidden in spam folders. One woman said the store refused the coupon when she went in. That’s poor communication on Einstein Bros.’s part.
For others, the system worked as it should and they were pleased.
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As a coupon fan, I think this is an excellent marketing opportunity as long as small business owners don’t get carried away. Remember all of the Groupon sellers who ended up losing thousands of dollars because too many people claimed the offer.
The “how to create an offer” guideline on Facebook doesn’t show any way to cap the number of people who download the coupon. That could be a big problem.
My favorite line from the FAQ has to be this line:
To keep track of how many people have redeemed the offer at your business, set up a special sale code in your point-of-sale software or train your employees to keep a tally of redemptions at the register.
All this technology and in the end, the success or failure may rest on a part-time, minimum wage worker’s ability to make a tally mark on a piece of paper. Sigh.