Posted September 20, 2012 3:04 pm by with 0 comments

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Facebook Offers is a neat tool that allows you to easily send promotions and discounts to your Facebook fans. Send a 10% off coupon, a voucher for a cookie, $5 off dinner for two — you create it, they send it, you get more business. Best of all it’s free to use — and it kind of still is.

Sometime in the next month, Facebook is going to start requiring a Facebook ad purchase of at least $5 for every offer you send out. So, technically, the Offer is free with purchase. Come on, you’re a merchant, you get the concept, right?

I could sit here and wave my fist and exclaim, “how dare they!” This is America. What right do they have to make me pay for something I used to get for free.

Every right, actually and I can’t say I blame them for capitalizing on a good idea. That’s how you run a business.

The actual price tag associated with creating a new Offer will depend on how many fans you have. The more you have, the more they’re going to charge you. So maybe it’s time to rethink padding your “likes” with folks who don’t care about your product.

Facebook says there’s a win in here for everyone because organic distribution converts better when there is a paid ad to give it a push. Can’t argue with that, or their thought that having to pay will force merchants to focus their marketing efforts.

In the give with the take department, Facebook is adding barcodes to Offer vouchers for easier redemption. They’re also opening up Offers to online merchants, not just brick and mortar stores. That’s a big opportunity and I’d give it some real thought for Halloween sales and then for holiday shopping. There’s a lot of competition out there. A $5 off coupon to your loyal Facebook fans might be all the push they need to shop with you instead of your competitor.

Forcing ad buys with Facebook Offers — as long as this isn’t the first step in charging for Facebook Fan pages, I’m good.