By the time this post is up, Facebook would have already launched its next tool for world domination. Facebook Deals went live in 5 test market cities in USA on the night of 25th April 2011. With it, Facebook hopes, it will give 600 million users more reason to stay on Facebook even when they are outside or visiting a store.
What’s the deal?
Facebook Deals offers Facebook users’ access to Deals which are a steep discount to the actual price of the product. This is in addition to the earlier check-in based deals offer on Facebook Places. Now Facebook Deals will allow you to purchase a voucher on Facebook Deals itself and then redeeming it at the store. You can also check into a place and claim your discount using your phone application.
Each deal will have a separate landing page. Users can opt in to receive updates on their news feed about deals that are running close to their location. Once you spot the deal that you want, you can go to that deal page, like the deal, share the deal and/or purchase the deal right away using either a credit card or Facebook Credits. Once you have done so, you get a voucher that can then be used at the store.
A screenshot of a landing page for a Deal
Other than this, the old system of checking into a store and finding the available deals will also be retained in all likelihood. This will help Facebook not only target Groupon but also take on Foursquare through its Facebook Places application
Facebook Places Deal Application Screen
How should brands deal with it?
As a brand, this is another opportunity to reach out to your clients. Creating something that users can enjoy with their friends is something which gives maximum benefit of using Facebook as a marketing platform.
People like doing things with friends. Brands can use Deals on Facebook to offer people unique social experiences that they can share and enjoy together. Offering these experiences can bring more people to your business. Deals are a valuable new way to reach customers and build loyalty. Encourage people to share their excitement about the experience you’re providing, not just the discount you’re offering.
Why Deal with it?
For a start, Deals are going to be free as for now. Like any other Facebook offering, a free exposure to 600 million people is incentive enough to try it out. More so, it makes sense when you get the Facebook marketing team to push and promote your offer.
This will help in creating a buzz about your brand and more importantly, for the first time, offer direct sales opportunity via Facebook. All this time, when brands where wondering on how to gauge the ROI of Social Media Marketing, especially on Facebook , now is the time to cash in on the fan base and push deals.
Also, keep in mind the virality of the exposure your brand can get through this. Each person on Facebook has 130 friends on average, which means that if someone purchases a deal from you, that information can spread quickly and naturally on Facebook. Imagine if these 130 people share or buy your deal with their friends. These actions can help spread the word about your business to all of the friends of these 130 people through News Feed stories, Wall posts, and personal messages. And, because these stories are coming from a trusted network, people will be more likely to pay attention to what you’re offering.
Last but not least of all, use Deals to make your business a place where loyal customers bring their friends. Deals focuses on helping your business provide unique social experiences so that people are interested in what you have to offer, not just the discount you’re offering. Build long lasting relationships by offering people unique things to do with those that matter most in their lives.