A while back we blogged about Facebook Deals. Essentially it taps into the checkin feature and allows businesses to make deals available – Groupon style – for customers who checkin to venues, typically places like bars, pubs, clubs and coffee shops.
For instance, you might run a burger bar and decide that customers who checkin using Facebook Deals can get their paws on a half price burger.
Mashable reported that Facebook users in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy can now take advantage of the first round of offers from companies like Starbucks (free coffee), Mazda (20% discounts on Mazda MXes) and clothing retailer Benetton (£2/€2 charitable donation to Architecture for Humanity).
Simply find the deals by looking for the yellow icon when you check in to venues using Facebook Places, available through Facebook’s official iPhone and Android apps, as well as touch.facebook.com.
OK, you might think. But why would I want to do this? It’s just giving money away.
Well, here are some of the benefits:
Your brand in everyone’s news feed
By running deals like this the brands concerned get the benefit of users sharing the deal in their Facebook newfeeds. You want this especially as the type of people to checkin are usually the types who ‘get’ social media and thus have more than average numbers of friends.
The ‘deals’ model as a marketing tactic is as old as the ark. What’s significant is that the quality of the deal gets it shared on social networks. Groupon‘s entire business model is built around this. Deals are so good and (crucially) only available when a certain number of people commit to buy them, so the offer pushes itself.
Yes, running deals like this will work some magic for your search engine juice.
Again, we’re not reinventing the wheel here, but Deals will massively boost the loyalty you build among your customers. Give ‘em a discount, they’ll keep coming back. They’ll remain loyal to you when times are tough. That’s the theory anyway.
Grow your database
There are more indirect advantages too. Like the ability to turn your business’ e-mail list into a deal distributor. You can reward customers who’ve provided their email address by sending them additional offers and discounts.
Since Facebook Deals launched in the U.S. in November 2010, Facebook reports “millions” of people have used the service, and more than 50% of merchants have elected to renew their offers.
How might you use deals for your business?
Here’s Facebook’s announcement in full on the company’s blog.
Pic by lululemon Athletica