How to use Facebook “Deals” to Attract New Customers

Facebook recently implemented the “Deals” feature for businesses on Facebook Places, the GPS enabled check-in feature available on many mobile phones.

According to Facebook,

“Deals gives businesses the opportunity to reward customers when they check in on Facebook, and this helps generate awareness, encourage in-store traffic and build customer loyalty.”

At first the “Deals” function was limited to a few select businesses.  However, lately, I have seen the Deals function expanded to include many more.  You may have this functionality available on your page.

There are four types of “Deals” available on Facebook Deals.

  1. Friends Deals: Offer a discount to groups of up to 8 people when they check in together.
  2. Charity Deals: Give something to charity each time someone checks in.
  3. Individual Deals: These are one-time deals.  “Show your phone and get 20% off purchase”
  4. Loyalty Deals: You can offer a deal to customers after as few as 2 or as many as 20 check ins.  Great for a freebie offer, i.e., check in 20 times get a free soda.

So how do you make Facebook Deals work for your business?  Here are 7 characteristics of quality deals that will attract people to your business.

1.  Value: In order to attract customers to your business your deal has to have value to them.  I don’t mean value in terms of dollars, although that is part of it.   Value is relative to the perception of the customer but the basic overall idea is to make the Deal worth the time and effort that the customer must take to redeem it.    It could be something as inexpensive as “1 free scoop, when you order a single scoop of ice-cream.”

2.  Easy: Is your offer easy to redeem?  Make it as easy as “show us you checked in on your cell phone and you’ll get this offer.”  Don’t make customers jump through hoops to redeem your offer because the more hoops they have to jump through the less likely it is they will come in.  Make sure you communicate how to redeem the deal in your offer.

3.  Dynamic: Change your deal up regularly.  Not only will this encourage people to come back, but it will enable you to research and measure what works best as far as the types of deals to offer.

4.  Deadline: To encourage redemption, put and end date on your deal.  If you have too long to redeem the deal and it will go stale; too short of time may not be long enough to actually reach people.  One to four weeks is a good time period to offer each deal.

5.  Clear: This is similar to the “fine print.”  You must be very clear about the rules, restrictions and/or limitations of your deal.  For example, “This Deal not good with any other offers or promotions; One Deal per customer per day; no more than one Deal per table; Not redeemable for cash, etc.”  Avoid problems at the redemption point by clearly defining the restrictions on the deal ahead of time.  Also, make sure you clearly communicate what the deal is in your headline.  For example, “Free muffin when you purchase 1 Coffee drink over $3.00.

6. Communicate: Make sure you have communicated with your employees or anyone who will be responsible for providing the deal to your customers.

7.  Promote: Promote your deal on your Facebook business page, on Twitter, in your email marketing, and inside of your location.  You can also promote it via Facebook ads as well as on your website.

Will Facebook Deals be the demise of Foursquare which offers the same functionality?  It’s too soon to tell.  In the meantime, it’s a no-brainer for business owners to tap into this powerful option to market their business via Facebook.

Wendy Kenney is the internationally bestselling author of How to Build Buzz for Your Business available on Amazon.com, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the New York Times.

Wendy owns the company 23 Kazoos, a marketing and publicity firm in Phoenix, Arizona, that has helped companies like Culver’s Restaurants, The Arizona Farm Bureau and Tom Chambers Commercial increase their visibility through social media, publicity, and creative marketing strategies.  Wendy honed her marketing skills while working for organizations such as MetLife, WebMd, and PacifiCare.

As a Marketing Expert, Wendy speaks internationally to corporations and organizations about marketing strategy, branding, and low cost, no cost marketing.

Wendy lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband Mike, and three teenage sons.   Her personal goal is to visit all of the Major League Ballparks in the US before she turns 49. So far she has been to 13.

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