Today Facebook announced Facebook Deals. When people check in on a Facebook Place, you can now offer them a ‘deal’ for checking in. You have to have claimed the place before you can start a deal – there are 4 types you can set up. Individual, Friend (groups), Loyalty (multiple check-in), and Charity.
Facebook Deals is similar to Fourquare‘s Special Offers but seems much less regulated and easier to set-up.
Businesses can offer deals to incentivize people to check in at their business. Business owners can then view who has checked into their business and identify loyal customers and offer them special discounts (deals). The value to the business owner is that when customers check into their business, it is broadcast to that customers social network through their Facebook wall or mini-feed. Their Facebook friends can see where they have checked in and could become interested in that business. When a customer checks-in at a business, they are indicating that they are comfortable sharing this with their Facebook friends and therefore are providing a social endorsement for that business and are brand advocates.
The magic happens when businesses can identify and engage with these brand advocates and this is usually done through a positive deal redemption experience. Deal redemption is the biggest challenge that we have found when it comes to incentivizing check-ins using Foursquare Special Offers or Facebook Deals. Staff at your business need to be trained so that when a customer whips out their iPhone and flashes them the deal on their screen, that the employee knows what the heck they are talking about. My experiences with redeeming deals on my mobile device have been about 50/50 with actually redeeming the deal that I have been offered. Numerous times I have received a blank look when I have told my restaurant server that I win a free beer or a discount off my bill because I have checked in at that location or in the case of Foursquare, I am the mayor (most loyal customer).
The other challenge is that Facebook Places is still only available on the iPhone and iPad unless you go to touch.facebook.com on your BlackBerry or Android device which is still bulky and cumbersome. Oh, and it also doesn’t appear to be working in Canada yet, but I’m sure it’s coming soon along with being able to merge your Facebook Page with your Facebook Places listing.
I give Facebook Deals a solid 2 thumbs up and I am very excited to hear about your experiences with it! Please leave your comments below.
Read about Facebook Deals on the Facebook Blog: http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=446183422130
See a video from Facebook Marketing Solutions on how it works: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10100163034713933