The Facts About Facebook Local Business Offers
Oh it’s an exciting week for Facebook! Between the upcoming IPO and the recent expansion of the new “offers” program, social media management firms have a lot to talk about! In recent weeks we’ve mentioned the Facebook Offers initiative being implemented on a limited basis throughout the nation but today, we’re happy to finally announce that Facebook offers are now available for local business pages. This is terrific news for small business owners interested in offering discounts via social media. Keep reading to learn more and be sure to ask your social media marketing point of contact how this would work for your business!
Why Use Offers?
There is one simple reason every local small business owner should immediate be interested in using Facebook Offers…clients want discounts and this makes it super simple to give clients exactly what they want! Research has found that just under 60% of Facebook users expect to receive a discount or promotion when “liking” a business page. Guess what happens if they don’t get a discount or promotion? They leave. Not always but a fairly significant number will eventually stop following the business if it doesn’t offer a discount. Of course, this works exceptionally well for virtual business shops, ecommerce sites and the like but what about traditional brick and mortar stores? In many ways, they have the most to gain from implementing Facebook Offers! Unlike virtual ecommerce concerns, many brick and mortar stores would dramatically benefit from attracting an entirely new demographic segment which is often made possible only via social sharing and exposure.
Does it Pay to Play?
Before we get into the nuts and bolts about Facebook offers, it’s a good idea to take inventory of the potential profit or ROI (return on investment) associated with the program. For what seemed like ages, many social media marketing concerns were hard-pressed to demonstrate viable ROI results…but no more! Today, social media statistics are fairly robust and easy to come by but don’t worry…you won’t need to engage in any number crunching to determine the ROI of Offers. It’s FREE! Yes, you read that right. Small business owners with a local business page can create coupons to share and distribute via their Timeline for absolutely nada. Now that is one sweet deal!
How Do I Participate?
It’s simple to get started. Either contact your social media manager with a pre-determined offer or simply do it yourself. Offers are currently limited to United States/domestic business owners but are expected to soon become available globally. In the meantime, here is what you will need to get started…
1. A discount or coupon offer. Whether you instruct your social media manager to design and implement a Facebook Offer on your behalf or go the DIY route, an appealing offer is needed. Try to create something that will attract attention, generate some buzz and encourage others to share the offer with their friends and connections (who in turn, share it with their friends and so forth).
2. You must have a local business page! This is important because without a local business page, you are currently not eligible to participate. If you aren’t sure whether or not you have a local business page, by all means, ask your social media manager or follow these quick steps to check for yourself:
a. Click on “basic information” then “page settings”. You should see an indication for “Local Businesses and Places” with a specified sub-category.
b. If you believe your small business qualifies as a local business but is not listed, ask your social media manager to confirm.
c. If your business is a local business then look on the page timeline to locate the new feature under “Offer, Event+”. There is an optional tour available for those that would like examples of current offers.
3. Decide on a Great Headline! Remember, this will be one of the first things that people see so make sure it attracts maximum attention. Use a call-to-action or other strong language to get noticed.
4. Pick the Discount Percentage. Facebook suggests a minimum discount of at least 20% for maximum performance but be sure it will enhance sales rather than make the product or offering appear “cheap” or even defective. Remember, sometimes less is more!
5. Don’t forget the Expiration Date! The last thing you want is to forget an expiration date or get bombarded with last minute promotions.
6. Establish limits on the Number of Coupons or Other Important Constraints. If your business isn’t able to handle more than a certain number of new clients or discounted sales then be absolutely sure to limit the total number of discounts to be used. Other specified parameters may include “new clients”, the number available per person etc…closely related, Terms and Conditions should also be made clearly visible to avoid “buyer’s remorse” or other time consuming considerations.
7. Picture Perfect. Last but not least, include a visual element to maximize the visual effect of the offer.
What To Expect Next
Once the specifics of the Offer are put in place, the actual technical creation of the coupon or discount code can take place. Once published, the Offer will show on your Timeline and immediately allow users to claim the offer. It is extremely important to have someone standing by to help assure a smooth experience for all users. Remember, clients are not going to be very familiar with the new Offers either especially since they are relatively new. Once the customer clicks on the offer and claims it, a confirmation email will be sent direct to their inbox including specifics on how to redeem in person and share the offer with others.