Facebook Deals were introduced just a few months ago and is yet to be rolled out in many countries. There aren’t any real cases to be spoken of, but the potential of connecting the online to the offline makes Deals important enough to not look away from. This article will discuss some of this potential.
Yes, there are several other applications and implications to using Deals, but these are the two most prominent areas of usage I see on the horizon. Please feel free to build on the examples given below in your own blog.
But first, let’s start with a word or two about Facebook places
Without Facebook Places, the deals setting wouldn’t be possible. Basically, Facebook has allowed for users to check in to “real places” offline, and thus connecting the digital world to the physical one.
Facebook has the belief that we as humans have more fun when we experience things in a social setting. The purpose of a check in then becomes to tell your friends where you are and thus opening your decision of movement to online interaction. To many people this behavior appears as completely pointless, however, considering the growth of foursquare and gowalla, I would pretty much consider it a behavior we as humans deem necessary in our aim to socialize.
There are basically two situations where you would want to have a look at Deals. You have a brand and you want to drive traffic to resellers or you are a local business and want to reward loyalty to your store.
Brand working with resellers
The best, but probably the most difficult way to work with Facebook Deals is to try and drive traffic to your local resellers.
Today you have no control of how they place your product in their shelf. They basically either strike a “deal” with a supplier or adjust their shelf placements according to how people buy. Deals is a great way to give your followers a chance to find stores that serve your product and give them an upsale offer if they do.
The difficulty lies within actually getting the local reseller on your side and actually allowing for you to display you coupon on their venue. If you are early in adopting this strategy, I am sure they will probably not bother about it, but if you wait, I am sure they will have found their own deals that will pull traffic to their store and you’ve lost the opportunity.
Local businesses rewarding loyalty
The more logical way of using deals will be for small business to reward loyalty. As you can track the frequency your user checks in at your venue, you can also release loyalty rewards that only occur after the person has checked in to your place enough times.
In order to get new traffic and not only reward the in store traffic that you already have, I would recommend that you combine your loyalty offer with a small offer for first time check ins. “All that comes gets, if you stay you get more.” Seems simple enough to understand, right?
What does Facebook want with this format?
I believe that Facebook is looking to further expand the Facebook framework into other areas than online, and as a result, digitalizing “real things” in our surroundings. The vast amount of data available on Facebook, due to their integration with other websites, and because of the constant news feeds, Facebook will be able to use the Deals data to predict sales patterns. When do people buy? What do they get? At what frequency do they do it? This will not be on an aggregate level, but rather on an individual level which means that you as a brand will be able to know, not only who your social influencers are, but also who of them brings in the buck.