Have you listed your business on Facebook Places? If you haven’t, then you should. If you have, then the next step is to create ‘Deals’ that expose your business to customers and prospects on Facebook, and that encourage them to become repeat customers and spread the word to their friends.
Deals are currently available to a select few businesses, but if you’re lucky enough to be part of the crowd, you’ll see a link titled “Create Deal” at the top right of your Facebook Place page in your desktop web browser. There are four types of deals:
- Individual deals encourage customers to check in once, or attract them when they’re browsing nearby Places. They’re redeemable by the customer as soon as he or she checks in. Example: “30% off your first purchase.”
- Loyalty deals are redeemable after a customer checks in a certain number of times, encouraging return visits and repeated check ins that give your business exposure. Example: “Get a free sandwich on your 7th check in.”
- Friend deals encourage the customer to bring his or her friends by offering a deal intended for groups, redeemable when they all check in together. Example: “Free dessert for parties of five.”
- Charity deals let your customers know you care about the causes that matter to them, and give them a philanthropic incentive for checking in. Example: “We’ll give $1 to the American Heart Association for each check in.”
Creating a Deal
The exact terms are completely up to you, and the process for creating a deal of each type is the same. Just click the “Create Deal” button, select the type of deal, write out the specifics for the customer, and define parameters like duration and quantity.
After you click “Save,” the deal will be submitted to Facebook for approval. The process could take several days, but you’ll see the deal advertised on your Place once it’s finished. Facebook requires this approval process so it can make sure deals meet its standards of quality, which we’ll get to in a moment.
How to Write a Good Deal
You’ll have to create two short snippets of text for each Deal: one explaining the deal, and another explaining how to claim it.
In the deal description, write something simple and punchy; Places users are on the move and they don’t have time to get into the nitty gritty! And be very clear about the terms of the deal and the claiming process to avoid confusion or dissatisfaction.
Also, Facebook has a style guide for grammar and other issues in the wording of deals, which you can find in the company’s help center.
The same wisdom that governs traditional deals also governs Facebook Deals. Give your deals time limits to create a sense of urgency, and make sure the conditions of the deal incentivize activities that benefit your business, such as repeat visits, spreading the word through check ins, or bringing friends.
Facebook insists that your Deals actually be something users can get excited about, recommending a 10 – 50% discount on a purchase as a benchmark example. Facebook also advises that you offer just a few great Deals instead of spamming unappealing ones. Create a sense of scarcity with your Deals! Customers should feel like they’re fortunate to grab a bargain.
For the claiming language, just include a quick and clear phrase on how the customer can let you know they’re ready to redeem. For example: “Show your phone to your waiter.”
Bracing for Impact
When done right, Facebook Deals can bring in a lot of business. There’s no guarantee, of course, but it’s best to be prepared. Most of this is common sense.
Make sure you have ample supply to meet the demand created by your Deal. Promote your Deal on your Facebook Page and through other social media channels. Make sure your employees are in the loop.
Create a process for redeeming and tracking Deals and the customers who redeem them, and train all your employees on that process. Make sure all your employees understand what is and isn’t offered in the Deal.
Make all the necessary preparations, and Facebook Deals can bring in new business at relatively little cost in time or resources.
[Image credit: Quinn Dombrowski]
Samuel Axon: Samuel is the Editorial Director supervising Sprout Social's editorial and web content projects. He has years of experience in blogging and social media, having previously worked as an editor at social media and technology news sites Mashable and Engadget. He also helped build the white label web content management system Crowd Fusion from the ground up.