New York -- It appears that world's biggest social media campus is bustling with lots of feverish activity prior to its impending IPO. Facebook, a large and growing player in online commerce. Late last week Facebook rolled out Offers, a free, DIY-coupon generator for local businesses after three months in private tests with a handful of partners, that bears more than a passing resemblance to Deals, which was widely touted as a potential “Groupon-killer” when it launched last year.
The self-service platform now allows businesses to create and distribute redeemable coupons free of charge on the social media network's pages. The new feature, called Facebook Offers, launched in beta late last week.
Hence, two things make this move a potential boon for your brand: 1) Facebook is not tagged any fee or taking a cut, and 2) when a Facebook user claims your Offer, his or her friends will see an ad in their newsfeed; the action also posts to the user's Timeline.
In this case, not only can you retain 100% of the earnings from an offer, but every time one of your fans purchases, you are broadcasting the offer to that person's entire following.
Moving forward, page fans can now share the offers with their friends, which can be redeemed at the local business' store outlet. Previously available for a small number of brand page testers, TechCrunch reports that the tool is now accessible for all US local businesses on Facebook.
“You will begin to see offers by Pages you like in your news feed. As soon as you click Get Offer, Facebook will send you an email that you can print off or show on your mobile phone at the business outlet to redeem your discount,” the network explains at its website.
The above screenshot is from Sydney Discus World Aquariums' Facebook page--“We have commenced using Offers and have had great feedback from them instantly. Already people have redeemed 37 coupons for a special on Discus Aquarium fish and Fighter Fish! I see this as the answer to seeing great ROI on Facebook advertising!”
This recently released nifty tool is intended for the mom-and-pop small business with tiny marketing budgets. While deals can either be posted on a business's news feed or made into a “sponsored story” -- Facebook-speak for ad -- the video tutorial on Facebook's site focuses on the free aspect and includes a short Marketing 101 lesson on structuring a coupon.
In fact, Nimble Commerce CEO Prashant Nedungadi was a little more positive about the service’s prospects, calling it “a smart solution for small businesses looking to go beyond a simple 'like' relationship with customers.” He proposed that the move is appropriate for the next phase of the offers / couponing industry in connecting supply with demand.
This also is a move in response to the popularity of online couponers like Groupon and Living Social, as well as coupons offered on businesses' individual websites. So, is your business planning on using Facebook Offers? If not, what is holding you back? More details are available about Offers at Facebook.