In April, Facebook launched a Deal program that was designed to let the site’s 500 million users easily share their shopping experiences with one another, and save money in the process. The deals would show up on a users’ news feed, in ads or on the left hand dashboard where users can buy the deal, share it or like it. Sounds like a great idea right? Well it didn’t do so well…
After 4 months of testing Facebook decided to end the Deals program after debuting the program in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco. In an official statement from Facebook explained that they “think there’s a lot of power in a social approach to driving people in local businesses.” Read between the lines and it seems that Facebook does not think traditional daily deals that users sign up via email to learn about are the best way for it to work with local businesses. The move is certainly good news for daily deal companies such as Groupon and LivingSocial.
Although Facebook abandoned their online-based deals, they plan to carry on with the Check-In Deals component. These Check-In-Deals allow users to check in from restaurants, supermarkets, bars, coffee shops, etc. using an app that will offer them rewards with discounts, coupons and free merchandise. Attempting to get users to share information on where they are, Facebook is pushing into the mobile offer space. Although Groupon and LivingSocial have mobile apps, they rely heavily on email marketing to send out their deals. In comparison, Facebook is betting on mobile as the medium of the future for such deals.
Check-in Deals allow businesses to get exposure and create relationships with customers by offerings incentives for visiting their physical locations. People rely on their friends for honest recommendations and more and more of these recommendations are taking place on Facebook. The simple act of checking in at a business creates a recommendation that spreads across the News Feed! These new deals allows businesses a chance to join that conversation by offering incentives. When people take advantage of deals, their activity appears on the News Feed for their friends to see and now their friends are exposed to that business. For small businesses, this feature is great since it is a fast and easy way to create awareness. Check-in Deals places the business in front of consumers and allows a business to begin dialogue to potential customers they could not have reached before!
So not only from a consumer standpoint but also as a small business enthusiast, I “like” the Check-in Deals! Are you checking in with Facebook? Have you seen or taken advantage of Check-in Deals? If not, here’s a little how-to!