After intensive testing in New Zealand, Facebook Check-in Deals has finally launched in Australia just a few days ago on the 15th of August. Starting with big brand partners – Commonwealth bank, KFC, 7-Eleven and Westfield shopping centres, it certainly is arriving with a bang and getting people excited about checking in to business’s Facebook Places page to receive offers – for example, the Commonwealth Bank is offering 2 free movie tickets for opening a new account and 7-Eleven will let you have a big 450ml bottle of Coca-Cola for $1 – that’s if you check in on Facebook, of course.
How does Facebook Deals work?
It’s a relatively simple concept that Facebook copied from Foursquare (which they unsuccessfully tried to buy for US$125 million). Facebook Check-in Deals allows businesses to create coupons and discounts on the social network, which can be unlocked upon a Facebook user’s check-in to the business location on Facebook Places through the Facebook mobile app. The types of deals can vary according to what kind of purchasing motivation the business wishes to encourage – such as trial purchase, loyalty, group purchasing, or charity association. . Now with Facebook Check-in Deals, users can also see what offers are nearby and share those deals with their friends.
Types of check-in deals
There are four types of deals available in the US. However, it is unclear whether these exact same deal types will be available in Australia following the launch with Commonwealth Bank, KFC, 7-Eleven and Westfield.
If you are a business owner, you might be wondering how to jump onto Facebook Check-in Deals – will it be good for your business?
1. Encouraging trial and impulse purchase – When reason people look up Facebook Deals on their mobile is to look for deals right there and then. Not only does putting your business out there on Facebook Deals generate awareness and interest, but if it may also incentivise new customers to then make the effort to walk through your doors, explore and trial your business. For existing customers, it may also encourage impulse purchase – even if someone wasn’t feeling like a coffee, they might just buy it because a cafe they were familiar with were having a deal. This is a great opportunity to quickly gain cashflow without going through daily deals sites like Groupon and LivingSocial who manually curate the deals.
2. Build brand loyalty – Offering deals that relate to a customer’s repeat check-ins to your business will incentivise them to come again in order to redeem bigger rewards. Your business may thus become the go-to for a certain product or service.
3. Spreading word of mouth – Using the Facebook network helps spread word about your business and its offerings. As customers check in and redeem deals, the information is published on the network to all their friends – which in turn, generates awareness and motivation to jump in on the deal themselves. The average Facebook user has 130 friends – which means one user’s check-in and redemption of a Deal spreads the information to 130 people’s newsfeeds – think of all the publicity!
4. Direct contact with fans – The complete integration with Facebook means a business can promote their deal by sending a message directly to its Fans and community. There will also be a Deals tab on your Fanpage – so your Fans, old and new, will know about your Deal. They will also have an option to Like your Deal and thus share it with their friends.
5. Timely and geo-located deals target customers better – Most group buying services rely on emails to spam subscribers with daily deals and after a while, customers just aren’t bothered to look at them. But on the other hand, how many people have Facebook on their mobile? While customers will be able to receive offers from Facebook Deals via email, they will mostly show up in the news feed and in the app – which means better targeting of people’s needs and and wants at the right time and place.
“Retail, and particularly the way we can now target shoppers with special deals and discounts, has changed dramatically over the past decade,” Westfield’s General Manager of Marketing, John Batistich said. “With tools such as Facebook Check In Deals we’re now able to communicate to our shoppers in relevant and localised ways.”
Update on 26 August 2011:
Facebook Places has been shifted from being a mobile-only feature to a cross-device location-tagging feature. Facebook blogged that their changes in privacy policies would change the way users mark their locations. Facebook isn’t quitting the locations-based service space – it’s simply making check-ins part of status updates in location tagging.
According to Aaron Shapiro, CEO of the digital agency Huge, “They’re removing location as a standalone service – something that was not getting much traction within Facebook anyway. They’re replacing it with something that can be far more powerful – location services that are fully integrated into the core Facebook experience.”
The in-stream check-in aims to make location tagging as ubiquitous as tagging people in pictures and posts – which means your business can be tagged, mentioned, spoken about, etc. within the status update, along with the description of the deal that was redeemed by a Facebook user – providing a huge potential for conversation, engagement and awareness.
Interested in using Facebook Check-in Deals for your business? Hit us up at FRANk to see how we can help you with creating awareness, buzz and word of mouth for your business.