Facebook is preparing to launch a new competitor for deal-of-the-day sites like Groupon and Living Social called Facebook Deals. The social network wrote, “Try new things with friends. With Deals you can easily find great new restaurants, shows and group activities to share with friends.”
The program will allow Facebook users to get coupons and discount offers from partner services. Facebook has not announced if it will require a minimum number of buys before the deal can be claimed, similar to what Groupon does.
Facebook has also launched a business version of Facebook Deals where it partners with your company and does the marketing, generates a buzz and sales for your deal and builds customer loyalty.
With over 600 million users, Facebook has a vast audience to introduce this new flash deal subscription to, and may give Groupon a run for its money; although it may be hard for any newcomer to catch up to Groupon. According to eMarketer, Groupon had $33 million in sales in 2009, and sky-rocketed to $760 million in 2010.
Look for Facebook Deals to create a presence in your Facebook newsfeed and social network soon.
It has become increasingly understood that having a Facebook presence for your business should be among the top things to be included in your 2011 online marketing efforts. The question is no longer why Facebook is a valid channel, but how to capture leads and generate a return on your investment (ROI).
Creating a loyal fan following within Facebook takes a lot of ongoing commitment, dedication, consistent engagement and strategy. Engaging fans to like your page by offering incentives, promotions or exclusive rewards is one of several ways to build your fan base. But the question that remains is: what do you do once you have your captive audience? Being able to capture fans’ email addresses, names and possibly phone numbers is a great way to get to better know your audience and build your database for other possible marketing efforts.
(Below is a screen shot of how you can capture your Facebook fan’s credentials)
The above custom Facebook tab has a lead generation form built into the design that allows you to easily capture your fan’s information. Building up and creating a Facebook fan base is step one, but it’s how you capitalize on your Facebook fan base and convert them into a sale that is key. Creating a custom Facebook tab that allows your fans to engage by asking questions as well as providing their contact information is great way to continue to build a relationship with your customer base outside of Facebook.
It used to be that starting a social media presence (creating a Facebook pages with customized tabs and a Twitter account for tweeting coupons and new products) was the big thing for online retailers. But as many have already immersed themselves within these channels, the next big trend that we see may be a broader use of social sign-in services. Social sign-ins enables customers to log-in to a website using their social media log-in credentials, such as Facebook, rather than registering with that site separately.
There are benefits of social sign-ins for the retailer and the consumer. Social sign-ins provide retailers with access to information that they wouldn’t have access to if users were to simply create a new registration on their website. If someone logs-in to an ecommerce site using their Facebook log-in, that retailer would then have access to information about that individual – their likes, preferences, etc. – which they can then leverage for customized offerings. For the retailer, the goal is to have higher average order values, repeat customers, fewer returns, and an overall better user experience. As you can imagine, it would be very difficult to capture all of the information people have shared on Facebook through a regular website registration process.
From the consumer perspective, it relieves the need to memorize one more log-in and password (as if we don’t have enough already). But on the other hand, many are already weary about their privacy throughout the internet, and as a result, online retailers must tread lightly to make sure that the consumer does not feel that their privacy is being violated.
While social sign-ins is not brand new, only a handful of ecommerce websites have implemented this capability. A report from eMarketer states the 18% of online retailers have implemented social sign-ins for their visitors by August 2010. However, another 18% reported were in the process of implementing one, and 32% planned to implement one in the next 12-24 months.
As the social media landscape is ever-evolving, it will be interesting to see how quickly online retailers adopt social sign-ins. Also, as more and more people are becoming aware of how their information is shared online (seen with many Facebook privacy concerns), it is still yet to be seen just how open the majority of consumers will be to using these social sign-ins.