You’re in business. You have a Facebook Fan Page. Maybe a Twitter feed… But, have you claimed your Facebook Places yet? What are you planning to do with Facebook Deals, which launched in five countries in Europe this morning?
As we all know, there are a lot of great and new opportunities for any size business to engage with their customers via Facebook, but most don’t know how to take advantage of them or even where to start.
We’re here to make it easy for you and your business with our top tips for getting the most out of Facebook, including an exclusive look into the newest Facebook launch of Deals and what it means for your business.
1. Know the difference between your fan page and your place page(s).
This may seem very basic, but most businesses don’t understand that their fan page is what they have most likely already set up and the Facebook Place page is an entirely different entity.
The place page is where Facebook aggregates check-ins from that specific location. Your fan page is where you’ve been driving customers to ‘like’ your business on Facebook and can engage with fans using wall posts.
2. Claim your place(s).
At the moment, if a customer checks-in to a place no one else has checked-in to, it creates an entirely new place page. This has resulted in businesses with several place pages for many locations.
No matter what – you must always continue to drive traffic and meaningful engagement to your fan page along with your place pages. Start identifying check-ins to your places and keep engagement going on all of these place pages. One easy way to do this is to replicate discussions and interactions from your fan page on your place pages, or you could choose to merge your pages to avoid having to replicate content.
3. Decide on whether offering a Facebook Deal is right for you
Facebook Deals leverages people’s existing use of the Facebook applications on iPhone and Android smartphones instead of requiring them to download a separate app or join another service. This makes it low-friction and a relatively easy way to start engaging your customers on their mobile phones via social media.
So, if you decide to offer a deal, when a customer checks-in on a smart phone at one of your locations, they will be pushed your Facebook Deal that is on offer. You can also drive users to ‘like’ your deal, so that they will get geo-pushed an offer next time they are in the area and their friends will see they’ve used your deal, too.
We highly recommend that businesses promote their deal on their Facebook fan page, via Facebook adverts, on Twitter and at their locations in-store to optimise visibility and exposure to customers.
4. Know the limitations of Facebook Deals
While we feel that Facebook Deals is a great way to start a mobile conversation with your customers, you should know that Facebook will retain all of the demographic data of your consumers who check-in and like your places and deals. Thus, if you only provide a page and a Deal, you will have access only to an anonymous summary of that data and nothing more. This means that the conversation remains a one-to-many broad reaching communication that is generic and fairly anonymous.
Although Facebook Deals will reach the early adopters willing to check-in at your place, it will not give you what you really want as a business owner, which is better understanding of individual customers and their friends. This is why it is necessary to develop a strategy that ties social media and mobile together and keeps Facebook Deals as a component of that strategy as a way to start initial conversations with your customers.
Also, at the moment Facebook Deals only allows you to offer one deal at a time, which means you can’t run different deals in different places and are very limited in scope of what you can offer to customers.
5. Develop a long term mobile and social strategy, keeping Deals in mind!
The future of marketing is quickly becoming much more about a personal, one-to-one conversation with your customers and not just a general broadcast to an anonymous group of Facebook users. As a result, you must develop a wider marketing strategy where Deals is just one part of your mobile social customer engagement.
Customers are making more and more purchasing decisions on the go whilst they are out and about via their mobiles. Mobile is the way that your customers are going to continually communicate with not only friends, but also your business in real-time. Facebook is the obvious primary platform for this type communication. This, taken with the explosion of people using social media on their mobiles means that brands that don’t act now will be left behind.
The person on Facebook who uses your Deal or ‘likes’ your page is most likely to be the same type of customer who is already a member of your rewards program or who is wiling to provide their mobile number to you for marketing purposes. Use deals and places as an easy first step to get these customers to opt-in to your communications, but find ways to integrate this into your one-to-one customer engagement strategy.
Don’t forget, there are providers who can offer you access to individual demographic data by taking advantage of rich integration with the Facebook API via Facebook Places and Deals. They will integrate these services into your overall mobile and social marketing strategy and make them less complex for you to manage. This deeper integration with Facebook lets you have direct access to customers, so you can offer a more relevant experience because you know who they are.