The launch today of Facebook Deals may change the way people think about letting their friends (and potentially others) know about what they are doing. Whilst people have been checking in with Facebook and Foursquare for a while the incentives to do so have just increased – at least through participating organisations. But really, this is potentially a very big change in the way organisations can use sales promotion on a local scale – a new tool in the marketers communication box.
It is easy to see the potential benefits which could come from some retailers using the service – of those signed up so far (Yo Sushi, Mazda, Starbucks, Benetton, Debenhams, O2, Argos) the discounts available from Starbucks and Benetton, for example, can be easy to understand. You tell your friends that you are there, your friends join you and in combination you and your friends spend more money than would otherwise have been the case making the discount worthwhile for the retailer. I am struggling to understand the Mazda one slightly though – by checking in I could get a 20% discount off an MX5. If I was buying a Mazda MX5 those friends who would be interested would know anyway, but I wouldn’t need them to come and see me in the showroom. So I am not sure what is in it for Mazda, except that maybe I would get a 20% discount with some good negotiation anyway and they are getting publicity from the tie-in with Facebook today.
As someone with a B2B background, however, I am wondering how it might be able to work away from the high street. Could there be deals available which would move Facebook from the personal to the business arena? It will be interesting to see if people would be interested to check in at their local widget supplier for the sake of a 5% discount!
Whilst considering it, however, any suggestions of what deal I could offer students who check in with SPA Professional Academy that help both them and us would be welcomed….