On Facebook, pages for places/businesses with at least 50 Likes can create offers. It may not be Facebook's best-known function, but it can still be a very useful one.
The creation of local offers is a boon for businesses wishing to develop an online community of followers by offering them discounts. What’s more, these offers can be used to validate a web-to-store strategy developed on Facebook: what better evidence of return on investment than seeing prospects come into your points of sale with a coupon from your Facebook page?
How do you go about it?
It's quite simple to create one of these offers:
- Click the “Offer” tab, and then “Event” on your page, just above the box where you write posts.
- Enter a short, effective title, as well as a sentence explaining the purpose of your promotion.
- Add an image (which is essential for your offer).
- Choose an expiry date.
- Set the maximum number of offer claims, or choose "No limit".
- The link to be provided only applies to online offers, so you don't have to worry about that.
- Stipulate the terms and conditions of your offer (useful for discount coupons, for example), click "Create Offer", and that's it!
Having a single platform for your offers will save you both time and money: that's what makes this approach so interesting compared to a printed offer or a web page.
Promote your offer
Once your offer’s been created, you then have the option of paying to publicise it. Depending on the size of your target audience, you will have several options based upon your offer’s estimated reach. You can also choose a customised budget.
Which should you choose? There's no single correct answer, as it all depends on the size of your target audience and, obviously, on how much you are willing to invest. One of the advantages of Facebook is that you can proceed gradually, starting with small amounts: there's no need to launch a costly campaign right from the start, so it's a good way of testing whether the return on investment is high enough to justify a larger budget.
But Facebook's main - and undeniable - advantage is that you can choose your target audience with a great deal of precision. For instance, take a hair salon that wants to increase its customer base. It could target women aged 24 to 30 who speak French, live less than 5 kilometres from the salon and are interested in hair and fashion. The offer posted online will only be displayed to Facebook users who meet all of these criteria, thereby helping you keep the cost of your campaign under control.
While Facebook offers are not always the right solution and are not necessarily suitable for everyone, they are an excellent tool for many businesses that want to improve the marketing of their points of sale and their online promotions for a low cost, using a social network with 6 million users in Belgium and 30 million in France.