Facebook is pleased to announce their innovative new feature for businesses – check-in deals. This exciting new feature will allow businesses to reach local customers and get the word out about their company!
Want to advertise to a specific group of people but find it difficult to reach your target audience through traditional methods? Check-in deals operates using the word of mouth effect, making it possible to advertise to a larger group of people once you have reached a few. Customers receive rewards such as special deals on merchandise or services based on their Facebook check-ins to the business. Giving back to customers in return for their promotion is the best way to thank them for their patronage and ensure their loyalty in the future.
Facebook was founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates. Membership on the site was originally only available to Harvard students, but eventually expanded until anyone over the age of thirteen could sign up. As of July 2011, Facebook has more than 750 million users. In a tough economy, it is especially important for small businesses to get the exposure they need in order to keep their doors open. Facebook is helping to achieve this end by introducing check-in deals to their regular lineup of services.
Customers can enjoy four types of deals, based on what you decide to offer. Individual deals are one-time deals that can be offered to anyone, new and established customers alike. There are effective when introducing new products or when you simply want to clear out excess inventory. They also draw new people into the store. Loyalty deals can be created and offered to customers after a certain number of check-ins. This certainly gives patrons incentive to keep coming back to your store! A loyalty deal can be claimed after more than two but less than twenty check-ins.
People are social creatures and rarely go anywhere alone. Facebook’s developers understand this, so they have also made it possible for businesses to offer friend deals. These deals provide discounts for up to eight people who check-in collectively. This type of deal is particularly valuable because it requires the word of mouth effect—people must talk about the business to their friends and family in order to convince them to visit it. Everyone feels good about donating to charity, and typical Facebook users are no exception. By offering charity deals, businesses can show their humanitarian side and make donations in the amount of their choice, to any charity they want, every time someone checks into their establishment. However, business owners must be aware that they are in charge of handling the donations.
Facebook takes pride in the usability of their website, so they make it easy for businesses to create any deal they want. They offer step-by-step instructions on their website for creating your deal and getting it out the public. Facebook is already a leader in the social networking industry, and the new check-in deals feature puts them even farther ahead of their competition.
Smart phone use has increased dramatically in the last few years, and Facebook has proven to be highly adept at keeping up with this trend. It is not always possible for customers to check into a location by using a computer, but with the advent of smart phones, people can carry the internet in their pocket. This makes smart phones an invaluable asset to small businesses. Customers can check-in and take advantage of deals as soon as they arrive rather than having to wait until they can get to a computer!
According to the deals information page on Facebook, it is very easy for customers to get information about deals in their area by using their smart phones. All they need to do is check-in at a location with their smart phone, and a selection of nearby deals will automatically be displayed. This makes it even easier for businesses to reach potential customers since all they have to do is list the deal!
It is important to note that all deals must be reviewed, so you should create your deal at least forty-eight hours ahead of time. Facebook also recommends that you run deals for at least a week so customers have a chance to find it and take advantage of it. Also, since check-in deals is still a new service, it is currently only available to businesses in the United States and Japan. The service is available in other countries if businesses are willing to work with a Facebook representative. These countries include the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany, among others. More countries are to be added to the eligibility list soon. As it stands right now, it is free for businesses to create check-in deals, but they can only run one deal at a time.