When Facebook launched Offers – its replacement for its failed Deals service – earlier this year, companies gained access to a powerful social media marketing tool. Offers provided a way for brands to create coupons and deals, and then share these offers with their followers. Best of all, the entire process was free – until recently.
Last month, Facebook rolled out some major changes to their Offers platform. These changes present a new revenue opportunity for Facebook, but also a more powerful and promotional tool for brands to promote their products, gain traffic, and drive sales.
First, the bad news: Offers are no longer free. Previously, businesses had the option of simply sharing their Offer with their current Facebook followers at no charge, or paying to promote the offer with an ad. Though there are still no fees associated with claiming or redeeming an Offer, and users will still see in their Newsfeed when a friend claims an Offer, creating Offers now comes with a price.
As of September 20th, brands are now required to purchase ad promotion along with their Offer. The fees will vary depending on the size of the audience reached; when creating the Offer, admins will have the opportunity to select a budget with a corresponding reach size, with a current minimum budget of $5. The larger the budget, the larger the audience they will be able to reach. If the brand already has a Facebook Ads account, they can choose to pull from those funds and customizing their reach and price point instead of choosing from the standard price choices.
However, the news isn’t all bad. Along with the new price tag, Facebook also announced a number of new features that will make Offers easier to use – from the perspective of both the brand and the customer – and will make it easier for brands to track redemption and ROI. Let’s take a look at some of these new features:
Online Redemption: Previously, Facebook Offers did not provide an easy way to redeem them online. Online retailers often had to find work-arounds, such as asking the customer to forward a copy of their Offer email along with their order. Now, brands have the ability to create Offers that are redeemable offline only, online only, or both. Offers that can be redeemed online include a URL as well as a unique coupon or offer code that customers can enter during online checkout.
Barcodes: Businesses now have the ability to add barcodes to their in-store offers. These barcodes are a valuable addition because they help solve two problems. First, they make Offer redemption at a point of sale easier; the discount can be applied by simply scanning the barcode instead of manually entering in codes. Additionally, barcodes streamline the tracking of redemptions, simplifying the process of measuring Facebook marketing ROI.