Facebook users say the number one reason they visit business pages on Facebook is to find deals and discounts. Coupons are a convenient way to give the customers what they want and give you a measureable promotional campaign. To run a coupon campaign on Facebook, you might:
- Simply use Facebook to promote and link to coupons on your website.
- Run the campaign on Facebook, with users registering and printing out coupons on Facebook.
The goals of a coupon campaign run through your Facebook business page might be:
- Get Likes to build your audience.
- Collect email addresses.
- Drive foot traffic to your store.
- Drive online sales at your ecommerce site.
Some simple ways to use Facebook to promote a website coupon campaign:
- Add a message to your news feed (“Get a 10% off coupon today at our site!”) and a link to the page on your website, where users can print the coupon or get a code for an online purchase.
- Create a tab on your Facebook business page titled “Coupons”—when users click the tab they see the coupons page from your website displayed in a Facebook frame through what’s called an iframe.
To run a coupon campaign on Facebook, you will need to work with a Facebook developer who can program the page for you or work with a company that sells a ready-made coupon application for Facebook.
The most common coupon presentation is a “reveal page,” aimed at users who aren’t already fans of your page. The page displays an offer but the coupon is grayed out or the “print coupon” button is missing. The user must perform an action to be able to print the coupon or see a code for a discount at the company’s ecommerce site. Required actions might be one of these:
- Click the Like button, the typical requirement.
- Fill in a form, for instance with an email address.
- Agree to permit the application to collect the demographic information from their Facebook profiles. Facebook requires this agreement as a privacy rule.
To reward your existing fans with coupons, you can program a “Coupons” tab to be visible only to users who have already Liked your page. Users can print the coupon or click through to your website from there.
Because Facebook is all about sharing information with friends, one step in the sign-up process may offer users a chance to share the coupon offer by writing a message that the application will post as an update to their personal Facebook walls. To encourage people to share, some coupons can only be unlocked if a certain number of users sign up. The number of users who have claimed the coupon is tracked by a ticker on the offer page while email alerts send the tally to those who have signed up.
Besides running coupon campaigns through your page on the Facebook site, you can offer coupons to customers through the mobile phone version of Facebook. When users visit your place of business, they “check in” to your location on the phone, then show the coupon on the screen to your staff to receive the discount. This program, called Deals, is in the test phase and not available in all cities. Now for some warnings:
- If you give away a coupon as the prize in a contest or sweepstakes, you will need to follow Facebook’s promotions guidelines. Mainly, the guidelines require you to publish disclaimers removing Facebook from responsibility for your promotion.
- Any applications that run on Facebook must be approved by Facebook. One way to make sure you’re working with an approved app is to hire a company from Facebook’s Preferred Developer Consultants list.