If you’re on Facebook a lot, you’ve likely seen “offers” of discounts, coupons and specials for certain businesses’ products and services showing up in your newsfeed. Most of these come from major brands, but Facebook Offers are not exclusive to these big name brands. You, too, can use them.
Mmm, Ice Cream
An offer from an ice cream shop that I’ve been going to since I was a kid (yes, they had ice cream back then!) recently caught my eye on Facebook. The offer was a free small sundae with the purchase of any size sundae. Awesome! I could get my usual large, plus a small too! I clicked on it. Moments later, Facebook emailed me with two choices: I could print the offer or show it to them on my phone.
Not known for being patient when it comes to ice cream, I arranged a trip to the shop that day. I got my sundaes and ate them both up moments later. Life was good for both me and the business. I checked in with Facebook from the shop, mentioned the offer and at least three friends did the same thing.
Let’s consider this from a body shop perspective. While you certainly don’t have anything as tasty as my favorite ice cream, you do have services I need. How about offering a percentage off a detailing job, gas cards for a certain amount spent on a repair, etc.? Use your imagination! Brainstorm with your staff. These offers will then show up on your Facebook fans’ newsfeeds, potentially reaching a large number of them. If they take you up on your offer, it shows up on the newsfeeds of their friends, too.
Why Try It?
Any business with at least 100 fans can create a Facebook Offer. Since Facebook has gone public, they need to charge for things like this, but fret not, it’s very cheap for the impressions you get compared to print advertising, radio or TV.
Here are the top three reasons to try Facebook Offers:
Word of mouth promotion…Facebook style. When someone claims your offer, it shows up on their newsfeed. Their friends see that and there will be a certain amount of monkey see, monkey do.
Performance metrics. Facebook makes it easy to track the success of your offers. In Facebook’s Insights, you can see all kinds of analytics, including how many people claimed your offer and how many times your offer showed up on someone’s computer screen (impressions). Have these offers link to a coupon and track the number of claimed offers that actually come in the door. All the person has to do is click on “Get Offer” and follow the instructions from there.
Online shopping accounted for more than $200 billion in sales last year. People are clearly comfortable claiming offers and shopping online.
Making an Offer
Step 1: In your status update box, you have a few options. Click “Offer” and the “In Store Only” option.
Step 2: Upload a simple image demonstrating your offer. Your logo works if you don’t have anything else. Then add the Offer Title above the picture. Tip: To gain more claims, make it feel limited or scarce. Example: “The First 200 Claims Get a Free $25 Gas Card With Repair.”
Step 3: Set up the expiration date, your Terms and Conditions, and a reminder time. Also, set a limit on how many people can claim the offer, plus include a redemption code to be used when showing the offer to your receptionist/CSR.
Step 4: Set up your budget and target audiences. You can set your target options by gender, age and location. Narrow it down to reach more people likely to be interested. Keep it close to your location.
Target your town and a few surrounding towns near you. The potential reach and price are based on your target area and your existing fan base. Your fans will have the chance to see your offer without it costing you anything.
As mentioned above, when describing performance metrics, Facebook gives a tremendous amount of insights on an offer. Let’s take a look at a real life example from A+ Auto Body in Kentucky.
A+ Auto Body’s offer reached more than 12,000 people! Facebook also allows you to see how many people were engaged, i.e. how many people actually clicked on the offer and opened it up. You can also get a really close look at how many people interacted with your Offer – the number of people who actually claimed it, liked it and shared it. This is all represented in the graphic above.
A soft sell works best; people aren’t on Facebook thinking body shop offers. Test a few things and see what works best. Send a link to your offer to your email database, too, and share the offer on your personal page. Let us know how it works for you!
BSB Contributing Editor Mark Claypool has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of
workforce development, business/education partnerships, apprenticeships and Web presence management. He is the CEO of Optima Automotive (www.optimaautomotive.com), which provides website design, development, search engine optimization (SEO) services and social media management services. Claypool’s work history includes stints at Metro Paint Supplies, VeriFacts Automotive, the National Auto Body Council (NABC), the I-CAR Education Foundation and SkillsUSA. He is the founder of Mentors At Work and co-founder of the Collision Industry Foundation. He served, on a volunteer basis, as the SkillsUSA World Team Leader for the WorldSkills Championships from 2003 to 2011.