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Facebook Coupons: Is Your Brand Getting a Deal?

With platforms like Groupon and Living Social rapidly gaining momentum, it’s not shocking to discover that Facebook has decided to dip their toes into coupons.  After discontinuing a four-month test of its Prepaid Local Deals Subscription Service this past summer, Facebook is now testing out Coupon Posts and Ads on a select group of existing advertisers.

Similar to the strategy behind their Sponsored Stories, here’s how Facebook’s Coupons work:

Reaction to this latest endeavor is creating some excitement among Facebook users, who are always looking for a deal— especially in these economically trying times. Most users who “like” a page do so to receive special offers and discounts anyway—at least I do! Let’s face it; I don’t really care if my friends know that I like Starbucks more than The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf…I’m not trying to convert die-hard Coffee Bean fans to Starbucks. No…I could care less. However, I’d love it if Starbucks gave me a little reward for “liking” their page and helping them build their brand. It’s a modern, online version of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” Or should that be the other way around?

The point is, Facebook’s new ad offering capitalizes on typical user behavior and gives advertisers yet another opportunity to target bargain-hungry, brand-loving users who just might share similar interests as their friends. It’s an assumption surely worth testing.

But despite the enthusiasm surrounding this latest development as well as the proliferation of daily deal services popping up all over the Internet (Groupon, Deal Chicken, etc.), social media experts stress the importance of taking the time to understand what you’re getting into—as well as your audience— before jumping on the Facebook Coupon bandwagon. Josh Peters [1], Social Media Manager at The Search Agency [2], lays out some useful guidelines:

Facebook itself has been giving advertisers similar advice to help them optimize their pages and get the most bang for their buck. On their Facebook for Business [3] page, they recommend checking your Page Insights Dashboard often to gauge:

While Facebook’s previous attempt at a pre-paid local deals service didn’t pan out, industry experts are optimistic about their newest endeavor. “With over 70% of the U.S. web audience on Facebook and more than half of users logged in every day, Facebook is incentivized to maintain their compelling engagement while creating ad revenue opportunities that tie in with their user journeys – coupons and page post ads are probably just the beginning,” says Mike Jarvinen [4], VP of Marketing Strategy at The Search Agency [2].