In: Facebook7 May 2012
Good news! Facebook Offers are no longer only available to a select few but are now available to all Pages. Now, here’s the bad news. Unfortunately (for now) Facebook Offers are only available on Pages that have selected the Local Business category and have listed a physical location since Offers can only be redeemed by walking into a place of business. Hopefully that will change soon and all Page owners will be able to create an Offer that can be redeemed through online order forms, over the phone, etc., but until then, the rest of this article will only apply to businesses that are open to foot traffic.
I’m going to assume, since you’re still reading, that your Page qualifies and you already have the Offers option and you’re familiar with how Facebook Offers work, but if you aren’t, this video explains it pretty well.
Facebook Offers obviously provide an excellent new opportunity for location-based businesses with Facebook Pages who want to bring more traffic into their stores, restaurants, car lots, etc. They give you the ability to offer someone a free cocktail with their meal; a free shirt when they buy a pair of pants; a 20% discount; or a free tank of gas with a test drive. But, there’s another benefit to Offers. They can be used to get people to Like your Facebook Page.
When you create a Facebook Offer it’s posted to your brand Timeline and also appears in your fans’ newsfeeds. That’s great if you already have lots of fans and are just looking for ways to get more of them into your store, but what if you don’t already have a lot of fans? Well, one option is to spend some money and buy “sponsored stories” on Facebook. Other options include promoting the offer on your website or blog and via email, and in those cases, many of those people won’t already have Liked your Page and that’s how you’re going to use Offers to build your fan base.
As I mentioned, when you create an Offer it is posted to your Timeline and just like any status update, that post will have a permalink. By copying the URL of that permalink and using the link on your website or in an email you’ll be able to drive traffic to your offer. For example, if you have a restaurant you could put a nice ad on your home page that says, “Click here for a free Margarita” and link to the Offer permalink page. But, here’s where I’m going to suggest a different approach so you not only bring new traffic into your place of business but get them to Like your Page as well.
To redeem a Facebook Offer someone needs to click “Get Offer” below your Offer headline and then they get an email from Facebook with your offer. They can either bring that email in with them or show you the offer on their mobile phone. They DO NOT need to Like your Page to get the Offer. Now, obviously, people who see your offer in their newsfeed will be fans already but that won’t be the case if you promote the offer in a Facebook ad or on your website. So, here’s the solution.
Many of you are already familiar with fangating or offering an incentive on a landing page to encourage people to Like your Page. It involves setting up an app page that you can link to from your website, email signatures, other social networks, Facebook ads, etc. and instead of people who follow those links landing directly on your Timeline page, the first page they will see is your landing page. Landing pages provide an excellent opportunity for you to tell people what your Page is about and why they should click the Like button, and one way to entice more people to do that is to give them an incentive. Some people offer a free eBook to everyone who Likes their Page, or a discount on their first order or a free MP3 download of their latest song, and that’s how you would use the Facebook Offer. Offer visitors that free Margarita, free shirt or tank of gas for “Liking” your Page on your landing page and then just make sure to drive traffic to the URL for the landing page instead of directly to your Timeline page. You can link to the landing page from your website, emails, other social networks and from Facebook ads and now, not only will you be getting more people into your store but you’re also going to be getting more Likes.
What about those folks who don’t follow one of your links and end up on your Timeline page directly and don’t see your landing page? No problem, just create an eye catching app button that links to your “welcome” page and put your offer on the button. Do you think someone that visits your Timeline and sees a button below the Timeline cover that says, “Click Here for Free Gas!” or “Click for a Free Margarita!” will click that button?
By the way, when you offer the incentive on a landing page you don’t want to put the link to the Facebook Offer right on the landing page itself, you would put it on what we call a reveal page that only becomes visible after someone clicks the Like button. Once they Like your Page the landing page refreshes showing them a new page with your “Thank you for Liking us” message and a link to the Facebook Offer permalink.
If you need someone to help you set up your landing page Offer, please click here or email me at hugh at socialidentities dot com.