On Facebook, Page Administrators had a choice of methods to deliver discount coupons to readers; the menu contained Facebook Coupon App using Third Party applications and Facebook offers. Currently, there is only one available method: Third Party applications. Facebook tried then removed its native Facebook offers. Some analysts posted background information on the current situation and I will briefly summarize it here. The end result is that Page Administrators need not be concerned, the Facebook Coupon App using Third Party applications work very well.
A Brief History Of Facebook Offers
Facebook announced the roll-out of the Facebook offers feature on February 29, 2012. However, it was widely reported that the launch took place in April, 2012. Surprisingly, however, on June 6, 2012, Facebook announced it would suspend its Offers option just a year after launch! One of Facebook’s culture is “move fast and break things”, no wonder why they are fast in trying new features and removing them if they are not widely adopted.
As a matter of fact, Facebook offers were probably not being leveraged enough by Facebook pages. That’s the only reason we can see for its termination.
Expected Advantage Vs. Actual Results
The expected advantage of the Facebook Offers feature was the ease of use and viral communication from customers who got coupons from Facebook. This was distinguished from other styles of offers which required customers to join mailing lists and receive a series of offers. It appeared that advantages which Facebook sought when establishing the native offer application likely did not materialize. The primary advantages Facebook expected from its native offers were:
(1) Ease of use – that the on page coupon would be easier than signing on a list and receiving the coupon by email;
(2) ease of use for Page Administrators – a very simple set-up; and
(3) acceptance- that the offers would be taken by customers and spread to others by word of mouth.
Facebook was also obvioulsy trying to respond to the growing demand for Return on Investment (ROI) from page admins who were trying to get more than likes from their Facebook page! But this was probably not the appropriate response.
Solutions Are Available
There is no need for concern or feeling at a loss for that solution. Third party applications such as Agorapulse work very well. In many ways, such Third Party applications work better than Facebook native offers. Facebook coupons had an advertising tie-in cost, lacked means to confirm coupon usage, and did not result in a longer term customer contact.
The advantages of Third Party applications such as Agorapulse are important: tracking results and longer term customer engagement. The idea that Facebook Offers were spread by viral communication – i.e. that most people heard about the offer from a friend – was a measurable advantage, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, Facebook Offers had few ways to confirm and measure followup contacts, and none were as reliable as those of Third Party applications.
Have you used a Facebook Offer in the past? Or a third party Coupon App? If yes, what was your experience?