Dear Company Planning a Facebook Promotion,
For two years now, I have run a coupon blog out of Western Washington. During that time, I’ve watched how social media has changed the playing field for companies, both large and small.
Many of my readers are avid Facebook users and like to take advantage of promotions as they arise. Unfortunately, I’ve seen a few things go very badly and even backfire for companies. In an effort to help you and help my readers, I thought I’d provide some advice for you today.
1. Please be prepared for a large response.Many times when a promotion doesn’t go as planned the company uses this excuse: “we were overwhelmed by the response.” When you’re planning for a promotion, expect the word to get out fast and furious. This includes small companies too. Get a few bloggers with large traffic sharing your offer and it will spread like wildfire. Have staff on hand, get the servers beefed and ready, whatever it is you need to do – but be prepared. Particularly if you offer anything that is free.
2. Monitor your Facebook wall. Yesterday, Mission released a coupon that had some serious glitches. At first, it appeared like it was going to be a total fail. But guess what? By paying attention to what their fans were saying, they were able to take action and change the offer. While user error may occur, pay attention if you’re getting dozens of folks telling you something is not working.
3. Engage on your Facebook wall.I always feel bad when I see a company getting bashed on their Facebook wall and remain silent. Be professional, but do make an effort. You do not need to respond to every single rant left, but pick at least a handful and try to respond in a friendly way. On a Facebook wall I was reading recently, someone was questioning the relationship this smaller organic company seemingly had with a major chocolate manufacturer. This piqued several others’ curiosity too. Several days later, the company had not responded. This would have been a perfect opportunity to step in and provide factual information, versus letting folks draw their own conclusions.
4. Understand coupon and redemption policies. Please do not issue printable free coupons or coupons with excessively high values that most stores will not redeem. Even though your coupon may be completely legitimate, know that stores reserve the right to decline any coupon at their choosing. Before developing a coupon campaign, consult with a coupon company, such as Coupon Information Corporation. Most stores will only accept free coupons that have print on both sides, and/or in color, and/or with holographs or not easily reproducible elements.
5. Keep it simple.The more steps involved and the more information you try to extract, the more risk you have that your promotion will not succeed. I get leery when I have to “approve” some application to get a free coupon. Or follow 4-5 steps to get a coupon.
6. Don’t give up.I have had the chance to get to know many great brands and try products I wouldn’t have otherwise, thanks to promotions run on Facebook. If you experience some glitches, reassess, and try again.
I hope this letter has been useful, and that you will consider what I’ve shared as you plan your next promotion. Keep the freebies coming, and best wishes on your next Facebook promotion.
Lover of Freebies