Groupon and LivingSocial and Facebook Deals, oh my!

By Matt Thompson, Director of Digital Strategy for The Zimmerman Agency

In an ever-changing digital world, how is a small business to keep up?

Since my last post, Groupon has removed the 30% option for revenue share and has two models- create a store, market it yourself and share 10%, or the more “traditional” approach, contact a Groupon representative and share roughly 50% of the revenue with Groupon.

Now, just as small businesses were starting to get their heads around Groupon, LivingSocial, a Groupon competitor, has launched and has offered great deals to Tallahassee citizens, followed by the official launch of Facebook Deals.

As a small business owner, all the geolocation services options can be daunting. Most likely Facebook is the current cornerstone of your social media efforts and you have harvested a good following that accepts updates from your business. If managing social media channels is a problem, certainly Facebook Deals can be a great scalable introduction to geolocation services. Use your current Facebook messaging to drive awareness of the program and monitor its effectiveness.

Built on the backbone of Facebook Places, Facebook Deals can harness the power of 500 million plus users in which 200 million of those users are mobile. More importantly, Facebook tends to do a good job at keeping interest in the platform from businesses. Businesses spend money, Facebook develops more with them in mind, and, if the Digital gods are willing, people will keep making Facebook their social networking destination on the web.

Also, one thing I do like about Facebook Deals over Foursquare is the ability to somewhat crack down on fraudulent check-ins. As I sit in my home and write this post, I can check-in on Foursquare at GAP in the Governor’s Square Mall. Facebook is not giving me that option and I am limited to only the places around me. This precision cracks down on users checking in and getting an offer without ever stepping near your establishment.

As with any new offer, think it through and make sure you take the necessary change management steps such as notifying staff. Incorporate Facebook Deals into in-store messaging and decide which deal is best for you.

If you have any questions, please post in the comments below and I will do my best to answer all of them. Also, don’t be afraid to check out Facebook Deals for yourself.

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