This past week, Social Media giant Facebook has launched a brand new feature. Facebook Deals is a product that was created to compete with Groupon. To begin, the app will only be released in 5 cities across the United States. Those cities are Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego, and San Francisco.
Any user that signs up for Deals will have notifications of local deals sent both to their e-mail and to their news feed. It is an extension of the places feature, and offers incentive to users when they integrate mobile check-ins into their everyday lives. It also provides businesses of all types with another internet marketing opportunity on Facebook.
To some users, this feature probably sounds a lot like Foursquare, where users can be rewarded with coupons for checking in a certain locations. The Deals feature, however, will work similarly to sites like Restaurant.com. You purchase some type of certificate or voucher for use at a later date, and receive a significant discount on the purchase price. And the deals come from the actual merchants, and not from Facebook. It seems as though this could be a great source of traffic for many businesses since Facebook reaches so many users all over the world. Offering a great sale can get the word buzzing about your brand very quickly, and chances are that customers will remember your product and they can easily share and recommend it to their friends.
This also seems like an effective tactic for building customer loyalty. Because customers will be rewarded every time they visit your store, they should be more inclined to do so again in the future. There are different types of deals that you can offer, so you are able to choose what works best for your particular business.
So now we just have to sit back and watch the social media magic happen. Only time will tell if it will be able to beat out competitors like Groupon and LivingSocial.