The 4 Types of Facebook Deals for Places

Yesterday Facebook announced the new “Deals” functionality for Facebook places.  In a nutshell, this functionality will give local businesses the ability to offer you a deal when you check in to their place on Facebook. So far, this has rolled out to only around 20 or so businesses initially, and will then roll out to 20,000 before making it available to everyone over the next few months.

Although the concept of deals seems straightforward, I have quickly found that not all Facebook deals are created equal.  I wanted to review the 4 types of Facebook deals in order to start those marketing juices flowing for how you may apply this new functionality for marketing your brand.

Type 1: Individual Deals

This type of deal is focused on providing the individual a discount, free merchandise, or other reward just for “checking in” to the business’s Facebook place. To give an example, Gap is going to give blue jeans to the first 10,000 customers to claim their deal in stores across the US.  To cross promote this, they created a status update on their Facebook page linked to a Facebook event. Currently, over 6,000 have stated that they are “attending.”

Curious as to how a limited deal would be redeemed nationwide, I looked closer at the fine print that said, “Store associates will pass out one coupon per person starting with the front of the line while supplies last”. This raises the question as to whether it will really be 10,000 of the first check-ins, or if every store is equipped to give out free jeans if you prove you’ve checked-in.  This actually sparked our curiosity even more, so we are sending an Ignite crew out to Gap tomorrow to report back how the redemptions go. 

Type 2: Friend Deals

According to Facebook, these offers are different from individual offers because they will provide a special deal when you and your friends claim an offer together.  Right now, I couldn’t find an example of a deal released when two friends checked in at the same location. However, companies like Chipotle are giving its Facebook guests two entrees for the price of one for checking in (incentivizing a friend to join).

Starbucks is also trying to be creative by positioning an individual deal in a way that gets you to share with your friends. I fell for it, so I guess it worked well.  Basically on a custom application tab, they provide a “Red Cup” that is already “unlocked” that you can share to your friend.

This is a little tricky, because you think that it will send a free drink to your friend to redeem.  The catch?  It sends your friend a status update that links back to the application. So the friend is still obligated to check in at their local Starbucks. This is an individual deal disguised as a friend deal, but it is the closest example this point in time to a brand trying to get networks involved in the same deal.

Type 3: Loyalty Deals

As more people will begin to check in through Places, brands also will have the ability to offer deals based on loyalty.  Although there are no examples of this at the moment, it is definitely an area that would start to transform how loyalty cards and programs operate.

Type 4: Charity Deals

The fourth type of “deal” I don’t really consider a deal in the traditional sense.  By checking in, companies will make a donation to a related charity.  McDonald’s is donating $1 to the Ronald McDonald House Charities for every check in, Starbucks is donating $1 per guest to Conservation International, and REI is donating to a local conservation non-profit when you visit its stores.  What is the business benefit? A nice status message like the one below.

This concludes the 4 types of Facebook deals you’ll see marketers creating in the near future.  If you see any examples of these Facebook Deals, please share in the comments below, and stay tuned for more of our thoughts on why we think Facebook Deals are a big deal for marketers.

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