This Nielsen study may be old in social media terms, but unless the psychographic landscape of social media users has undergone a paradigm shift, discounts and special offers are still driving the most Likes and Follows of brand pages.
Just last year, little known brand “Snack Factory” was able to double its audience within 36 hours of posting a $1 off coupon offer and a buy one, get one free offer. The brand saw 87% and 95% redemption rates, respectively, and year over year growth of 93%. None of us should be surprised—people love a good deal.
But Facebook can’t just become a coupon hub. That would be disastrous.
Facebook knows this, and recent moves seem to indicate a move towards social commerce for the platform/behemoth. Despite the failed Facebook Local Deals experiment that ended last August, Facebook is trying to figure a way out to get hard-earned cash flowing via its platform, not just virtual currency.
As Facebook is increasingly comfortable doing, it’s letting its 3rd party developers do much of the initial R&D (Moontoast, anybody?). Enter couponing giant Valassis, which already works with 15,000+ advertisers to create e-coupons. They’ve recently developed a new Facebook app, RedPlum Social Savings, that lets brands serve coupons that can be directly downloaded/printed within Facebook itself. No more link-outs to jpegs or microsites.
That’s right, you can still see your friends’ sickeningly cute baby pictures as you ring up the discounts. Cha-ching.
That’s not all. The app is integrated with the Open Graph so users can share coupons, but more importantly: brands can target coupons to users Timelines like they would a Sponsored Story. And there’s been talk of the ability to prepay for coupons from within the app. Prepaying is a huge signal that e-commerce is on the way.
So while Facebook isn’t ready to fully house e-commerce, it certainly looks to be headed in that direction. Word on the street is that Facebook has a dormant “Want” button that, given the right time and opportunity, could really blow the lid off this whole thing and give “Like” a run for its money.
And with that poor pun, the Socially Awkward Penguins are signing off.
Hartman Wong is a Social Media Strategist at Razorfish, based in New York City. He is currently obsessed with finding his way to a Sonic Drive-In (he’s from LA). Tweet him @hartmanhw
Lauren Rich is a Social Media Intern at Razorfish, based in New York. When she’s not social networking, you can find her looking for something interesting to read at a bookstore or library. Tweet to her at @LaurRich91.