Securely Deliver Free Gifts on Facebook

Facebook GiftingWritten by: Joe Pappalardo

Retailers have been advertising on Facebook since it was first launched in 2004 (This Is What Facebook’s First Ads Looked Like). According to the article, venturing into digital advertising was challenging for both Facebook and advertisers. In the 11 years since, Facebook has learned a thing a two about advertising as evidenced by their relatively recent release of Facebook’s Ad Creation. The platform provides retailers with the ability to leverage the consumer data, that Facebook has collected, to garner “likes,” mindshare and conversions.

As a solutions provider that helps retailers deliver engaging mobile campaigns to consumers, we took a closer look at Facebook’s Offer Claim capability. Overall, the initial implementation of Offer Claims provides the basics for retailers to deliver coupons to their customers. We noted that the real power of the solution, as noted above, is its ability to tailor ads for a specific audience based on consumer data. This is a real win for SMBs who want to extend their reach in a local market.


Larger retailers, with much deeper advertising budgets, have been using Facebook all along. Their ongoing challenge is to find new ways to creatively engage with consumers. A notable example is when a large CPG and retailer teamed up to celebrate a major milestone by delivering a free bag of cookies via Facebook. Although the give-away was one piece of a much larger initiative, through the use of Facebook gifting, both the CPG and retailer realized:

  • Significant brand awareness was generated based on the creative use of Facebook.
  • Dramatic increase in the number of “likes” on the CPG’s Facebook page.
  • The retailer saw a substantially larger basket size by the people redeeming their gift.

A key ingredient of the campaigns success was the ability to ensure each consumer was able to redeem only one coupon for a free bag of cookies. Given the CPG used a variety of outlets to advertise the campaign, there was concern that if the promotion went viral, the retailer would not be able to fulfill demand. In addition, the potential financial liability associated with giving away a free bag of cookies kept a few people up at night.


The national retailer and CPG worked together to create a Facebook gifting campaign promoting the giving away of offers and one-time use coupons. The campaign let consumers “gift” an offer for a free bag of cookies to a Facebook friend. Customers clicked on the offer posted on the retailer’s Facebook page and identified the friend to whom the “gift” should be sent. The Facebook friend received a notification of the gift and then had the option of printing the coupon or retrieving it from the Facebook mobile app. The recipient presented the coupon during checkout and the coupon was cleared by the retailer. Because each coupon had a unique identifier that was associated with a consumer’s Facebook ID, each Facebook ID could redeem only one coupon.

Using one-time-use coupons for Facebook, the retailer knew when the offer was received on Facebook, when it was viewed, and when and where it was redeemed, providing a comprehensive picture of the purchase funnel. When the number of allotted offers had been dispensed, the promotion ended, guaranteeing that the offer could not go viral and result in a huge financial liability for the retailer or CPG.


The large retailer experienced a significant increase in basket size, as consumers were drawn into retail stores by the Facebook offer and left with an average additional $30 of items in their shopping carts on more than 150,000 redemptions. In addition, the retailer realized an increase in brand awareness thanks to the overwhelming response to the promotion.