Road Trip – The Intersection of Social and Mobile Facebook

mobile facebook

Leveraging Mobile FaceBook to Engage with Your Customers

Written by: Dan Slavin

Whether we created our first Facebook page because we were curious about the next new thing or grudgingly had to see what all the hype was about, we quickly learned that Facebook had the potential to become a powerful communication vehicle if we could utilize it correctly. Today, some of us are in the midst of leveraging Facebook’s potential, while others are mapping the best path to using Facebook effectively. Regardless of the road we’re on, marketers know Facebook can be an important ally – a means to share important information, a pseudo customer support center, or a way for customers to disclose meaningful experiences about their favorite brand.

For retailers exploring Facebook’s potential, common practices include posting photos, store locations and upcoming events. Stuff not likely to generate a lot of buzz about a product or brand. More savvy retailers are finding ways to engage with their customers. One perceptive retailer recently launched a campaign allowing customers to “like” their favorite school. Top vote getters received a truckload of school supplies – a huge savings for schools and a big win for the retailer as it generated a lot of positive postings on their Facebook page.

Another opportunity for retailers to generate feedback about the brand is to post mobile coupons on their Facebook wall. Customers love deals. But, how can retailers leverage Facebook’s ability to initiate traffic about a brand and at the same time manage mobile coupon liability and potential for fraud, especially if an offer goes viral?

Capitalizing on the giving theme, a retailer let customers “gift” mobile coupons to their Facebook friends. The gifting process was easy. A customer clicked on the posted offer and identified the friend they wanted to receive the gift. The friend was notified of their gift via Facebook. To activate the mobile coupon, the friend could either print the coupon from their desktop or load the mobile coupon to their mobile device from Facebook’s mobile app. The friend then presented the coupon during checkout. Using Facebook IDs, the mobile coupon could only be used by the person receiving the gift. In addition, as soon as the mobile coupon was redeemed, it expired in all channels – whether the coupon was paper-based or mobile. The beauty of this campaign allowed the retailer to maintain complete control over who received the coupons and who redeemed them. The retailer minimized their liability and mitigated potential fraud, even when the offer went viral.

Just as there are many roads we can travel to reach a destination, so too are our options to use Facebook to generate excitement about a brand. Let Facebook be one of many creative ways customers engage with you. And when you’re ready to provide offers to your customers, drawing them into your retail locations, make sure you are not exposed to excessive liability or fraud when using Facebook as a communication channel.