The MEC Search team recently went on a go-karting trip. Someone saw a great deal on Groupon and suggested we all dust off our driving gloves. An overrun meeting saw us arrive at the station out of breath and sweaty, having run the whole way from the office, just in time to see our train pull away from the platform without us. Nonetheless, though late, we eventually made it to the track and had a brilliant time (I finished last).
Last week Facebook announced the trial launch of Social Deals, which works in a similar way to “offer sites” such as Groupon. These sites give consumers the opportunity to buy deals on days out, treatments, restaurants and many other experiences at discount prices. Due to the nature of shopping on the internet, these sites have become hugely successful and so it is no surprise that Facebook has jumped on the bandwagon.
In the past these Facebook has offered Check In deals which are free coupon based schemes, however Social Deals differ because they are vouchers which you pay for up-front and redeem at a later time.
Facebook has stated that they are keen to bring the social networking experience offline, with fun social things to do with other people. They aren’t interested in offering people personal products to buy.
These deals can be shown in emails, your news feed and also through Facebook ads. You will be able to share them through private messages to your friends, encouraging the social aspect that Facebook are eager to promote.
Social deals has lots of potential to do really well for Facebook and the merchants alike, as the site is already a great platform for offers to be shared between friends. Merchants will also be able to promote themselves as a brand and encourage repeat customers by creating a fan page and interacting with consumers. Search Engine Land comments that it will end the “one night stand” effect between the merchant and customer as it will help to create a consumer base around the brand rather then people interested in a single deal.