Why The New (Read: Not Free) Facebook Offers Are Great

The launch of Facebook’s IPO has continued to put mounting pressure on the company to find new sources of revenue, resulting in things like newsfeed ads, and other new, perhaps annoying forms of advertising sprinkled throughout the massive social media company’s website.

And in light of the epic failure that was Facebook Deals, something that lasted for only 4 months, it’s good to see that Facebook has finally found a method that allows businesses on Facebook to drive users of their Facebook page directly into their stores (or onto their websites) in the form of Facebook Offers.

But now, in light of the increasingly lofty expectations of Wall Street and stockholders, Facebook has turned the once free Offers service into something that requires advertisers to spend at least $5 in promoting it.

Great for Facebook, but terrible for businesses, right? Not exactly. 

Forcing Businesses to Explore Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are amazing. Because of the incredible amount of information that Facebook has on each of its users, Facebook Ads allow advertisers to create hyper-targeted ads that are catered towards people who will be more likely to click on them. And through those ads, advertisers can promote their own Facebook pages, websites, and even specific posts.

Unfortunately, only a small percentage of small business owners have actually used Facebook Ads, according to a study by ZDNet. Obviously, that’s a huge amount of potential advertising dollars that Facebook is missing out on, with the U.S. consisting of over 99% small businesses.

Now, by making ad spending a mandatory part of Facebook Offers, businesses that choose to utilize Facebook Offers are now forced to explore what sort of options Facebook has with regard to advertising.

Think about it this way: If a business owner runs a Facebook Offer, promotes it, and it falls flat on its face, they’re only out $5, and Facebook has just convinced them to use their ads.

But now, if they run an offer, find that Facebook Ads had a significant impact on the promotion of that offer, they might determine that advertising through Facebook is worth it, and explore the wide array of other advertising options that Facebook offers.

Score (for Facebook)!

Encouraging Businesses to Think

Beyond simply exploring Facebook Ads, businesses will now have to think more intelligently about the coupons that they’re offering. Before, when it was free, there was no love lost from a business (or consumer) perspective when nobody redeemed a coupon. Now that it’s $5, and businesses need to promote it, they’ll start thinking about things like, “Do my consumers care about this stuff? Will it resonate with them?” before placing the promotion.

And chances are, this will result in less useless coupons that don’t necessarily offer much in the way of value, and more intelligent offers that not only create value for consumers, but also for the businesses that are trying to turn their Facebook traffic into paying customers. It will probably also encourage them to find other means of promoting those offers, whether it be through an email newsletter or through their website.

Does your business use Facebook Offers?