There are countless ways to leverage Facebook to engage customers. While much of the focus is on personalizing the buying experience and encouraging the socialization of purchases, one of the most simple and timeless methods of marketing is frequently overlooked. I’m talking about coupons.

Turning Back the Clock

When most people hear the word “coupon” they picture an elderly lady in front of them in-line at the supermarket, digging through her enormous handbag at a snails pace. Those days are probably not over, but they are dwindling (or at least I hope so). According to NCH Marketing (an industry leader in coupon processing), online coupons are redeemed at the second highest rate of any type of coupon, second only to on-pack coupons. Just over 17% of online coupons that are printed out end up being redeemed by the person who downloaded them. These numbers are staggeringly higher than newspaper and other high volume print platforms. The online coupon may be a nod to the stone age, but it’s effective and needs to be utilized.

Give People Something Good

If you are offering a coupon through Facebook, remember that the coupon is worth much more than the intrinsic value of the purchase. Facebook likes and shares are as good as cash in the marketing world. That being said, go all out! Giving people a great deal that makes them think, “How can they afford to do that?”, is the key. Realize that even if your company is just breaking even (or even losing a little), you can easily make up that margin with the social publicity it stirs up. People love deals. Companies love social engagement. This seems like an easy tradeoff. So when the time comes to put together a coupon offer to customers, don’t be cheap, give them something they can get excited about and you’ll reap the rewards down the road.

Modernize Your Coupons

Mobile has surpassed the point where we can call it “supplemental” and is edging close to being the “default” mode for the way people view things online. If your company is pushing a coupon through Facebook, the need to make it mobile friendly is high. The most advantageous way of doing this is with QR (Quick Response) codes. If you haven’t seen them yet, you will. They look like a bar code that has taken narcotics and reconstituted itself in a square shape. These codes act like bar codes but are easy for smartphones equipped with barcode scanners (I think they all do) to read. The creator can go many directions with this technology. Here is an example of how your company might leverage QR codes:

  1. You print out a QR code and put it in your store, on packaging, on your website, etc.
  2. A visitor sees it and scans it with their smartphone.
  3. They’re taken to a site where they can Like your FB Page and enter their email address.
  4. Finally, they’re given instructions to redeem the coupon

It may sound a little complicated but the process is very simple once utilized. QR codes enhance a coupon and encourage mobile use. This is a fantastic way to leverage Facebook coupons.We’ve compiled a how to on QR codes here.

Spread Your Offer… Everywhere

While your coupon may be geared toward Facebook, be sure to spread the word using all of the other social platforms. By tweeting that you have a Facebook coupon offer, you are not only driving people to Facebook, you are also driving up your Twitter presence, all at the same time.

Coupons Have a Proven Track Record

The company Pretzel Crisps used Facebook coupons to increase their followers from 5,000 to 12,000 in less than 36 hours by giving away a buy-one-get-one-free coupon. They then did it again a short while later and raised their followers to 62,000. Obviously not every coupon campaign can be this successful… some could be more. The key is to give people an offer that they are likely to get excited about and to do it in a way that makes it easy for them to share.