For “D” I could have said Diggs, Delicious, Distribution and more! For the social media scholars amongst us these examples would be fitting. But by way of introductions, surely it must be about the Deals and Discounts! They have become so popular and have exploded over the past couple of years. At the same time the total landscape seems to change daily. Yes, I must talk about D is for Deals and Discounts!
- Discount sites have just grown exponentially.
- Sites like Cheaptweet, Coupontweet offer discounts on a whole array of products and services.
- Many businesses are using twitter to communicate special deals on given days or season.
- Then there are sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial. These sites offer significant discounts that can vary from 50-90% off the original price, just as long as they can attract a certain number of people to “sign” up for the deal. The deal usually has an expiry date associated with it which can be a few months to up to a year.
- Relatively new is WagJag, similar to Groupon and LivingSocial. WagJag features a daily deals and discounts in your city for a limited time; if enough people join the group and spreads the word, the deal is on. You can the retrieve a printable electronic voucher. Having said that Groupon has recently introduce a similar deal to WagJag known as “Groupon Now” where hundreds of deals are given on demand at a nearby city for that very day.
- Many Business pages of social network sites, such as Facebook, give special discounts to their fans
- Facebook had its own Facebook Deals but it was short-lived.
- Foursquare provides an ongoing conversation with your contacts as you “check-in to” places and provide your own reviews. There are also many discount categories and types associated with business owners listed with Foursquare. For example there are discounts for first visits; friend discounts;loyalty discounts and it goes on and on and on.
Why is this considered “social media” discounts?
Many of these social media sites provide the ability for customers to provide feedback and share their experience with others on their sites.
- You can vote on a deal to indicate that you liked it..
- You can provide comments and share additional context regarding your experience
- You can ask questions about the deal on this social site.
- You can post these deals to your network and continue the conversation there.
- Groupon encourages this sharing by providing further incentives to those who do. To-date Groupon has 115+ million subscribers and this is not slowing down. Though there seems to be some turbulence in their business model. As I said, the landscape is evolving.
- Facebook also encourages the sharing of the experience- again demonstrating the social aspects of “deal sharing”.
Why do businesses give these discounts? What is the catch?
- Dell, Amazon and Starbucks have won large followings online by using social media to present regular deals and discounts. Starbucks, for example, has gained nearly 5 million fans on Facebook. They did this by frequently sharing coupons about free products and discounts.
- Business owners increase customer awareness and traffic to their establishment.
- They can gain new customers to build a new business and customers win with these basement bargain deals.
- New business owner may use this to introduce their expertise in a given area.
- Business owners can also take advantage of issuing these deals during their off-peak periods.
As I mentioned earlier, the social discount landscape seems to be changing daily. It is certainly early in its evolution and has somewhat of a wild west flavor as we all develop our competency in this arena.
To my business owners, providing discounts is a great way to increase visibility of your business. However it is a very important that you plan for the volume and the price-point that you have established. Nothing draws a crowd like a free item. So an item or service at rock bottom price- is close to being free and therefore you need to prepare! As a result, having the right service, support and marketing plan are critical to your overall success.
To my customers, this is a great way to stretch your money and experience services or items that perhaps would not be considered otherwise. Be fair with your comments and feedback.
Here are a few social media links to those savings and for you to explore:
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Thank you again!
Photo: stumbledupon/ circlekb
- Facebook gets rid of Deals (digitaltrends.com)
- Couponing Is Cool Again: Millennials On Groupon, LivingSocial & Foursquare (ypulse.com)
- Are We Approaching the End of the Daily Deals Era? (Mashable)
- Is Facebook Deals’ Demise A Clobbered Competitor Or A Bad Omen For Groupon? (Forbes)
- Does Groupon Need Saving? (mpdailyfix.com)
- Best Social Group Buying Sites For Daily Deals And Deep Discounts (To Muse)
- New deals website debuts (bendbulletin.com)
- What’s the deal with daily deals (Mashable)
- Seller Beware (davidhall)
- Daily Deals Proliferating (Mashable)