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What’s the Deal with Online Deals?

Social Sonar - Wednesday, April 10, 2013

We love a good deal. There's something awesome about getting that thing you desperately need or desire for a few bucks off. Special deals helps us feel like we're in the loop, and somehow ahead of the rest of the pack. They also help us feel rewarded for being loyal customers. But from your perspective, deals can be risky business. Social media is a great way to promote savings, but are you using the intersection between deals and social media to the best of your advantage?

Don't be a Coupon Machine

It's tempting to use social media as the primary way to advertise coupons, sales and deals. The danger here lies in becoming a coupon catalogue. Don't let special offers take over in such way that all your other content falls by the wayside. You need time and space to develop other aspects of your brand, so don't let the coupon clutter build too much.

Do Reward Loyal Followers

If you're trying to engage with your most loyal customers, deals and savings are a great way to reward their excitement and passion for your product. You can generate excitement online with competitions, teasing special deals along the way. It's also not a bad way to repair damage from bad customer experiences.

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Don't Use it as Your Only Strategy For Growth

As this study from Rhythm Insights shows, most social media users (close to 60%) follow brands to show their loyalty or support. Creating original content that shows off who you are as a brand is much more vital to a sound social media strategy, so make sure that those efforts take priority over publicizing deals.

Do Make Stipulations

For any deal you're offering, always make stipulations. Plan ahead and set deadlines for deals to expire. Brainstorm with staff members to make sure there aren't any gaping loopholes in your plan that would allow someone to run off with more than you can afford to give away. Make sure you communicate all the fine print to your followers before they take you up on any special deals. You can avoid awkward confrontations and negative customer experiences that way.

With the knowledge that gaining and retaining followers doesn't rely solely on the discounts you offer, you can relax a little and refocus your energies elsewhere. Be as specific as you can with what you're offering, so that your next coupon or sales discount isn't a deal breaker for your most valued customers. Finally, have fun! Create contests, roll out deals with teases that build excitement and document people enjoying your special offers so that you have a reminder of what makes it all worth it.

Important 2012 Holiday Shopping Days

Social Sonar - Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Holiday season is upon us. We see it everywhere we go: the local drugstore, big box store, and e-commerce websites. Every marketing effort is being put toward holiday sales. Whether you're a small or big business, you should take note of important holiday dates. These dates will help you keep in line with your competitors, as well as bring in possible new customers who are in the mood to shop. Mark your calendars for the following dates:

November 22: Thanksgiving Day (US) - Online promotions

Online retailers are learning to post offers early. They are marketing to consumers who spend time in long lines for those "big bargains". Developing one-day Thanksgiving offers can help bring in sales. While big box store are stocking their shelves, you can start generating revenue with the growing online market.

November 23: Black Friday

Oh yes, you know about this day well. Black Friday is the day millions of shoppers get up at 3am and stand in line to get deeply discounted items. Don't be afraid to be part of this shopping extravaganza. You may not be a big box store, but it doesn't mean you can't create great deals.

November 24: Small Business Saturday

On this day we say to shoppers, "Shop Local". This holiday season shouldn't just be about the big box store or mass production. Offer one-day specials and discounts. If you're a restaurant, offer a free dessert with the purchase of an entree. Local stores, offering unique gifts and showcasing your merchandising this particular day will go a long way. If you use social media to promote Small Business Saturday, remember to use hashtag #smallbizsat. Get on the Official Map.

November 26: Cyber Monday

Technically (pun intended), this is a new tradition. This is the day many shoppers head back into the office and start to look for great deals online. Offer an incentive for shoppers to shop at your online store. Tie in social media acquisition or engagement. Advertisers like Origins (EA Games) will post things like, "Fans can enjoy an 30% off of clearance items if we receive 200 likes on this post by 1pm." They reveal the 30% off code once they have received the 200 likes. It's a great tactic, and you can use it too.

December: National Shipping Day - Global

The competition will be doing this, so you should, too. The following days will be National Shipping Day for these countries:

Merchants within these countries will provide free shipping on any order with a guarantee that shoppers will receive their items before Christmas. This is one of those rare times your mother didn't anticipate when you should do something just because everyone else will be doing it.