BrainTrust Query: Facebook Participatory Promotions
Commentary by David Dorf, Director of Technology Strategy, Oracle Retail
a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt from a current
article from Insight-Driven Retailing Blog.
Last week, Lowe’s and Gap
joined Walmart in launching what I’m calling Facebook Participatory Promotions.
These retailers are taking Facebook marketing up a notch by adding an element
Lowe’s "Black Friday Sneak Peek Party" campaign on Facebook
offered consumers a limited number of items at a ridiculously low price for
their fans. Paid-search and display ads encouraged consumers to check out its
Facebook page just after midnight on Friday, Nov. 5 for a sneak preview of
its doorbuster deals planned for Black Friday. As an extra incentive, the first
100 Facebook visitors at 2:01 Eastern time received an option to purchase a
KitchenAid stand mixer at 90 percent off. The following 900 fans earned the
right to purchase the appliance for 20 percent off.
Lowe’s told Mediapost.com that
the "Party" weekend featured
more than 5,000 90 percent-off coupons covering more than 20 items.
these deals are only visible to Facebook fans of Lowe’s and, once they’re a
fan, other marketing messages can be posted on their newsfeed. These types
of campaigns are sure to increase Lowe’s number of fans and generate some excitement
heading into the holidays. It remains to be seen if those fans will stick with
Lowe’s after the holidays.
Also last week, Gap partnered with Facebook Places to reward
customers with free jeans for Facebook check-ins on Nov. 5. According to Fast
more than 28,000 users signed up on Gap’s Facebook page to attend the event,
although Gap only offered 10,000 free jeans. The retailer handed out 40 percent-off
coupons to those who checked in but missed the freebie.
The Gap and Lowe’s
promotions follow Walmart’s Crowd Savers program on Facebook that was launched
the prior week. Wall posts invite fans to vote on a promotion — most call
for around a 40 percent discount — and when enough "likes" are
recorded, the promotion takes effect on the walmart.com site. They then let
everyone know about the success of the promotion in another wall posting, and
everyone (not just those that voted) can benefit. It’s an interesting way to
push promotions to customers and also let them "play along."
promotions only to fans reinforces loyalty, and having them do things rather
than just sending coupons adds the excitement and buzz. I predict these types
of promotions get even more creative as we near the holiday season.
Discussion Questions: In what ways will Facebook promotions be able to reach
consumers that traditional media can’t? Which of the mentioned promotions represent
the best example of how to reach consumers through social media?
- Facebook Participatory Promotions – Insight Driven Blog
- Did Gap’s Free Jeans Facebook Deal Disappoint Customers? – Fast Company
- Facebook Becomes Lowe’s Black Friday Marketing Tool – MediaPost