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BizReport : Social Marketing : December 15, 2011

New Facebook ad unit allows brands to reward Fans with coupons

Consumers want to be rewarded for their loyalty to brands via social media and Facebook is rumored to currently be testing an ad option that will give them exactly that.

by Helen Leggatt

Facebook is currently testing a new coupon ad unit, according to a recent report from Inside Facebook. The ads will bring to social media users exactly what they expect from brands they friend and follow - rewards in the form of exclusive freebies and savings.

How does it work? After a brand posts a coupon on their Facebook Page wall that post becomes an ad on the Facebook homepage. To obtain the ad Fans of the brand simply click on the wall post or ad after which an email is received with instructions on how to redeem the ad. The email also encourages sharing of the coupon with friends.

Advertisers can choose whether coupons are redeemable online, offline or both.

"We think this test is complementary to the other products we offer businesses and we hope to learn more about how this might work for both merchants and customers," said Facebook, who are currently testing the coupon ads with a few select businesses.

Earlier this week a study was released by the Chief Marketing Officer Council (CMO) and social technology firm Lithium that revealed a big difference in what consumers want from social media interactions and what marketers think consumers want.

Consumers expect their loyalty, whether it be via Twitter or Facebook or some other social environment, to result in exclusive offers (67%), access to competitions and games (65%), and interaction with other customers (60%).

Chief marketing officers, on the other hand, thought that social media was all about their followers and fans being heard (41%) or finding information and news about products.

"There is a clear digital divide between marketers and what consumers expect from their brands," said Katy Keim, Lithium Chief Marketing Officer. "We are leaving the experimentation phase of social and these survey results clearly illustrate what consumers want. Brands who provide their social customers with engaging online experiences, meaningful interactions with one another, and rewards for doing so will clearly gain a decisive competitive advantage in 2012."

Tags: advertising, brand marketing, consumer insight, coupons, Facebook, social marketing, social media, social network

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