Facebook Deals has launched in South Africa, with Habari Media scoring the contract. Is it yet another group deal buying site, of which there seem to be more launched on a daily basis, or will the power of Facebook persuade sceptics that this is indeed the supermarket of the future. TheMediaOnline caught up with Habari Media’s Michael Krynauw and asked him how he sees this trend panning out.
There seems to be, almost on a daily basis, new ‘deal’ sites launching. What will make the Facebook Deals site different?
Facebook Deals is more of strategic long term opportunity for brands. Sure there is an opportunity to sell products and increase foot traffic to the store but there is also an element of increasing awareness for the brand on Facebook via check-ins and this will ultimately boost fan numbers. Facebook is considered a stand-alone media platform as it gives brands the ability to make real connections and build the CLV ( customer lifetime value ) of the consumer.
On average 30min a day is spent by users on Facebook. Now compare that to any other media. Through the latest brandlift study by Nielsens, Facebook homepage media has a 4x increase on purchase intent for a product. Samsung launched its Galaxy Tab on Facebook in the UK using homepage media that resulted an 18 point increase for purchase intent for the product.
Facebook Deals offers more benefits than your average group buying opportunities in the market, it combines location based marketing through Facebook Places with the ability for brands to increase sales, foot traffic and brand engagement not to mention the social recommendation by friends and family. Facebook Deals is a complete offering and its going to be the biggest launch in the EMEA market for the next year.
Many people I’ve spoken to are reluctant to do these deals, many citing trust issues. How do you overcome that perception?
Over 330 000 people check-in to various Facebook Places in South Africa on a weekly basis without a reason to do so, other than wanting to inform their friends where they currently are in SA. If brands give those very same users an opportunity to claim a deal when they check-in, it would be a no brainer for them to claim that deal. Importantly, Facebook gives users the option to share their checkin on their Facebook wall and profile and it is not compulsory.
Have any SA companies signed up with Facebook Deals yet?
Yes, two companies have secured their place as the launch partners with Facebook Deals. They are Cell C and General Motors. We have a few more brands who are at final stages of deciding what deals they are wanting to offer. Facebook is offering exclusivity to brands in each vertical. i.e. there will only be one auto brand, or Telco brand. Watch this space.
How would an NGO get involved on the Charity Deals aspect?
Charity deals are a great way for brands to give back to the community. A Facebook Deals partner can chose to reward a consumer for check-in by donating to charity. The donation and charity would need to be decided by the brand which is implementing the deal.
In terms of advertising, where is SA in advertising on Facebook?
South Africa is considered an emerging market for Facebook. Currently EMEA is made up of South Africa, Turkey, Poland, Egypt and Israel.
Is there a special mobile app or offering seeing as in SA, there are more mobile users than those using desktop or laptop computers?
Facebook is working with local operators to launch Facebook Zero which is the ability for even old handsets to access Facebook securely and cheaply. The Facebook app is constantly being modified and who knows maybe users would be able to access applications and pages with greater ease. Currently Facebook does not commercialise the mobile offering as far as advertising is concerned.
What do the rates look like, and the contracts that businesses will sign up for?
There is no fee to become a Facebook Deals partner but rather an advertising commitment that helps the brand advertise the deal on facebook. The advertising commitment is substantial in order to maintain a high enough share of voice within Facebook. The agreement to launch with Facebook Deals is between Habari Media and the brand. Habari Media helps the brand secure the various store locations throughout the country and helps the setup and implementation of the deals process.
Some facts about Facebook Deals in SA
There are currently over 300 000 local Facebook users who daily check in to Facebook Places, with no incentive to do so.
Facebook Deals appear on the user’s phone when they are nearby a participating retailer, giving the user a reason to visit the store, and potentially make the purchase.
When a Facebook user checks into a business, all of their friends are made aware of the deal too.
There are four kinds of Facebook Deals available to businesses:
- Individual Deals, a one time deal which offers a discount or free merchandise to existing or new customers
- Loyalty Deals reward the most loyal customers after a certain number of check ins
- Friend Deals offer discounts or vouchers to a group of up to eight friends
- Charity Deals offer businesses the oportunity to donate money each time user checks in