Facebook offers, the program that allows businesses to promote special offers to their Facebook fans, was first mentioned as a pilot program at fMC in February. A few months later, Facebook opened it up to more small businesses.
You're probably familiar with Facebook Offers even if you think you aren't. Users have been seeing more and more of them on their news feeds in the past few months. You may see that a page you like has "posted an offer" - maybe "buy one shirt get one free," or something to that effect.
You may have also seen something like "John has claimed an offer from _____" on your news feed, and that is the real draw behind offers for businesses: Spread the word.
Today, Facebook has announced two major changes to the Offers platform.
First, businesses who create offers can now include bar codes and unique codes within the offers. Facebook says that this was one of the most requested updates, as it allows businesses to easily track the effectiveness of their offers campaign.
Second, Offers are no longer free to run:
We’re also making it easier for people to find the Offers that are most relevant to them. Over the months since the beta launch, we’ve seen that targeting and advertising help get the right Offers in front of the right people, resulting in more happy customers sharing your offer with friends and better sales. Also starting this week, we will require that businesses include targeting and advertising as part of using Offers. Businesses will be able to run offers for a minimal fee, but more advertising budget will lead to greater distribution to your audience. Offers will remain free for people to claim and easily sharable with friends. These changes will help businesses reach the right people more effectively, and will create a better experience for users.
Facebook says that pairing an offer with an ad will help businesses spread the word, and they're probably right. But this also gives Facebook another source of revenue.
Facebook Offers are available globally to any businesses with 400+ "likes." Businesses can create offers directly from their pages by clicking the little yellow square offer box inside their sharing tool.