Facebook ‘Places Deals’ rolls out in UK and Europe

Facebook has launched Places Deals, a service which allows users to check into shops using their mobile phone to get discounts, in the UK and Europe.

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Facebook’s Places Deals is a service which rewards users for visits to different locations by logging their whereabouts on the site via their mobile phones.

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The service was launched in the US last November and today is rolling out in the UK and Europe.

As revealed by The Telegraph this morning, European Facebook users will now be able to get discounts and deals in shops, bars, restaurants and cafes by checking in on Facebook Places on their mobile device. UK launch partners include Starbucks, Debenhams, Argos, Alton Towers, O2 and Mazda.

There’s actually some good deals to be had from ‘checking in’ in these early stages – Mazda is offering five free cars for five months, Starbucks is giving away free coffees and O2 is giving away PS3s and Xbox 360s to select people at select stores who upgrade their phones this weekend.

Whether the standard of gifts and discounts remains this high is yet to be seen, we predict not. But it will be interesting to see which brands buy in to this service and what deals they offer.

All discounts will be shown on Facebook Places as a yellow/golden ticket icon;

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Joanna Shields, Facebook’s EMEA vice president commented;

“Facebook Deals represents the power of word of mouth marketing and personal recommendation. By checking in and taking the deal, this is shown on your news feed so your friends can also see what deals are taking place.

Borders are fading away and a new global social fabric is appearing in front of our lives.

Over 200 million people use Facebook on their mobile phone. We are now offering businesses the opportunity to connect with people in an entirely new way.”

There are a number of different deals available through Facebook Places. As well as the standard discounts and prizes, some businesses offer charity deals – in which in exchange for a check-in, they will give some money to a charity on your behalf. There will also be a friends deal system.

When the discount service launched in the US, a developer writing on the company’s blog said: “You’ll see a few different types of Deals: individual deals for a discount, free merchandise or other reward; friend deals where you and your friends claim an offer together; loyalty deals for being a frequent visitor to a place; and charity deals where businesses pledge to donate to a cause when you check in.”

If you want to find out more about Places Deals, visit facebook.com/deals. You can also find out how deals can work for your business by downloading the PDF guide at facebook.com/deals/business/

What do you think about ‘Places Deals’? Will you be checking in or opting out?

1 thought on “Facebook ‘Places Deals’ rolls out in UK and Europe

  1. “Over 200 million people use Facebook on their mobile phone. We are now offering businesses the opportunity to connect with people in an entirely new way.”

    I wouldn’t 100% agree with this statement.

    It is obvious that the future of marketing is quickly becoming much more about a personal, one-to-one conversation with your customers and not just a general broadcast to an anonymous group of Facebook users. As a result, you must develop a wider marketing strategy where Deals is just one part of your mobile social customer engagement.
    Counting on Facebook Deals to solely help your business would be a massive marketing mistake.

    The person on Facebook who uses your Deal or ‘likes’ your page is most likely to be the same type of customer who is already a member of your rewards program or who is wiling to provide their mobile number to you for marketing purposes. Use deals and places as an easy first step to get these customers to opt-in to your communications, but find ways to integrate this into your one-to-one customer engagement strategy.

    Don’t forget, there are providers, like MePlease, who can offer you access to individual demographic data by taking advantage of rich integration with the Facebook API via Facebook Places and Deals. They will integrate these services into your overall mobile and social marketing strategy and make them less complex for you to manage. This deeper integration with Facebook lets you have direct access to customers, so you can offer a more relevant experience because you know who they are.

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