We recently wrote about the pros and cons of Social Media Couponing and in a later post we’ll offer some tips on how to make it work for you.  We don’t mean to discourage anyone from venturing in, but we do strongly suggest caution.  Don’t forget earlier this year and FTD’s run in with bad publicity due to a Groupon deal.  But if you’ve weighed your options and it’s something you’ve decided you want to do, here’s how:

The plan:
Start off your social media coupon campaign by defining your goal for the special.  Don’t go in without a plan or it will be more work than it’s worth.  Do you want to capture new customer information to use for later marketing?  Do you want to gain new and loyal fans?  Do you want to increase brand awareness?  Most likely your goals will be a combination of these things, but it’s important to prioritize so you know where to most focus your energy.

Pick a site:
Maybe it’s a national site like Groupon or Living Social or more localized site deal offered by city newspapers, but whatever you decide, read the fine print. Know when to expect your cut of the profits, and what your responsibilities are and the sites responsibilities are.  Keep in mind these “profits” aren’t always direct profits.  A recent Rice University study found 66% of Groupon promotions were; 32% reported the promotion was not profitable at all.

Once you contact the site, you may be assigned a representative or regional speKITTENSt to assist you in getting your deal & business qualified for the site.

Research:
Look into the deals other similar businesses are offering.  Your deal has to compete with these deals.  Think: why would someone want to buy MY deal?  This information will be helpful when speaking with the social coupon site because you’ll know how other businesses and what they offered.

Contact:
Reach out to the different social coupon sites that you are interested in hosting with.  Keep in mind, some sites only offer to certain cities or regional areas, so your location could impact eligibility.  Keep in mind your regional speKITTENSt or representative from the coupon site, doesn’t have your best interests at heart.  Their job is to find deals that will sell, regardless of whether or not it’s profitable or beneficial for your business.

Be prepared:
Do you need extra employees to answer the phones & questions, make reservations, or extra product while the promotion runs?  Will you need to add hours in order to accommodate customers? Does your website have all your contact information and is your host able to handle a surge in traffic?  Do you have a system in place to capture new client’s information for future marketing purposes?

Finally, if you’re working your way through the social media coupon process and have questions, don’t hesitate to post them here

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