Friday, April 20, 2012

When Using Social Media to Advertise Deals, Don't Disappoint

As you have read in many past articles on this blog, reaching out to customers via social media can be a great way to build relationships. One way to build your social network is to offer deals. When posting these deals, though, it is important not to disappoint or else you might see a backlash.

As you are developing your social media strategy, you might decide to add "deal alerts" to the list of items you want to promote via your social media presence. In the Supermarket Guru article "On social media, deals need to be deep", a recent social media deal alert was discussed. A Hy-vee grocery store in Iowa posted on Facebook about a mystery sale with "prices are so astonishing, we can’t print them.”

In all, there were 6 items featured in this sale with some good prices ($0.77 for a dozen eggs) to some not-so-good prices ($2.77 for a tenderloin sandwich that retails for $2.99). Some shoppers expressed their disappointment in the "secret sale" on the Hy-vee Facebook page.

The eggs are likely a loss leader to get people in the door, but what about the sandwich? Why advertise "prices are so astonishing, we can’t print them" on a discount of $0.22? Trying to trick people into thinking something is a great discount when it really isn't may discourage customers from shopping at your business. You don't need to offer ridiculously low prices, but be sure to show value.

The promotion was also only "while supplies last" with a start time of 4pm. When thinking about posting a sale start time, think about when people are available to shop. At 4pm, many people are still at work. If they don't get to the store until 6 or 7pm, they might have missed the sale items and would be disappointed. Marketing a sale for a time when most people can't get there and thus leaving you with disappointed customers is not a good marketing tactic! When thinking about timing a sale, consider what time of day the products may be used. For example, a bakery who is offering a limited hours sale (25% off a dozen bagels) may make most sense during breakfast hours rather than dinnertime.

As you craft your social media (and all advertising) messages, be sure to really think about what audience you want to reach and convey how your sale is of value to them. Developing (and maintaining) a social media strategy is always a good idea!

(Photo from Microsoft Word ClipArt)

As an agricultural business owner, have you advertised sales via social media? What kind of responses have you gotten? Do you have any tips for other ag business owners who may just be getting started with social media?

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