Thursday 5 July 2012

Traders Need To Fine Tune This Free Promotion

We have posted recently about the exciting new Facebook business promotion facility but traders are going to have to work harder to make the most of it.
The new facility revolves around a “Get Offer” button that is placed on the QVM facebook feed which, when clicked, results in customers receiving a special email offer from an individual trader.  It is the first time that Facebook have created such an easy customer connection and its “special offer” invitation has achieved significant results. One of our traders had more than 50 customers claim the special offer email in the first week it appeared. There is a great feature that allows you to track how many customers are claiming your offer. ....cont'd - click on post heading for the rest of this article.

But the process can fail if traders don’t focus on the customer connection. Recently your editor acted as a customer, received the special offer email, and then excitedly visited the first two traders who appeared on the QVM facebook page. The first of those was a shop on Victoria St. and before I reached the shop I knew I was going to be disappointed. The “special offer” I had received by email was in fact being widely promoted on the shop’s external advertising as being available to all comers. It wasn’t so special after all. Now, it is OK to promote a generic special in any way you wish including online through Facebook.  But, when customers receive an email direct to their inbox with a special offer, they are entitled to expect some special priveleges. It is a question of whether you are simply using Facebook as part of your normal marketing promotion or generating new sales through an exciting online medium that adds a personal dimension to marketing. If it is the latter, the exclusivity component is very important.  It should also be noted that the shop staff had no idea that their special was being offered on the QVM Facebook page.

The second offer was from a General Merchandise Trader in D shed and once again the staff had no idea their offer was on Facebook. Their offer was also broadly advertised to all comers at the stall.  Again I was disappointed. A few days later I approached a trader whose “special offer” had been posted the day before on Facebook. He wasn’t aware that his offer had been posted although on this occasion at least it was going to be a “special” online offer because it wasn’t already widely advertised on his stall. 

In fairness to these traders, their offers have been posted on the QVM Facebook page as part of the Shop The Sheds promotion and they had probably submitted their specials many weeks ago.  But that is still no excuse for not keeping up to date on what is being offered on the QVM Facebook page. As part of the promotion process, Andrew Cyples  informs all participating traders of how their specials will be promoted and makes the point that they should be exclusive to the promotion.

The days of Facebook purely being a social contact medium are over. Facebook is now also a serious avenue for getting extra business and traders need to be part of it. The QVM is a major Facebook entity and features in the top world sites for Facebook activity.

How do you avoid disappointing your customers?

1.       Log on to Facebook and “Like” the Queen Victoria Market (there are a couple of imposters – pick the one that has 11,000 likes). That way you will automatically receive regular updates on the offers being made to QVM customers through your Facebook feed.  It should be part of your normal online business activity.

2.       When you respond to Andrew Cyples request for Shop The Sheds specials make your offer unique and exclusive. There is money to be made from this process if we get it right. It is important that we do not disappoint customers.

3.       Keep in touch with marketing staff on how you are being promoted.

Embracing online promotion has a lot going for it (like 50 email requests) but we need to fine tune the process to maximise a good response from customers.