Of Facebook, Freebies and Fan’s Choice

I’ve liked movies and bands, TV shows and websites as part of establishing my Facebook ‘profile’ – a means of letting friends see some of my current interests, the stuff I like, places I’ve been. I don’t however spend a lot of time (read: ANY) on brand fan pages, but do see their activity in the scroll.

Two updates caught my eye, both from brands I’ve “Liked,” both offering ‘deals’ that came dangerously close to separating the money from my wallet.

The Fan’s Choice

  1. Clinique has an online only special that is very tempting, which adds a twist to their in-store “free gift with purchase” special: I decide. I get to go through and select a series of options, customize it to be exactly what I want. Wicked tempting.
  2. Despair has been letting the fans decide new Demotivators for a while and just when I thought my latest choice won out, they wrinkled that twist with a new one: put your money where you vote is. See the top vote getters in the latest poll were thisclose so they’ve decided to let us cast a final vote with our product orders, then get our ‘vote’ as a free gift with that purchase. Sneaky little shits.

Give to Get

Discussion of freemium business models, play to pay, loss leaders and other marketing ploys, I think SMBs sometimes forget the most simple of option: listen to the customer. Give them the choice, let them decide what is of value, what’s a gift or have them participate by selecting the promo or latest product they want to buy.

One of my favorite wine shops has free tastings during the week, often sponsored by the wine distributors. By giving out free samples not only does the shop owner make money as most people like something and therefore buy, she gets valuable market research data: a more accurate profile of her customers’ preferences so she knows what to keep in inventory. Smart.

Pay to Play

I’m still not sold on Facebook as a ‘must’ for all brands, think giving away services for free sets a bad precedent and yet the “Free with PURCHASE” is something different. I’m buying something I like and feeling I’m getting a ‘deal’ because of that gift, I’m assigning greater value to it based on that perception.

Thoughts? Anything you’ve bought because of the ‘freebie’ that came with it? Some way you can add that to your marketing mix?

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17 thoughts on “Of Facebook, Freebies and Fan’s Choice

  1. Hmmmmm, I would say probably not a motivator for me. If I see the free tag on a two for one or something I tend to think it lessens the value to me. Of course, I loathe shopping so I go in, I see, I buy………and as quickly as possible. My wife on the other hand will shop something to death so I try to avoid those trips as much as possible too.

    You doin’ ok? I’ve been playing catch up since last Thurs afternoon and I don’t think I’m winning. Getting ready to wipe the slate clean and just for forward from here………yikes….

    See you around.
    Bill Dorman recently posted..Do you have a defining moment

    1. Dude I so owe you a visit, you certainly don’t need to play catch up Bill.

      I think it does depend on the deal… IDK there are some things, some ‘stuff’ you like that may get your money, some Groupon for a place you’d visit anyway kind of thing. Yours is a ‘stereotypical male’ example, why the department stores put the men’s section near a street-level parking and exit so you can get in, buy, leave. Which I gotta admit has an appeal, there are times the “shop ’til you drop” all over the store ain’t me. 😉

  2. You know the offers that get me are the ones that prey on the impulse shopper, like Ideeli and Zulily (and 3 more I’m subscribed to). Incredible deals on products worth so much more but only for today or tomorrow, with a count-down on the shopping cart. Oh, do they ever get me.

    I don’t access these deals through social media in most cases, though, since I don’t have personal accounts on Twitter and Facebook. They all come to my e-mail. So some of my favorite ebay sellers will pop up with an offer of something free or a discount on something I want, or free shipping, and off I go. It’s not even funny how many mail-order retailers I’m subscribed to, just for those kinds of offers.
    Shakirah Dawud recently posted..An Interview With The “Comment Queen”

    1. Guess I’m not that much an impulse shopper Shakirah, never heard of those two. 😉 I have heard of WOOT and Groupon of course, usually it’s that “stuff I’d buy anyway so why NOT take the deal” kind of buys, real bargains that get my money or I pass. That’s what my Clinique purchase was. FWIW.

  3. @Jack – haha!

    Davina, I completely agree. I have often made purchases solely (or mostly) based on the fact that I was getting a free gift with the purchase. If I’m trying to decide between two brands, the one with the prize is gonna win out no question.
    And I also think you’re right about companies giving stuff away without getting anything in return – if I’ve gotten free stuff with no strings attached, chances are that’s always what I’m looking for from you when I roll by again, and if I don’t see it I move on.
    Tisha | tMedia recently posted..Interview with Jenee Dana of My Focus Book

    1. Free is free Tisha, why wouldn’t someone want more free? That’s one of the inherent risks of Groupon, people will always expect that deal, it’s why I have to STOP with ‘free’ phone consultations and overdoing the ‘coffee chats.’ If you’re known for ‘free’ that’s what you’ll be selling I guess.

      Now free w/ purchase is something else, that incentive to spend on something when maybe you were not really planning to, like I did with the Clinique. Just as much as the ‘free gift’ lure that hooked me, it was the mix-and-match aspect that reeled me in. Had I not seen that via FB, I’d never have known. FWIW.

    1. HA! That just reminds me of one of my favorite quotes which I use ALL the time: “There are two secrets to success. Number one, never tell everything you know.” 🙂

  4. I like the free with purchase idea, too. And I assume Clinique took you to their website or page to choose what you want? Or at least view what you want. So, that gets traffic to their website, where hopefully some people will poke around and find other things they want to buy. So, seems like a win-win to me!
    Neicole Crepeau recently posted..Using Tweepi to find your customers

    1. It did take me to their site Neicole.. and there may be an ‘extra’ bonus by clicking the link through FB (read a little of that on their fan page as I actually took a quick look). I buy during bonus weeks anyway but have never ordered online. This ‘make your own’ deal was just too good to pass up; factor in the free shipping I can say it probably won’t be my last online purchase which I’d have to think is another win for them.. skips the retailer. FWIW.

  5. I have still yet to jump on the Facebook brand bandwagon. I’ve seen the stats regarding Facebook and Twitter usage etc. I suppose I will eventually have to put up my shingle there.

    However, Peter Shankman recently had a great post on never hiring a social media “expert”. Basically, social media is just a component of a much larger marketing whole. Your goal is to generate revenue, not pursue social media doodads as an end to itself. I think this compliments your post about the reticence to cavort madly about on Facebook.

    Also, I’ve always secretly wanted to replace all the doofy motivational posters at clients with gems from Dispair.com. I think they would be better for morale in the end….
    Mike Meikle recently posted..Local Interest- Cloud Over the James Part 1

    1. I’m with you and Peter and countless others Mike, FB is just a piece of the puzzle – not always a ‘required’ one IMO. Over at Mark Schaefer’s place, Judy Gombita and a few others were discussing really, how much time to consumers spend on brand pages after the ‘like’? Sure there is some (per engaging updates from the brand) but many I’m sure never return.

      That Despair deal was tempting.. think I just got too busy to decide (time limit on the voting). Another good twist on tapping your most engaged supporters, all that. And yes.. the floggings will continue until morale improves, so by all means swap out those posters and see if anyone notices. 😉

        1. FB is my PERSONAL network and as I’ve caught up and kept in touch with many old school friends, not THAT much more for me to do there. It was a rare day when I just made myself look at the feeds, see what was going on (then the 2 deals caught my eye). Like you I am solo, so business-wise – just no. IF there was a way to engage and comment as a professional (hidden from personal so to not annoy them) there could be value in some discussions, but then that’s why I have Twitter and LI. For me it’s about interests and audiences, not only getting the right ones but also NOT boring, spamming or just wasting time on the wrong audience. FWIW.

    1. Marketers like Amazon have figured it out Christian, what appeals to their shoppers and keeps them coming back… like free shipping (which I got BTW, hitting the minimum purchase). Thanks.

    2. I haven’t gone Prime, but because most of my purchases get over $25, I get free shipping that way, too. Many other companies have this free shipping with purchase worth $X, but seldom so low, but it works. Sometimes I’m getting two things and I’m maybe $5 shy, so I get an item for $9.99 and they’ve made their shipping back.
      Shakirah Dawud recently posted..An Interview With The “Comment Queen”

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