By John Haydon

After you create your offer, Facebook automatically prompts you to purchase an ad. An ad alone won’t make the offer a success, however. You need to make people aware of your offer by promoting it.

Promote your offer as much as possible. When people claim it, a story is created in their News Feed so all their friends are exposed to your business. Also, the total number of claims is displayed, which adds a social-proof element and strengthens the offer.

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Promoting your offer on your Facebook Page

Many of your potential customers are exposed to your business through their friends who use Facebook. When one of your fans comments on or likes a post on your Page, Facebook distributes that action in their friends’ News Feeds. In the same way, you can create awareness about your deal by posting stories about it in your Page Timeline. This leverages the inherent word-of-mouth that exists on Facebook.

Here are effective ways to use your Timeline to promote your offer:

  • Announce the offer a couple of times. If a product is associated with the offer, upload a photo and post a link to the offer in the photo description. In this update, ask an engaging question like “Who’s hungry for a free appetizer?”

  • Use your Facebook cover to promote your offer. Hire a graphic designer to create a Facebook cover promoting your offer. If you don’t have the budget to hire a graphic designer, try using Canva.com, a visual-content-creation tool.

  • Create conversations about your offer when appropriate. When someone claims the offer, mention it on your Timeline (“Jane just claimed the shrimp cocktail! Who likes shrimp?”). This technique invites fans and their friends to comment on your Timeline, creating more awareness of your deal.

These are just examples to get you started. Using your Facebook Page as a marketing tool is limited only by your creativity.

Some promotional activities are prohibited on Facebook. Make sure that before promoting your deal, you review the Facebook Pages Terms.

Promoting your offer with Facebook Ads

Another way to promote your deal is to use highly targeted Facebook Ads. You can select specific geographic criteria as well as demographic information when you create your ad. Your criteria should be based on your knowledge of your target market and your ideal customer located in the vicinity of your business. With Facebook Ads, you can target a city, for example, or parents with children younger than age 5.

Promoting your offer through other marketing channels

In addition to using your Facebook Page, you want to use other marketing channels to promote your offer. Many of your customers may not be active Facebook users but would still be interested in connecting with your business to take advantage of your offer. Consider the following options:

  • Email marketing: Many businesses have an email list. Send out an email announcement of your deal with these tips in mind:

    • Write a compelling headline that gets the reader’s attention. This headline could simply be your offer summary.

    • Keep the body of the email short and concise. You have only a few seconds after someone opens your email to grab her attention. Communicate the essence of your offer in as few words as possible.

    • Include an image. Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. Use a picture of the product or service you’re offering.

    • Ask the reader to click. In the middle of your email and at the end, clearly state what you want the reader to do, such as “Click here to become a fan of our Facebook Page.” This way, you can continue to remind readers of the offer.

  • In-store promotion: In addition to using email and your Facebook Page, you want to promote your deal in the store with posters, mentions at the cash register, and other traditional in-store promotional methods.

    Why promote an offer that’s intended to encourage in-store traffic to people in your store? The critical thing to remember about using Facebook Offers is that in addition to encouraging foot traffic, you create awareness about your business as people claim offers.