Local marketers may not Like a recent Facebook development. After nearly four months of testing, Facebook has opted to axe its digital coupon business, Facebook Deals – a move that could put a wrench in the spokes of companies that saw the service as a convenient social media marketing tool.
Facebook Deals was similar to the services offered by Groupon and LivingSocial. Tested in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas and San Diego, it enabled local businesses to offer special deals and discounts to consumers.
Facebook Deals could have been advantageous for local businesses looking to leverage Facebook's extensive influence to reach out to consumers. However, in a statement emailed to Reuters, a Facebook spokesperson explained that the social network would pursue other channels, such as ads and sponsored stories, to support local businesses.
“After testing Deals for four months, we've decided to end our Deals product in the coming weeks,” Facebook stated, according to Reuters.
“We think there is a lot of power in a social approach to driving people into local businesses,” the social network added. “We've learned a lot from our test and we'll continue to evaluate how to best serve local businesses.”
One way Facebook is looking to expand its role for social media marketing is by launching its new Facebook for Business service. As Brafton reported last month, Facebook for Business offers companies information and tips about designing a branded page to increase exposure.