The value of local marketing through daily deal platforms is quickly becoming apparent to internet marketers, with Brafton reporting the local ad market is Google's top priority. Groupon has traditionally been the leader in this sector. Now, Facebook may be trying to get in on the action with an updated Deals offer.
Facebook announced that Deals was available in the U.S. in November 2010, and the service aims to make it easy for users to find coupons for nearby businesses listed with Facebook Places. Now, the company has announced there will be updates to its program in the “coming weeks,” giving brands the chance to have their deals promoted and more easily shared among users.
Social marketers should make note of this branding opportunity, as Brafton has reported that Facebook accounts for the majority of Americans' online time.
According to a Bloomberg report, Facebook will help merchants get their deals to stand out among the online clutter of deals. The new feature will build on the company's existing Deals program, and brand partners may benefit from extra promotion.
“Local businesses will be able to sign up to use this feature soon, and people will be able to find Deals in the coming weeks,” Bloomberg quotes the company as saying in a statement. The service will initially offer deals in San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas, Atlanta and Austin.
For marketers, this presents an opportunity to generate brand awareness in both the daily-deal market (poised to reach $3.93 billion by 2015) and on Facebook, which is the most-visited site in America.
In addition to Facebook, current local deal market leader Groupon should keep its eye on a crop of other potential competitors – and internet marketers hoping to generate exposure should do the same. As Brafton has reported, LivingSocial garnered national attention for an Amazon deal earlier this year, and Google is expected to come out with its own product – Google Offers – in the near future.