In my previous post I discussed Walmart's Crowd Savers program on Facebook. Its an interesting way to push promotions to customers and also let them "play along." Wall posts invite fans to vote on the promotion, and when enough "likes" are recorded the promotion takes effect on the walmart.com site. They then let everyone know about the success of the promotion in another wall posting, and everyone (not just those that voted) can benefit.
Yesterday there were two other examples of what I'm calling Facebook Participatory Promotions
. Lowes has a Black Friday campaign they are running on Facebook in which they offer a limited number of items at a ridiculously low price for their fans. Most items are in the range of 90% off, and are limited to the first 100 people to checkout with the item at lowes.com. Of course these deals are only visible to fans of Lowes, and once you're a fan they can post other marketing messages on your newsfeed. These types of campaigns are sure to increase their number of fans and generate some excitement heading into the holidays. It remains to be seen if those fans will stick with Lowes after the holidays.
Another example is The Gap. They recently offered free jeans to the first 10,000 customers that use Facebook check-in at one of their stores on November 5th. This should significantly increase foot-traffic tomorrow across The Gap chain.
These retailers are taking their Facebook promotions up a notch by adding an element of fun. Targeting promotions only to fans reinforces loyalty, and having them do things rather than just sending coupons adds the excitement and buzz. I predict these types of promotions get even more creative as we near the holiday season.