If you’ve read this post from the owner of Posies Cafe in Portland, OR you know where I’m headed with this blog post. If you haven’t read the post, I strongly urge you to do so. In the article, the owner of Posies Cafe explains that choosing to market her business with Groupon did nothing but hurt her bottom line, cause her stress, and result in the alienation of many loyal customers.
Groupon is an email subscription service that combines social media and great deals on local attractions and sends them right to your inbox. Local restaurants, spas, auto shops and other businesses sign up and offer anywhere from 20-80% off their goods and services. But at what price to businesses?
True, Groupon typically attracts new customers who normally wouldn’t try a business without being offered an incentive. But how likely is it that the customer will return? If you’re discounting your goods and services so low that it won’t cover your initial cost of product and labor, than who is truly profiting from the Groupon?
Social media isn’t beneficial all the time, and certain avenues aren’t for everyone. If your cost is not covering your product and services, reevaluate your social media endeavors. Similarly, if you are not seeing return on investment in six months-one year, revamp your social strategy. If you’re paying someone to manage a YouTube account that doesn’t have regular content uploads, or paying a flat monthly rate for a Facebook page that isn’t updated daily, perhaps it’s time to consider how you can successfully gain potential clients, while interacting with existing client in a cost effective and justifiable way.
It’s social, it’s fun, it’s interactive – but it shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg.