The explosive power of Facebook almost blew up the reputation of a small Tasmanian eco-lodge when a deal pushed through Facebook Offers rapidly got out of control, overwhelming the operators and sparking allegations of spamming.
But as the dust settles, it appears the marketing experiment may have been worth it after all for Huon Bush Retreats, which according to Facebook now has 4559 'Likes', while the campaigns reached 3.6m users.
As of May 09, there were 107,985 talking about while the number of 'coupons' downloaded was 127,835. Huge numbers, and a little misleading because no-one really seems to know understand the detailed mechanics of Facebook Offers.
In this case Huon Bush Retreats was invited to make a trial offer through the Facebook network. And that's when the fun started.
For co-owner Paul Dimmick, who deserves kudos for his hands-on management of the fallout, the experience has been a "double edged sword – happy with the business but whether our reputation has been harmed is yet to be seen"
He says the promotion has been driving good sales and the original target of 50 three-night packages has been met and that the offer will be expanded to cater for demand.
The major downside has been Facebook users complaining that they have been spammed by Huon Bush Retreats. "Take me off this list now !!!!!!" was a typical response, this one from Lena Borch Lindstrøm.