Cupcake shop makes a sweet new deal with Facebook

Click here to read article WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A new Facebook application is taking on the popular "FourSquare" cell phone program. Both offer location-based deals when you "check in" to a participating store. Coastal Cupcakes in downtown Wilmington was one of the first local businesses to try Facebook Places and Deals. Customers with mobile web browsing "check in" to Coastal Cupcakes when they arrive. The store pre-programs their latest discount or deal into the application, which automatically notifies the customer. Co-owner Kristen Beckmeyer says there have been a few "bugs" with the program notifying people who "check in," but all in all it seems to be encouraging business. Kristen says that even if their phone doesn't send an automatic notification, they've still been giving out a free cupcake to the first 50 participants. Kristen says Facebook has reshaped how small business owners advertise. More are replacing costly ads and promotions with Facebook and other social media outreach. With just a few clicks, Coastal Cupcakes can send instant notifications to their 1,400 "Fans." People utilizing Facebook Places and Deals promote stores to their Friends by updating their status every time they "check in" somewhere. With little effort, a store's name can become viral through the application. Copyright 2010 WECT. All rights reserved.