Visa Uses Facebook to Seduce SMBs, Ultimately Pisses 'Em Off


In June, Visa worked with AKQA to offer $100 in Facebook ad credits to the first 20,000 small business owners that downloaded its Visa app.

The app now boasts 42,543 monthly active users, but comments on the Visa Business Network page consist almost entirely of people that never received a coupon. Others are confused about whether the credits are just supposed to appear in their Facebook Ads cache.

"I smell a scam," Johnny Premier says; Frank Horbelt shouts, "There's potential here ... (But you guys are squandering it!)"

Some people also claim they've started getting calls from a Visa rep. Says one Michael Zeuthen: "If not spam on Facebook it's spam on my phone. I didn't sign up for that."

What's the deal, Visa? Did you fail to reward users, neglect to give winners the information they needed, or just forget to promote the businesses that were rewarded (if any)? Either way, this social media campaign is shaping up to be an SMB-alienating failure.

Thanks to Adrants reader Jack for the tip.

by Angela Natividad    Sep- 8-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Bad, Brands, Campaigns, Online, Social   

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I wonder if Visa will ever address the comments?

Posted by: Alanna on September 9, 2008 1:20 PM

I got my ad credit from the deal.Actually have been switching ads from Google to Facebook.If anyone else wants to forward me a credit, let me know.

Posted by: Damon WEbster on September 9, 2008 1:41 PM

We saw your post. We know there's been confusion from some of the downloaders of our app. Turns out many of the users were not filling out their small biz profile, which is an essential final piece of our registration process. It's the completion of the profile that triggers the $100 in Facebook ad credits. We've updated our app page in Facebook to make this more clear and contacted users who had flagged the issue to explain what they need to do. Hopefully this will clear things up. Thanks for flagging it, and let us know if there's any more feedback.

Posted by: Visa Business Network on September 11, 2008 8:59 PM