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Facebook: How to automate birthday coupons for free

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This post was written by Arlina Allen, owner of Social Media Restaurant Marketing, a Silicon Valley social media marketing company and author of “Twitter for Restaurants,” now available online.

As someone with close ties to the restaurant industry, I had a great birthday month this year. I received a few postcards in the mail from various restaurants and a few e-mails. I also have a couple of loyalty reward cards that are good for various offers.

Knowing how much money restaurants invest and how much time it takes to organize this effort, I truly appreciate the gesture. I also know it can be done for free for restaurant owners who have taken the time to cater to their customers on Facebook.

But have you ever wondered how to create a birthday-coupon program on Facebook? Or if there was an easy (and free) way to automate the process? Well, wonder no more! Today, you are going to find out how you can set this whole thing up in about 10 minutes.

This presumes that your restaurant already has a Facebook business page, but if it doesn’t, you can create one in just a couple minutes. For the purpose of this article, I am not going to tell you how to set up a Facebook page but rather give step-by-step instructions on how to set up the automated birthday-coupon system.

Step 1: Log into Facebook and enter “AutoBudder” in the Facebook search function at the top of the page.

Step 2: Select the one that says “Application.”

Step 3: Add the application, and when it prompts you to “Allow” the program, click on “Allow.”

Step 4: Once you have added the application, you can customize the birthday wish by clicking the button that says “Set Common Message.”

Step 5: Customize your message and include a link where the recipient can print a coupon.  Example: “Have a piece of cake on us, any Monday of your birthday month! Click the link to print your coupon” If you need to shorten the link to the coupon so the whole message fits, use and it will convert a long URL to a short one.

That’s all there is to it! Fast and free!

Image Credit: subjug via iStockphoto