A bug affecting Facebook pages, including several of Lululemon Athletica’s local pages, posted empty offers without the admins’ knowledge last week.
We’ve heard from a number of page owners that experienced this issue and several others that have the opposite problem: they can’t post offers to their page at all. As is commonly the case, there has been little communication from Facebook about the problems and page owners have been turning to Facebook groups and community forums to find out what to do. There are often dozens of bugs affecting different groups of users at any given time, but this one has been more than an inconvenience. For some, it has appeared damaging to their brand.
When fake offers were posted to certain fan pages last week, many admins thought their accounts had been hacked. Users were able to claim the offers, but the coupon they received via email turned out to be blank. Only after the Lululemon offers went viral did the company learn that the problem was the result of a bug in Facebook’s system. Facebook tells us it has removed the accidentally posted offers and sent an email explaining the issue to users who tried to claim them. However, some fans seem to be more upset with the businesses than Facebook.
Logan Ayliffe, who manages social media for French Broad Chocolates, says the company’s Ashville, N.C. store had to put up signs about the issue after fielding Facebook comments and phone calls from frustrated customers.
In a public Help Center thread about problems with Facebook offers, Ayliffe wrote, “I’ve spent the better part of two years building trust with my audience, never with the hard sell, always with the non-marketing-sounding culture building, always with the giveaways. And in one shitty bug, Facebook ate a chunk of that trust.”
He says he wanted to make up for the mistake by posting a legitimate offer to the page, but encountered another bug that initially prevented him from doing so. It seems that since Facebook introduced the “voice” feature for page owners to choose whether to post to their page as themselves or their brand, some admins have been unable to make offers. Facebook has not addressed the issue, but some users discovered that switching back and forth between their own voice and the voice of the page solves the problem.
Offers still haven’t rolled out to all business pages, though they were announced in February. Bugs like these might be part of the reason for the delay.
Page owners who are experiencing issues with offers can contribute to the Help Center thread here.