Groupon Finds Success in ‘no BS allowed’ Social Media Philosophy

Julie Mossler isn’t out to trick you.

Mossler, Groupon’s PR & Consumer Marketing manager, openly admits that the groundbreaking deal-finding website has no ingenious master plan to manipulate the social media world.

“Our social media strategy is to not have a strategy,” Mossler said. “It stems from our corporate attitude: Treat customers the way we want to be treated. Be transparent. And no BS allowed. We try to surprise customers and engage them quickly in a way that’s natural and fun.”

The Chicago-based Groupon jumped onto the scene in 2008 and offers daily deals for food, fun and everyday life for people in cities throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Members receive daily emails, tweets, or Facebook updates with enticing offers. Groupon fans are encouraged to share the deals and fun with their family and friends.

Mossler said that there is no significant difference in the amount of participation between Facebook and Twitter users, but there are some differences in how users on the two major social networks interact with Groupon. “Facebook users like to discuss the deal, ask questions and suggest it to friends. Twitter users like to retweet and participate in contests.”

Groupon feels that “quality over quantity” isn’t a cliché—It’s a smart way to do business and build trust with customers.

“It’s more about qualitative results: making people happy, solving customer service issues as timely as possible and adding followers to introduce them to our merchants,” Mossler said.

Like most startup companies, Mossler said Groupon made many mistakes in their initial stages. “When you’re a startup, you tend to accept that mistakes happen,” Mossler said. “But the progress that comes out of them can be a really good thing if you let it.”

When asked to prophesy about the state of Groupon five years from now, Mossler said she foresees “intergalactic expansion” and a completely personalized customer experience.

Although Groupon has achieved success with their current model, Mossler said Groupon has no plans to stay stagnant.  “We see Groupon as a totally different product in five years, though it’s hard to predict exactly how,” she said.

“Our social media strategy is to not have a strategy.”
Groupon PR & Consumer Marketing Manger, Julie Mossler

Mossler emphasized that much of Groupon’s success is due to the company’s encouragement of group participation.

“We’ve all known that the power of a group is an unbelievable thing,” Mossler said. “But Groupon has proven that there are endless ways to utilize that power. No one had effectively used an online group to get a discount prior to our model. It’s inspiration for the online community with an interest in social media. What else can you accomplish?”