Facebook expands free Bluetooth beacon program

Facebook Place Tips
SOCIAL MARKETING: Retailers can send information to customers via Facebook beacons

Facebook is offering free Bluetooth beacons to select businesses across the US that will enable them to send “useful and relevant” information to customers about the places they visit. The move comes as an update to the social network’s Place Tips service that was piloted in New York City earlier this year.

“The most reliable way for businesses to serve Place Tips is with a Facebook Bluetooth beacon, a device businesses request from Facebook,” the company says. “Beacons use Bluetooth to send a signal to the Facebook app on customers’ phones to show them the right Place Tips at the right place.

“We’re now providing free beacons to more businesses in the US. Because Place Tips are meant to offer people useful and interesting information about the places they visit, we’re prioritizing beacons for businesses with active Pages full of content, such as photos, check-ins and status updates, from both the business and its customers. To help ensure your customers see Place Tips at your business, request a beacon today.”

According to Facebook, since it started piloting the service, local businesses that have tried Place Tips have seen a “steady uptick in Page traffic from in-store visitors”.

“Each person’s Place Tips are unique; at a restaurant, Place Tips can show the menu, reviews and frequently mentioned information about the establishment, like a signature cocktail or popular table,” the social media giant continues.

“Place Tips for a retail store can help customers find business hours, locate popular items and learn about upcoming events. To improve the customer experience, businesses can write a customizable welcome note that appears at the top of the Place Tips feed and use it to promote items or share facts and tips about their establishment.

“A bookstore could use the welcome note to tell visitors where a book signing is happening in the store, while a popular deli may share menu items that famous people have ordered. Place Tips are shown to people who are in-store and who have given Facebook permission to access their location on their phone.

“They’re also shown to people who check-in to the business on Facebook. Because Place Tips are personalised and designed to be useful, we only show them when there is enough content from the business and a person’s friends to offer an enjoyable experience.”

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