Last year, Facebook launched their “Facebook Wifi” program that allows business owners to offer free wi-fi to customers if they check-in to the location on Facebook. This allows users to skip Wi-Fi codes and simply use the check-in as currency for the connection. Yesterday, Facebook teamed up with NETGEAR to offer their lowest priced Facebook Wi-Fi options to date. With the new partnership, local businesses can now enter the Facebook Wi-Fi space for the $150 dollar range.
The benefit for marketers? Authentication system for free Wi-Fi that automatically helps share the business on Facebook. In order to gain access, users must successfully check-in to the location on Facebook, and then will be asked to like the businesses page on Facebook. This means more exposure for local businesses via the check-in and a simple way to convert an in-person visit to a fan. Of course, users could only allow the check-in to be displayed the them to nullify some of the exposure, but the downsides of this proposition are very low. Since inception, participants have seen a huge spike in daily participants:
Previous Facebook Wi-Fi partners include Meraki Wireless and Cisco, but the Netgear partnership brings the MSRP hardware cost to SMBs to roughly $150 (a price drop of more than 2.5x to 20x of other options.) For more information see NETGEAR’s Facebook Wi-Fi page.