Pushing Place Tips, Facebook Offers Free Bluetooth Beacons To U.S. SMBs
Facebook is expanding its location-based program to reach walk-in consumers with marketing messages.
In January Facebook introduced Place Tips as a way for businesses to serve marketing messages to people visiting their real-world locations.
Triggered for users who check in at a location or have their location settings activated in Facebook mobile apps, Place Tips offer advice, recommendations and other information from friends with have visited the location and from the business itself.
Place Tip information shows up at the top of News Feeds for people in stores or other locations giving local businesses a prime opportunity to connect to consumers. Each person’s Place Tips are unique, Facebook said. “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 company wrote in a blog post. “Place Tips for a retail store can help customers find business hours, locate popular items and learn about upcoming events.”
Facebook says that Place Tips have caused “a steady uptick in Page traffic from in-store visitors” for local businesses that are using them.
Today Facebook announced a way for more businesses to optimize their Place Tips. The company is offering free Bluetooth beacons to U.S. businesses, expanding support for such devices beyond their experimental trial in New York City.
Facebook tracks users’ location using cell tower and WiFi triangulation and GPS location, but the beacons are the most effective way to trigger Place Tips, at least for people using Facebook’s iPhone app. Currently, Android users are served Place Tips through the other location signals. A Facebook spokesperson said Android support for beacon triggering is coming soon.
Businesses interested in applying for a free beacon, can sign up here. Businesses with active Facebook Pages will be given priority, Facebook said, because Place Tips are only shown to people when there is “enough content from the business and a person’s friends to offer an enjoyable experience.”