Facebook is currently allowing retailers to test Facebook beacons in store locations of their choice. With the use of beacons, businesses can send content such as promotions to Facebook users (via their smartphone) if they are in range of the beacon. The development makes it more important for enterprises to more thoughtfully incorporate Facebook into their local marketing strategies.
Image Credit: Facebook
Why would Facebook launch beacons? Because Facebook wants to encourage uptake of the recently unveiled Place Tips feature, as reported recently. People who opt into Place Tips receive information (such as advice and photos) about places they are visiting while they are in the locations themselves. Place Tips takes information about a business or landmark, such as upcoming events, friends’ recommendations and check-ins, and then displays the content on top of a News Feed to in-store visitors.
Place Tips creates a huge opportunity for brands to make their Facebook pages more useful. As Marketing Land noted, “Given that Places Tips content will be coming from official Facebook Pages, business owners will be able to post content that could influence consumers in their locations. For example, “free dessert with purchase of special entry today.”
Facebook stated that businesses using the Place Tips feature have seen a steady pickup of Page traffic, along with in-store visitors since it went live in January 2015.
Facebook posted a beacon and Place Tips review from Brianne Sperber, Director of Marketing, Strand Book Store:
“We love that someone can come into our store and check Place Tips on their phone to see that a friend of theirs has checked in here and posted photos, or even that there’s an in-store event coming up soon. Place Tips gives us a new way to connect with our customers and get our Facebook Page content in front of the people who visit us. We’ve seen some promising early results to that end.”
With on-demand service becoming more popular, it’s vital for businesses to come up with enticing ways to drive more foot traffic for their specific location, and if executed right, Facebook beacons and Place Tips can play a role in doing so.
Ways to Use Facebook Beacons
Some of the ways franchises might use Facebook beacons and Place Tips include:
- Offering coupons to in-store customers
- Loyalty program offers
- Getting smarter about customers by collecting information on their activity.
- Showing reviews
- Highlighting new items
And we are just beginning to learn about the potential value of beacons along with Place Tips.
What to Do Next
In order for businesses to apply Facebook beacons successfully at the local level, they need to make the content that appears in Place Tips compelling enough to encourage purchase and repeat visits. Enterprises should constantly be asking, “What can we do to encourage people to come into our store, instead of purchasing online?”
Businesses can request Facebook beacons here. Have you tested a beacon yet? Connect with us. We would love to hear your feedback.