Eggs & Beacon – Facebook Place Tips Help Businesses Digitally Advertise

June 23rd, 2015 by Search Influence Alumni

Imagine walking into your favorite local bar. One of the first things you’ll probably do is pull out your phone while you’re waiting for a drink or a friend. Now, imagine that as you open the Facebook app, you receive a notification that, unfortunately for your liver, there’s a great special on tequila shots tonight!

That’s pretty much what Facebook is envisioning as it rolls out the Place Tips program, made possible by the Bluetooth beacon introduced earlier this year. After testing over the past few months, Facebook is bringing this service to more businesses in the U.S., and also making the beacon units available for free to businesses who are interested in using them in their stores.

So before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s get a breakdown of exactly what this means.

What is a Facebook Bluetooth Beacon?

Facebook Bluetooth Beacon Image - SearchIn fluence

Simply put, the beacons themselves are nifty little devices (about the size of a hockey puck) that are given to businesses from Facebook. Currently, you must request a beacon from Facebook in order to receive one (more on that later!). These devices use Bluetooth technology to send a signal to the Facebook app on a visitor’s phone to help show them “Place Tips.”

OK, So What About Place Tips? How Do They Work?

Place Tips show a visitor useful and relevant information about their location, which is determined using cellular networks, Wi-Fi, GPS, and Facebook Bluetooth beacons. They can include friends’ photos, experiences, and moments from that place, as well as prompts to like the business’s page, check-in reminders, and posts or recommendations from the business.

Everyone’s Place Tips are unique: at a restaurant, they can show a menu, reviews, and frequently mentioned information like a signature cocktail; at a retail store, they can help customers find business hours, learn about upcoming events, or see pictures of items currently for sale. Businesses are also encouraged to 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.

Facebook Place Tips Image - Search Influence

For those who are worried about their privacy–don’t! Place Tips will not post anything to your profile, collect any information from you or your phone, or show people where you are (unless, of course, you upload a picture of yourself at this location), and they can be turned on or off within the Facebook iPhone app settings.

How Has it Been Working? What are the Next Steps?

Earlier this year, Facebook did a test run of the service at various New York City locations. According to Facebook, since it started piloting the service there, local businesses that have tried Place Tips have seen a “steady uptick in page traffic from in-store visitors.”

After seeing the New York City program prove successful, Facebook is offering business pages across the U.S. a chance to participate, although quantities of the free beacons will be limited.

In a statement put out earlier this week, Facebook announced: “We’re now providing free beacons to more businesses in the U.S. 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.”

Has this piqued your interest? Then get to requesting your beacon! If you’re an administrator of your business’s Facebook page, you’ll receive a post frozen atop the business’s news feed encouraging you to enter their shipping info to get one of the beacons:

Facebook Get Free Beacon Image - Search Influence

If that’s not showing up for you and you’re interested in setting up Place Tips and receiving a beacon for your business, you can request one from Facebook here.

If you have any questions about the Facebook beacon, Place Tips, or how they could benefit your business, we’re here to help!

Image sources:

Facebook bluetooth beacon image

Place Tips image