Facebook has announced it is opening Facebook Place Tips up to more local businesses in an effort to help business owners better connect with their customers online while they are in-store.
Facebook originally introduced Place Tips back in January and has been testing the service for the last six months. The company claims that since testing started participating local businesses have seen steady increase to their Page traffic from in-store visitors.
Facebook Place Tips is an optional feature that gathers information about a specific business like posts from the business’ Facebook Page or upcoming events. That information then appears at the top of a visitor’s News Feed when he or she is in-store.
The Facebook for Business blog claims each person’s Place Tips are unique, stating:
“At a restaurant, Place Tips can show the menu, reviews and frequently mentioned information about the establishment, like a signature cocktail or popular table. Place Tips for a retail store can help customers find business hours, locate popular items and learn about upcoming events.”
In addition to information gathered, business owners can write a customizable welcome note that will appear at the top of an in-store visitor’s Place Tips feed. Business owners could use this feature for things such as promoting an event or highlighting some of their most popular products.
It should be noted that Facebook Place Tips won’t appear to every in-store visitor with a Facebook app. Only visitors who have given Facebook permission to access their mobile location or who check in to a local store location will be shown Place Tips.
Place Tips is designed to work best with a Facebook Bluetooth beacon, a device that uses Bluetooth to send a signal to the Facebook app on in-store customers’ phones. Facebook claims this is to make sure customers are shown the right Place Tips at the right location.
The beacon is free to businesses in the US, but if you want one for your business you will have to request one from Facebook.
The company claims to have introduced beacons in order to provide the most useful and interesting information to visitors. The company is giving priority to businesses with active Facebook Pages, obviously. If you want to boost your business’s chances of receiving a beacon, Facebook suggests making sure your Page is full of content such as photos, check-ins, and status updates.
Image via Facebook
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