The new location based feature of Facebook has been in operation since January and has proven very successful for getting businesses literally ‘on the map’. Place tips offer Facebook users the chance to view a series of cards with place information about a place they are currently visiting, via information their friends have shared with them. Place tips also displays information direct from a businesses Facebook page, including upcoming events and popular choices.
Due to its success in the trial stage, this feature, and tools within it, will now be available for medium and small-sized businesses nationwide. Place tips has received excellent feedback from small businesses in particular. They have reported that their page traffic has increased from in-store visitors. A rise in page traffic often translates into an increase of people through the physical door of a company and ultimately a sales boost.
Place tips has the potential to be an excellent tool for small and medium-sized businesses who will rely heavily on recommendations and reviews by friends. Thus, heeding an increase in a company’s reputation in the market.
The ‘nitty gritty’ – how does it really work?
1. Place tips collects useful information about a business or landmark (e.g. upcoming events, business page posts, reviews and friends recommendations) and displays it at the top of the Facebook news feed of an in-store visitor. The idea behind this being you are more likely to take note of a friends recommendation, than that of a stranger.
2. Each Facebook users place tips will be unique to them, depending on what their friends may have said about a place.
3. Place tips can also be useful for getting business opening hours, upcoming events and finding a popular item.
4. Businesses have the option of writing a customized message to accompany the place tips feed, including daily deals and tips and facts about their business.
5. Place tips can be viewed by people who have allowed Facebook to access the location data on their phone, who are in a business establishment, and who have checked into the business location on their phone.
6. Place tips are only delivered when there is enough information from the business and a users friends, in order to make it a worthwhile experience.
Place tips are accessible using WiFi, GPS and more recently, Bluetooth beacons. With the use of Bluetooth, signals will be sent to the Facebook app on customer phones in-store, in order to enhance the place tips information and increase relevance to the business and user.
Place tips is free to business users, but requires a request to Facebook if you are looking to get one set up for your business. Priority is being given to businesses with active Facebook pages. So, if you want your business to receive a beacon get your page crammed full of photos, check-ins and status updates.
Yet again Facebook offers us a new tool and access to more and more through its social network. Something that may have been done on Google previously, can now be done on Facebook. Another useful feature for both the individual and the business.