You know how Facebook has been doing a lot of things that cater to small businesses lately? That continues as the company starts to roll out a major way for brick-and-mortars to get relevant content in front of potential customers.
Facebook announced that it's expanding Place Tips support to SMBs across the United States. This enables customers to better engage with businesses from within their physical stores.
"Place Tips (first introduced in January) is an optional feature that gathers useful information about a business/landmark—like posts from the business' Page, upcoming events and friends' recommendations and check-ins—and shows it at the top of News Feed to in-store visitors," explains a Facebook spokesperson. "Over the last six months, local businesses that have tried Place Tips saw an increase in Page traffic from in-store visitors. Now, any US-based SMB can sign up to request a Facebook Bluetooth beacon (at the bottom of this new website) to help ensure their customers see Place Tips."
"To improve the customer experience, businesses can 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 explains in a blog post. "A bookstore could use the welcome note to tell visitors where a book signing is happening in the store, while a popular deli may share menu items that famous people have ordered."
"Place Tips are shown to people who are in store and who have given Facebook permission to access their location on their phone," it adds. "They’re also shown to people who check in to the business on Facebook. Because Place Tips are personalized and designed to be useful, we only show them when there is enough content from the business and a person’s friends to offer an enjoyable experience."
To take advantage of the feature, businesses can get a free beacon from Facebook. It's prioritizing businesses with active Pages full of content, including photos, check-ins, and status updates from both the business and its customers. You can request one here.
Update: A Facebook spokesperson tells us: "Place Tips can be seen on the Facebook app for both iOS and Android, it's only iPhones that can connect with the physical beacons for now."
Images via Facebook