Thanks to social media, local businesses are able to connect with their customers in ways that were unimaginable a few years ago. Facebook’s Place Tips is a new service being rolled out across the U.S. this year, and it could change the way your business interacts with its customers.

What is Facebook Place Tips?

Place Tips is a new optional Facebook feature that allows businesses to connect with customers who walk through their doors. Customers who have the mobile app will receive a notification in their News Feed offering to share information about the location they’re in if that business also uses Place Tips. The information is personalized—if the customer has friends who’ve posted reviews of that business recently, those reviews are shown. Place Tips also displays the company’s Facebook page, photos, store hours, menu (if applicable) and any current discounts offered.

How Does It Work?

The Facebook Bluetooth beacon sends a signal to the Facebook app on customers’ phones, so when they walk in the door, they will receive a message with information about the business. The beacon doesn’t collect information from people and won’t disrupt the wi-fi connection.

Can You Give an Example?

Say you run a shop called Marlowe and Company that sells quality home goods and has a Facebook Bluetooth beacon. When customers with the Facebook app walk in, they’ll receive a message in their News Feed along the lines of “See photos and posts by your friends at Marlowe and Company.” If they accept, they will see your welcome message and photo, information you want them to see (such as current discounts and sale items), posts from your Facebook page, photos posted of your products, and reviews of your shop.

All you have to do is get a beacon, set it up in a central area and write your personalized welcome note. All your customers have to do is have Facebook on their phones, have their location services enabled and walk through your door. It’s connectivity made easy.

How Do I Sign My Business Up?

Right now, Place Tips is free but there are some requirements. You must have an active Facebook page to ensure there is enough information to engage the customer. You must also have a brick-and-mortar location; online stores can’t take part. Finally, you will need one of Facebook’s Bluetooth beacons to use Place Tips. To obtain a free beacon, register here.

Top photo credit: Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Ready to learn more? Get our Guide to Social Media for Local Business

Carly Webber is a Senior Social Media Specialist at Volume Nine SEO and contributor to the Connectivity blog.