Have you received a notification from Facebook to sign up for their (free) Bluetooth Beacon for your or your client’s local business? Wondering what it is and how it works? Well, we were one of the first to get to test it out for a local client and want to report what we’ve seen and learned.
What is the Facebook Bluetooth Beacon?
Once the device is activated within your business, it sends one way communication pings to iPhone users (4s or later, only iOS devices supported currently) when the user opens the Facebook app.
The user will see a page specifically for your business, which by default has your current cover photo in the background, the name of your business at the top, what type of business the page represents, posts from the page, tips or posts from that user’s friends regarding the page, and like and check in buttons.
Can I Configure it?
Once you activate it, log in to Facebook and go to your page’s Settings. Then on the left navigation, click on “Place Tips.” Once there, you can write a custom description, use the default page description, and upload a custom background photo. That’s about all you can currently change.
Is Privacy a Concern?
Not according to Facebook. According to the packaging, the device sends “a one-way signal to the Facebook app on your visitor’s phones to help us show them the right information… It doesn’t collect any information from people or their phones or change the kind of location information Facebook receives.”
In theory, the beacon is simply an easy way to prompt users to engage with your business on Facebook through fairly unobtrusive means.
At the current time, I recommend signing up and getting it set up for your business – we don’t see any real reasons not to. The increased traffic to your page could help your engagement scores in Facebook’s algorithm and improve the number of users that see your posts, etc, so this could be a very good thing for local businesses.