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MedNews Blog

Beacons and Place Tips Can Be Great Tools

November 15, 2016

When a customer is in your practice waiting for their appointment or otherwise with a few minutes to kill, wouldn’t it be great to be able to welcome them, tell them about a special or new procedure, and maybe even show them pictures or reviews from their friends about your practice? And what if you could do it in a non-intrusive fashion that the patient could choose to engage with?

You can do that with a Facebook Bluetooth Beacon sending out Place Tips to your customer’s Facebook feeds on their phones.

What are Place Tips?

Facebook started testing the concept of Place Tips in January 2015, later rolling them out along with beacons last summer. For customers to see them, they must have allowed Facebook to access their location on their phone. The beacon then sends out a signal that is picked up by the Facebook app in the customer’s phone when he or she is either near or inside the business. Beyond the beacon, Place Tips are also shown to people who check into the business’s Facebook page.

Each person’s Place Tips are unique and random. At a restaurant, for instance, Place Tips can show the customer the menu, describe a special dessert or cocktail, or post reviews about the establishment. The restaurant can tout special events or the most popular items, but they can’t totally control what Place Tips are presented to the customer.

Place Tips allow for a “welcome note” that appears at the top of the Place Tips feed. Here, the business can share facts and details of the establishment. For that restaurant example, a welcome could be “Welcome to Giacomo’s. Serving the authentic tastes of Tuscany for over 30 years.”

Place Tips also access the business’s Facebook page and show the latest posts, photos, and other information from the page. If “friends” of the business have taken photos or posted comments, they will also show up in Place Tips.

If you want to think of an analogy for Facebook beacons and Place Tips, it’s as if, once you walked in the front door, someone came up to you and did this:

  • Welcomed you
  • Told you about a special being offered
  • Said “Hey you want to see some pictures some of our friends have taken?”
  • Or “Would you like to see some reviews about us?”
  • Or “In case you’re interested next week we’re going to have this great event.”

Of course, a customer would be put off by such a push if it were given in person. But since it is coming in through Facebook, it’s just a pastime, and not overly intrusive so the customer can engage with the information without feeling pressure.

A new kind of data

Facebook knows more about its users than any company has ever known. And its customers volunteered the info. Facebook knows a ton about its users’ taste preferences and what they think of products and services they’ve chosen to comment on.

Marketers call this a “database of affinity.” But what people like doesn’t necessarily convert to direct sales. To help here, you would want a “database of intentions” and Facebook thinks its beacons will provide a great deal of information on what people are shopping for — their intentions.

What could your practice do?

As a practice, the information you provide on Place Tips may be somewhat different than something like a restaurant, bar, or retail store. After all, most of the people in your front office will be there for a procedure, a consultation, a follow-up, or the like.

Your welcome note could just reinforce the mission of your practice: “Welcome to XYZ Laser & Skin. Taking care of your skin for 25 years.”

If you have a monthly special, that’s a great Place Tip. Or something like, “Did you know we now offer CoolSculpting?”

Facebook accesses your practice’s Facebook page and it rewards businesses with more content because when it generates its own Place Tips, pulling from your existing info on your page, the variety of content makes for a more interesting user experience. That’s all the more reason to continually generate new posts, pictures, practice news, and other content. Plus, encourage your patients to post reviews and photos of their own that involve your practice.

To set up and begin sending out Place Tips for your practice, you’re going to need a Facebook beacon. All you need to do is request one from Facebook, but the company gives priority to businesses with active Facebook pages, so beef up your page before you request your beacon.

Your MedNet representative can help you with both of those tasks, and can answer any questions you have about your practice on Facebook.


Category: Blogs, Facebook


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