Cisco and Facebook rolled out a new way for hotels, restaurants and other businesses to recoup their costs in providing free Wi-Fi services to their customers.
This can be achieved by asking customers to check in to enjoy internet access. Once they have checked in, customers will be brought to the business’s Facebook page, while their anonymous demographic information will be passed on to the merchant.
The Facebook and Cisco collaboration is an extension of a pilot known as “Facebook Wi-Fi”, which started operating last year with 25 businesses in San Francisco Bay. The test results showed that the system enabled the businesses to increase their daily check in count by threefold.
To enjoy the benefits of the system, the merchant will use their current router and broadband subscription and integrate the “Cisco CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi” software to create a specific landing page for those accessing the business’s Wi-Fi.
With this, customers will simply connect to the Wi-Fi network through their mobile device or laptop instead of waiting in line to secure a password. They are advised to “check in for free internet.”
Once checked in, a News Feed story will be sent to their friends, which means extra business for the merchant. Users are also taken to the Facebook page of the business, where customers can “like” it or view recent marketing materials.
Moreover, the aggregate genders, ages and other demographic information of those who use the system will be passed on by Facebook to the merchant, albeit in an anonymous format.
Those who do not wish to reveal their location can make the check in private, while those without a Facebook account can enjoy internet access via a small link found at the bottom of the business’s Facebook page.