Did you know that you can set up free customer Wi-Fi for your business through Facebook? It's true; Facebook offers a way to set up free public Wi-Fi for your storefront. All you need is a Facebook business page, admin privileges for that Facebook page, and a compatible router (check out the above hyperlink for a list of compatible routers).
Facebook touts its service as a safe, cheap alternative to conventional Wi-Fi infrastructure. It also offers some exclusive features and benefits for businesses who take advantage of it. Great, you might be thinking. But what's the catch? Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of Facebook Wi-Fi to help you decide if it's right for your business.
As we mentioned above, Facebook Wi-Fi doesn't require much to set up. If you have a business page on Facebook (or Instagram, which is owned by Facebook) and the right equipment, you're ready to go. No modem or ISP is needed. Once it's set up, customers can start using it immediately. They don't even need to enter a password to connect.
This video shows what it's like to connect to a Facebook Wi-Fi network from the point of view of a customer. It's also a good illustration of some of the service's benefits. When a customer connects, they're immediately redirected to your business's Facebook page, where they can check-in, explore the page and maybe even leave a like or two.
This is great if you're trying to improve your company's SEO and social media presence. Using the Wi-Fi also lists your business on Facebook's Wi-Fi directory, which can further augment your ability to draw eyes to social media. What's more, if a customer isn't interested in exploring your page, they can simply click a button to begin surfing the rest of the web.
Another benefit is the easy collection and analysis of customer data. You can view trends in traffic to your page and storefront, analyze your web page visitors' demographic breakdowns and enable your customers to easily leave reviews and other forms of feedback.
Although the cost-effectiveness and accessibility of Facebook Wi-Fi may be tempting, outsourcing your Wi-Fi network–whether with Facebook or anyone else–entails some risks. For one thing, if your business relies on the internet for a lot of its back-end operations, you'll still need to invest in conventional Wi-Fi from an internet service provider.
Many businesses compartmentalize Wi-Fi networks for their customers and Wi-Fi networks for their staff to ensure that proprietary data isn't leaked. Granted, Facebook is one of the largest tech companies in the world, so they already have effective native security features. Still, outsourcing relinquishes direct control and security of your network to a third party. Many businesses may not be comfortable with this.
Conventional Wi-Fi networks, which require passwords and other local security measures, are much better at controlling the flow of data in and out of your business. This makes preventing security risks like piggy-backing, in which a person connects to and uses your Wi-Fi without actually patronizing your business, much easier.
Furthermore, direct control of a wireless network allows additional security measures to be put in place, like encryption and VPNs. In-house IT personnel can directly monitor the network for security breaches and act quickly to circumvent them, as opposed to waiting for a top-heavy, far-off tech company like Facebook to catch up.
Whatever you choose to do, you'll need someone in your corner to advise on building your marketing strategy both online and offline. With their team of SEO and advertising experts, Web and Marketing USA can help you create a customer experience that's safe and helpful. Click the REQUEST button below to schedule your free consultation today.