Facebook has just started asking businesses if they would like a Facebook Beacon mailed to them, I just got a notification of 3 of my businesses that I have admin rights to asking if they would like one. (How do Facebook Bluetooth® Beacons work? Using Bluetooth® technology, these beacons send a one-way signal to the Facebook app on your customers’ phones to help us show them the right information about your business during their visit. They don’t collect any information from people or their phones or change the kind of location information Facebook receives.) You can request your beacon here https://www.facebook.com/business/a/facebook-bluetooth-beacons
Should innkeepers get excited about this? Yes and No.
Yes, because it has the potential to be very interesting, and have some interesting capabilities, No, because like everything Facebook does when it implements changes, they don’t let people know all the details, and the changes that a business page owner will have to navigate when the changes and new options roll out.
One of the changes a page owner might see is a new option in their about section, called “Welcome Note”. I found a preview of this option months and months ago on one sole page, but it looks like it’s rolled out across the board for any business that has the “Local Business” category selected for their page. I suspect that the rollout and availability of the beacons, and the same day appearance of the mobile welcome tab are going to tie together further at some point in the future, if and when beacons take off.
By default, the Welcome tab will pick up the header image from your business page unless you select another. With only 155 Characters to use for your descriptive welcome (or it possibly is meant to be a tip? Or a special offer?) You need to think of something short, sweet and pointed to say in this area.
The interesting thing is that while Facebook lets you edit this option (as of today), the preview and tab does not seem to be actually rolled out as of yet to mobile check-in users.
There hasn’t been much of an announcement yet about the beacons rollout other then an Entrepreneur article about an hour ago http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247081 , and this announcement in January, http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/01/29/facebook-tests-bluetooth-beacons-to-feed-users-local-content/ .
Places tips in itself (http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2015/01/introducing-place-tips-in-news-feed/ integrated with Facebook beacons) could be a huge boon to innkeepers in tourist driven or more populated areas where the chance to reach passersby perhaps looking for a place to stay would be large, especially for the last minute bookers, but there are also concerns the application could be intrusive and people will turn off the notifications, rendering any benefit useless.
I would suggest Innkeepers keep this on their radar as I predict it will make page owners make some changes to both content and the type of information that is posted on their business page.