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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

An introduction to Social WiFi

Hazel Allsopp of Purple WiFi writes:

Retail and hospitality businesses have long been aware of the need to offer free WiFi access to their customers. The use of smart phones is becoming increasingly widespread, and people expect to get online wherever they are, whatever they’re doing.

The latest large brand to recognise this is Intercontinental Hotels Group, who announced last month that they would be offering free access to 71 million loyalty scheme members’ worldwide. The decision was made in response to a survey in which 43% of guests said they wouldn’t stay in a hotel if it didn’t offer free WiFi.

Providers are now looking for ways to get a return on the investment required to provide WiFi. The traditional way to do this is to present the user with a long and convoluted form, asking for inside leg measurements and grandmothers maiden name – not very customer friendly. The latest answer is ‘Social WiFi’, where customers log in through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This has some obvious social reach advantages – customers ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ your company page when they log on, so you can expect a steady stream of loyal customers following your pages.

Customer analytics

Beyond the social reach benefits, because customers have logged in via social media, social WiFi solutions pull off lots of data, with no need for customers to fill in that long form. And the data collected is high quality, because it’s the information customers have entered on their Facebook or Twitter accounts.

Larger retail businesses are also using social WiFi to track customer’s journey around a store, helping them to monitor footfall and improving store layouts to maximise profits.

Get people talking about your brand

The final advantage of social WiFi is the ability to push customers towards content relevant to your brand, rather than unrelated searches, or browsing emails. Splash pages can be targeted towards relevant content, like current promotions and offers. Push SMS notifications can be triggered based on the customer’s movement and behaviour.

Purple WiFi was the first Social WiFi solution to launch last year, and provides access to customer data through our ‘Purple Portal’ -a Google analytics style interface which allows you to segment and actively market to customers. To find out more about Social WiFi, visit us at www.PurpleWiFi.net.

Hazel Allsopp is Digital Marketing Manager at Purple WiFi.
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