Practically everyone has a device in their pocket capable of connecting to WiFi. In February 2017, networking manufacturer Cisco reported that over 8 billion WiFi devices are in circulation worldwide. That’s more devices than people.
A restaurant has three options when it comes to how they handle their internet connection. They could use it strictly for business, closing it off to customers and risking a WiFi dependent guest going elsewhere. They could have a password, inconveniencing customers and employees who need to carefully dictate a cumbersome code just so someone can check Facebook. Or they could have a WiFi landing page to automatically engage anyone looking to connect.
This final option is more than just convenient. It is an opportunity to connect with a captive audience. But a successful business needs to know how to get the most out of their landing page. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts of creating and maintaining your hotspot’s gateway.
Your customers want WiFi. They see there is an open network and connect. When they open Instagram to share a photo of their amazing meal they are directed to your landing page. Bottom line, you have their attention.
You can simply offer an easy prompt to connect, or this space can be used for so much more. Start with some eye popping images. Your logo should be prominently displayed, but should be paired with images and a background that fit the theme of the venue. The images can be of some of your premier menu items, or highlight a special offer or event you want your customers to know about.
When the customer finally does connect, why not redirect them to your website’s homepage. The worst case scenario is the user closes the page. The best case is you have engaged them further and have a second chance to build your brand.
The bare minimum for your guests to connect to your WiFi network is a typical “Accept Terms and Connect” button. However, people are becoming more and more dependent on WiFi, while also becoming more and more willing to share online information. Take the opportunity to dig a little deeper.
You can require that a customer connects through a number of methods including Facebook, Twitter, or email. When asking for permission to connect through social media, make it clear that you will not post anything on their behalf.
The benefits to a restaurant are obvious. The data that is collected can be used to communicate more offers to the customers even after leaving the store. If you prefer to limit your advertising to avoid coming across as aggressive, there is some powerful analytical information you could gather depending on the method of authentication. Age and gender is just some of the basic information you can gather from users connecting through social media.
You might be worried that your clientele will be turned off by the idea of sharing their contact information. But remember that it adds a layer of accountability, something that your customers could appreciate when connecting to a strange network. Better yet, you can sweeten the deal by offering exclusive offers to those who sign-in using the WiFi landing page.
There are some obvious risks to consider when allowing customers to connect to your WiFi freely. Fast and easy to access WiFi can potentially attract loiterers. You may not mind people streaming music on your WiFi network, but you might not want someone downloading a whole season of a TV show. With Yelp WiFi, you can set timeouts for internet access to limit how long guests are using it and bandwidth limits on how much they can use.
Don’t lose a return customer because they couldn’t get through a meal without sharing it on their social platforms. Make it easy to connect to not only the internet, but also your business through a landing page. You know what you need to do, but might need help doing it. Check out Yelp WiFi.