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What Facebook’s New In-Store Ad Tracking Means To Your Business

One of the major challenges in the online advertising space has always been the ability to measure the return on investment related to off-line shopping, especially for restaurants and brick and mortar retail locations. Facebook began to address this concern in early 2015 with the launch of a device called Facebook Bluetooth Beacon. Now, Facebook is attempting to solve the issue with new in-store ad tracking methods.



facebook in store ad tracking

One of the major challenges in the online advertising space has always been the ability to measure the return on investment related to off-line shopping, especially for restaurants and brick and mortar retail locations. Facebook began to address this concern in early 2015 with the launch of a device called Facebook Bluetooth Beacon. Now, Facebook is attempting to solve the issue with new in-store ad tracking methods.

What is Facebook Bluetooth Beacon? Beacon is a small Bluetooth-enabled device placed in your physical business location. Once the device is installed, users with Bluetooth enabled on their phones and who are within a certain radius of the Beacon, can receive specific prompts when they open the Facebook app. For example, a user might see a prompt to check in to the restaurant where she is currently dining, or to tell his friends about a certain in-store sale or promotion. The business can also set a welcome message to appear if a person opens Facebook while visiting the physical business location. In the case of one restaurant, we set a Facebook Beacon message to read, “Hope you are enjoying our coal-fired fare and delicious drinks! Thank you for visiting!” After installing the Beacon, we saw a 58% increase in the number of people who checked into and shared information about the restaurant.

Facebook’s latest announcement includes details about it’s new in-store ad tracking system to help restaurants and retailers track the effectiveness of their Facebook ad campaigns by measuring the number of in-store visitors who have seen a specific ad campaign. The ads work by communicating with location services enabled devices, such as smartphones. If someone has location services on his or her phone and has chosen to share the information with Facebook, then Facebook will use that information to determine what businesses the person visits.

The biggest advantage to this new technology is that advertising results reports will now be able to include the number of people who saw your Facebook Ad campaign and then visited your business in person.

For over 10 years, I have used Google Analytics to help businesses get a clear understanding of how their online marketing efforts translate to new business. In-store sales transactions can still prove to be somewhat of a guessing game for online marketers because we have never had precise in-store data. Hopefully, emerging technologies such as Facebook’s in-store ad campaigns and Bluetooth Beacon will allow marketers to show business owners a crystal clear ROI and give businesses the confidence necessary to allocate additional budgets to successful online marketing campaigns.

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