Social WiFi Hotspot: what is it and how to use it to grow your business

Marketing 18 minute read 7th November 2022

A social WiFi hotspot allows you to turn your free WiFi into a tool to grow your business.

By collecting data from your guests and automating most marketing tasks, you’ll be able to grow your popularity online, win new customers and increase the profitability of your business.

In this article, you’ll learn what a social WiFi hotspot is, what its key features are, and how you can use it to grow your business.

What is a Social WiFi Hotspot

A social WiFi hotspot is an innovative marketing solution that helps businesses grow by capturing valuable data from customers who connect to their free WiFi.

Those data are then used to amplify the reach and effectiveness of a business’s marketing campaign and to provide a better customer experience.

Moreover, social WiFi marketing platforms offer a variety of features to automate the most cumbersome marketing and network management tasks.

Sometimes people refer to social WiFi hotspots as social WiFi marketing software. However, they are the same.

Social WiFi Hotspot for businesses

Social Wifi Hotspot - image 4

All businesses that engage with the public offer free WiFi to their customers.

However, not all of them are taking advantage of the power of social WiFi hotspot solutions to grow their business.

While it might make sense for a hospital not to care, small businesses have plenty of reasons to implement a social WiFi hotspot solution to better their marketing and improve customers’ experience.

Restaurants, cafes, gyms, retailers, hospitality businesses, betting shops, and all types of small businesses can take advantage of WiFi marketing to grow their venue.

Let’s make an example to explore the advantage of a social WiFi hotspot for a hotel.

Social WiFi Hotspot for hotels

Social Wifi Hotspot - image 3

Not long ago, free WiFi used to be a nice surprise for hotel guests. Today, instead, a smooth WiFi connection is just expected.

A survey from UK four-star hotel chain Amba Hotels discovered that 67% of guests consider free Wi-Fi more important than location when choosing a hotel.

A social WiFi hotspot for hotels can be extremely useful as it gets business owners to get something valuable in return for the free WiFi offered.

Hotels can use a social Wifi hotspot to collect data about their guests and get a precise understanding of the type of customers that choose their venue.

Moreover, hoteliers can use a social WiFi hotspot to intuitively manage the internet connection and handle the bandwidth of the network.

When it comes to strict marketing activities, one of the best ways to use WiFi marketing is to automate reviews.

In fact, guests can be nudged to leave a review on the primary local review sites, contributing to growing the popularity of the business.

Key features of a social WiFi hotspot

A social WiFi hotspot offers a variety of functions to simplify the management of the WiFi connection provided, to gather valuable information about customers’ preferences and needs, and to automate relevant marketing tasks.

These are the main features of a social WiFi hotspot

Social WiFi Hotspot and Network Management

A social WiFi hotspot is tethered to the internet connection provided by your business. If you are not an ICT engineer, there are a variety of functions that will make you love this type of software.

From your social WiFi software, you can easily manage the bandwidth allocated to a single device to ensure that your internet connection does not slow down in moments of peak traffic at your venue.

Additionally, your repeat guests will be spared the time to connect to your WiFi every time they come back to visit your venue.

In fact, If a guest has visited before, the software can be set to remember them and welcome them back for you.

When it comes to managing your WiFi connection, an important feature of a social WiFi hotspot relates to passwords.

In fact, you want to keep your guests safe and be sure that only your guests connect to your WiFi.

Hotspot Wifi Password

Social Wifi Hotspot - image 2

Passwords are a key component of security within the informatic world.

If your password gets exposed or is not strong enough, both your business and your guests can be targeted by hackers to steal valuable information.

A social WiFi hotspot helps keep your network secure by rotating your password every day, making attacking your business and your guests economically inconvenient for hackers.

Moreover, hotspot WiFi password rotation prevents external users from abusively plugging into your network.

Therefore, all your WiFi bandwidth will be used by your real guests who can enjoy a smooth AND safe connection while at your venue.

Social WiFi Hotspot: branding the customer’s experience

A social WiFi hotspot allows you to customize the experience your customers have when they connect to your venue’s WiFi.

By customizing the log-in page (captive portal) you can create a more professional impression to your customers and match your brand communication style.

What is a captive portal - Process of login

Instead of just giving a password and the name of the network, your customers will be led through a designed experience that will reinforce the unique traits of your brand identity.

Moreover, as you will read soon, your captive portal can be leveraged to promote special offers, grow your social media pages, and get more (positive) reviews.

Social WiFi Hotspot: Customers’ data collection

Social Wifi Hotspot - image 1 (1)

A key function of a social WiFi hotspot is to collect data from your customers in order to create a clear and functional picture of those who are attending and liking your business.

Instead of just offering WiFi to customers, you can offer WiFi while collecting data that then can be used for other marketing purposes.

When you gather these data, you can use them to create a customer experience that matches your customer’s needs and preferences.

Moreover, there’s no need to worry about data protection laws.

In fact, everything will be crystal clear as your customers will be asked to read and accept your terms and conditions before using your WiFi connection.

Social WiFi Hotspot: Marketing Automation

A key functionality of social WiFi hotspots is to automate redundant marketing tasks and nudge your customers to perform actions you are interested in.

For example, you can design a set of emails that will be automatically sent any time a customer performs a specific action. This way, you can nurture loyalty and repeat business

An example?

A birthday email offering a free drink or a 50% discount on the next purchase.

Moreover, you can integrate your social WiFi hotspot software with third-party applications and services, to simplify your daily marketing activities.

Best social WiFi hotspot use cases

Although every business is unique, social WiFi hotspots present features that can be interesting to any type of business.

In fact, whether you are a barber, a hotelier, or a café owner, there are high chances that you are interested in building up a large following on social media, getting more (positive) reviews and growing loyal customers.

As your customers will access your network through your captive portal, you can design a customer journey that leads your guests to perform specific actions.

The following are the best ways to integrate your free WiFi with a social WiFi marketing strategy.

Social WiFi Hotspot to build up a list of contacts

A typical way to use a social WiFi hotspot is to build up a list of contacts (emails and mobile numbers of your customers).

Building up a list can be extremely challenging without WiFi marketing solutions, as you will need to either ask at check out or gather them in unconventional ways.

However, with a social WiFi hotspot, you can design your captive portal to gather those types of information straight from your guests in a frictionless manner.

Once you have a list of contacts, you can think of ways to encourage repeat business and grow loyalty.

For example, if you are a restaurateur, you can build up a list of contacts to start email marketing campaigns for your restaurant.

Social WiFi Hotspot to automate reviews for your business

If there’s one single reason to get your own social WiFi hotspot, that is automating reviews.

Reviews play a critical role for your local business, as most people look for information and opinions on review sites before trying a new business.

Therefore, one of your main business goals should be getting more reviews and growing your rating on local review sites.

However, this task can not be easily performed in person as you (or your staff) might forget to ask for a review.

Moreover, asking for a review can backfire when people leave bad or mediocre reviews.

A social WiFi marketing software, instead, allows you to automate the entire process of getting reviews without moving a finger.

After you set your social WiFi hotspot to perform this specific task, your customers will be automatically asked to review your business.

When a customer is satisfied and leaves a positive review, it will be immediately posted.

Instead, if a customer is leaving a negative review, it will be first shown to you, so you can address it directly and prevent it from being posted.

Social WiFi Hotspot to grow your social media pages

Another typical use case for social WiFi hotspots is to grow your following on social media networks.

Instead of having a sticker next to the cash register that says “Follow Us on Instagram”, you can leverage the power of your customized captive portal.

For example, you can allow your guests to log in to your network directly with their social media profiles. At that point, you can ask them to visit your page or follow you.

Alternatively, you can place your latest Instagram post in evidence on your captive portal to incentivize users to discover your page following you.

With a social WiFi hotspot, growing your social media pages organically will be way easier than normal.

Free Social WiFi Hotspot software

If you are on a super-tight budget, finding a completely free social WiFi hotspot software won’t be possible.

However, most companies offer a free trial version (most of the time with limited functions available).

Typically, the free trial version gives you the possibility to understand whether a social WiFi hotspot solution suits your business and can provide you with interesting results.

If the trial is positive you can always upgrade to the premium version.

Social WiFi Hotspot software providers

When it comes to picking the right social WiFi hotspot software, you need to evaluate its price as well as the features offered.

At the time being, many companies offer social WiFi hotspot applications, with subscriptions that range from $30 to $200 a month.

However, you might not need many features as much as you don’t need a large database capacity. Therefore, your choice should be tailored to the needs of your business.

For most small businesses, the best social WiFi hotspot is one that provides useful features, has reasonable pricing, and is simple to use.

If you are looking for a solid, affordable, and user-friendly social WiFi hotspot solution, then you need to know about Beambox.

Social Wifi Hotspot with Beambox

As you saw, a social WiFi hotspot can do magic for your business.

You can use it to improve your brand perception, gather data about your customers and protect your network from attackers and abusive users.

Moreover, WiFi marketing software can automate cumbersome marketing tasks and increase the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives.

Beambox is an all-in-one WiFi marketing solution that allows you to connect, capture, and learn more about your customers and their preferences.

With Beambox you can gather valuable customer data, get simplified reports, and automate your marketing strategy.

Over 12,000 venues are taking advantage of Beambox to grow their business.

Do you want to be next?

You can try Beambox entirely for free for thirty days. Moreover, the trial includes all the premium features, so you can understand if that is ideal for your business or not.

Click here to start your Beambox free trial.

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