Agency transforms free WiFi into a digital marketing toolBusiness Solutions & Consumer Services
Originally Published in June 2017
Social WiFi is an analytics and marketing tool that allows business owners to identify their clients and be able to interact with them. When guests log in to an establishment’s free WiFi, they are presented with promotions, surveys and are asked for feedback about their experience. Social WiFi is being used in 20 countries, including Germany, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Founder Artur Racicki first tested the concept at his digital marketing agency by asking employees to connect to the wireless network by logging in through Facebook when they arrived at work. He presented the idea at the Internet Beta conference in Poland in 2012 and convinced an investor to finance expansion. A year later, Social WiFi was established as a company.
The CEO considers Social WiFi to be “smart” WiFi. The company changed regular, nonfunctional WiFi into an analyzing and marketing tool that can increase a business’s profits. Without replacing hardware, Social WiFi provides a configurator and the user plugs it into the existing router. In larger establishments, such as stadiums and hotels, which have infrastructure for WiFi, the configurator is connected to the controller and transforms access points in Social Wifi points.
When guests visit a location where Social WiFi is available, they can connect to the wireless network by logging in through a social network such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or they can log in using an e-mail address. The user is redirected to the business’s Facebook page and has access to the internet.
The company changed regular, nonfunctional WiFi into an analyzing and marketing tool that can increase a business’s profits.
Once the guest is online, Social WiFi identifies the client based on information gathered from social media profiles such as gender, age, interests and how often he comes to the location. Allowing clients to provide direct feedback and give star ratings opens a new communication channel between the business and the customer.
“A small business looks at it this way: I’m already giving customers free WiFi; I’m not getting anything back for it. But if I use this tool, I can still offer WiFi, but now I can ask if customers are happy, what they like and how to adjust my service. And I can also send information about events,” said Racicki.
The business owner logs onto a Social WiFi Dashboard to access the database where client demographics, statistics and charts showing the number of logins throughout the day can be viewed. The owner can also send personalized messages, coupons and surveys to customers. After the customer leaves, they are asked to rate the service and provide additional feedback. The ratings then appear on the owner’s dashboard.
Larger businesses are beginning to use Social WiFi in Poland. These include Sphinx Restaurants, one of the largest casual dining franchises in Europe, as well as 77 Sushi, the biggest sushi chain in Poland. Abroad, the tool is being used in McDonald’s in New Caledonia, Subway in Norway and Dunkin Donuts in Germany. Social WiFi has also become popular in Kenya, Romania, and Russia.