If you hadn’t noticed Christmas is on the way.
To spread some festive Wi-Fi joy, all Wi-Fi hotspot routers now come gift wrapped and ready to put under the tree.
Best christmas present eva – enjoy
Why switch from a password to a Facebook login method? Well it will tell you more about the kind of people who visit your venue than you thought possible.
Instead of entering a password to use your Wi-Fi hotspot folks can use their Facebook login details. They’re also given the option to checkin at your location. Like so…
This makes for a quick and effortless Wi-Fi experience = happy people!
And there’s good news for the Wi-Fi hotspot.
Well, Facebook is clever. Using a Facebook captive portal will give you anonymous demographics on the people using your Wi-Fi. Things like their age, gender and hometown.
Combine this with the usage data your PolkaSpots hotspot gives you, such as returning visits and duration stay and you’ve got a deep understanding of who the folks visiting you venue are.
The PolkaSpots Facebook Wi-Fi captive portal will be available shortly. Keep a look out in your Wi-Fi management dashboard – the Facebook login option will appear soon.
We think it’s down to three things.
1. Their fish finger sandwiches. Served every Friday these bad boys keep our office going.
2. Their friendly staff – St John’s Street branch in particular
3. Their free Wi-Fi
Benugo happen to be have a network of PolkaSpots cloud managed Wi-Fi hotspots. We’d like to think our Wi-Fi service went a small way in helping them win the award .
Over the next month Benugo are expanding their cloud managed Wi-Fi to Benugo Hanover Street and the new Regents Park Benugo project – so keep a look out.
Using your Wi-Fi to capture email addresses is a great way to keep in touch with everyone who visits your venue.
Here are a few tips to gathering a solid list of emails.
Everyone who uses your Wi-Fi goes through a splash page. This is where they enter their email address.
The old fashioned way to capture email data was to force people to enter their email to gain Wi-Fi access. This gave you a long but fake list of email addresses. Think what you would enter given the option?
There are ways of preventing this.
Adding a newsletter sign up field to your Wi-Fi splash page is the simplest thing to do. People enter their email to receive news and click to login. Because it’s optional it’s proven to give you better quality (real) email addresses. The promise of discounts, deals and exclusive events always tempts people into handing over their email.
As well as giving you a healthy list of people to contact, you’re toeing the data protection line. You can still make entering your email address compulsory, but you can only use an email if someone has agreed for you to contact them.
Make sure you use them. To avoid them getting lost or forgotten about, you can store the email addresses in a newsletter platform like MailChimp or Campaign Monitor. Just link your Wi-Fi management dashboard to your newsletter platform. There are instructions on how to do this here. Or go to “Integrations” in your PolkaSpots Wi-Fi dashboard
Wi-Fi email capture is available to anybody with a PolkaSpots Wi-Fi management account. You can even use it with Meraki Wi-Fi access points. Sign up for a Wi-Fi management account here…
Merci Beaucoup Phil
(Phil is the handsome chap on the right.)
Phil was searching for an alternative to the kind of cloud managed Wi-Fi Meraki and Ruckus do. He stumbled on PolkaSpots and treated himself to a Ubiquiti Unifi cloud managed Wi-Fi access point for £61. Voila – a Wi-Fi hotspot was born.
Be like Phil and create your own cloud managed Wi-Fi hotspot here.
Grab your Ubiquiti Unifi access point in the PolkaShop.
Here’s a run down of what dual band Wi-Fi technology is, and why on earth you’d want to install a dual band access point over a single band access point.
More people can connect to a dual band access point than a single band access point. For example the dual band UniFi Pro access point will support around 50 users compared to it’s little brother the single band UniFi UAP, which will support around 20 users.
Here’s why – a simultaneous dual band router is one that operates both 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio frequencies. Because there are two radio frequencies working together, there’s more capacity. In general they have more memory. More memory = happy days.
Modern devices like iPads or new mobile phones will use the 5GHz network, freeing up the 2.4Ghz network for older laptops and phones. Voila! More people connected to le inter web.
Because they’re better at dealing with multiple devices the signal is more sustainable in busy environments like conferences – the 5Ghz option is great if your Wi-Fi router is competing with lots of other Wi-Fi networks.
You can check out some cloud managed dual band access points here…
The network provides good wholesome Wi-Fi access to the Derby public. To ensure the Wi-Fi service is the best in town, the network is made up of top of the range Wi-Fi hotspot equipment and cloud based Wi-Fi technology. Derby and PolkaSpots will be monitoring public Wi-Fi usage using clever stuff like presence analytics to improve and develop the service.
Riverside Gardens and Market Hall are the first sites to offer free public Wi-Fi. Stay tuned for more Wi-Fi hotspot launches as the signal is boosted across the city.
You can read more about the Surf the City Wi-Fi project here, from The nice folks in the Derby City Council regeneration team.
Deciding whether Wi-Fi is right for your business can be tricky. Will people take advantage and take up valuable space? Will it break and annoy more people than it satisfies?
Some businesses are opting out of providing Wi-Fi all together. But is not offering Wi-Fi bad for business? Are there cleverer ways of providing Wi-Fi in 2013?
Most customers will use the internet whether you provide it or not. You can easily tether your mobile device to create your own Wi-Fi hotspot. If people are going to connect to the Internet they might as well use your Wi-Fi.
As technology develops, new ways of benefitting from Wi-Fi are emerging. Providing complimentary Wi-Fi gives you brand presence, control over how long people can use the Wi-Fi for and some “big data” on customer habits.
Analysing data like customer dwell time and visitor frequency is valuable information that will help you identify your audience and develop new ways to engage with them.
Your Wi-Fi login page can be branded and used to promote news, offer discounts and ask for feedback – all good ways of engaging with customers using your free Wi-Fi connection.
Take the retail industry. A growing number of people now price check items or search for product info using their phones in store. Retail stores in some cases have refused to offer Wi-Fi to prevent customers shopping elsewhere. But research shows only a small percentage of shoppers will purchase elsewhere, and retailers are coming round to the idea of providing Wi-Fi. The business they lose to people comparing prices is minor in comparison to the big data they gain.
So should you provide free Wi-Fi? Well yes, stay in peoples good books and provide Wi-Fi. But be clever about it, make sure you’re using your Wi-Fi to engage with customers.
Otherwise known as the ‘monster’ the Ubiquiti Unifi Pro is the best Wi-Fi router in its price range. It’s so popular Ubiquiti couldn’t make them quick enough and there’s been a global shortage for 4 months.
But they’re back in stock and the Unifi Pro is now available as a cloud managed Wi-Fi access point. The engineers have been busy building firmware to make the Unifi Pro compatible with the PolkaSpots Wi-Fi management software - Cucumber Tony. Give the engineers a round of applause.
Cucumber Tony is the cloud based dashboard to manage, monitor and analyse your Wi-Fi. Plug a Unifi Pro router in and it will sync with your Cucumber Tony dashboard.
The Pro has more antennas running two different Wi-Fi frequency’s (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz). This makes it great for busy Wi-Fi venues because it’s more stable in a busy environment.
The first order of Unifi Pro’s has already gone out. Flashed, configured and wrapped with love by the PolkaSpots Wi-Fi Orders team.
You can buy a Ubiquiti Unifi Pro here…
Or check out Cucumber Tony to test the Wi-Fi management software here…
It can sometimes feel like providing free Wi-Fi is more hassle than it’s worth. A recent survey found that 67% of pubs don’t offer Wi-Fi.
But free Wi-Fi does attract customers – the same survey found that 67% of young people will choose a pub with Wi-Fi over a pub without it.
So here are some tricks to creating a hassle free Wi-Fi service you’ll love, not hate. They work for all types of Wi-Fi venue and you can do everything yourself – you’ll just need some Wi-Fi management software.
Make It Easy
The easier it is for customers to log onto your Wi-Fi the more popular you’ll be. And your staff will spend less time giving out passwords and helping customers connect their Nokia 3210 to the Wi-Fi.
You can let people help themselves to the Wi-Fi by offering a Facebook or click through log in process. It’s still secure and you can set a timer to stop abuse.
Know Your Internet Speed
Even if you have super fast broadband lots of people using your Wi-Fi can slow the service down and create a bad Wi-Fi connection. If you know your broadband speed, you’ll know how many people can connect before it slows down. You can then adjust your Wi-Fi speed settings to stabilise your Wi-Fi service.
Talk to Your Customers
People use your Wi-Fi everyday, but do you ever speak to them after they’ve visited?
You can now add a newsletter sign up field to your Wi-Fi splash pages to capture email addresses. Before you know it you’ll have a big list of customers to email.
Profile Your Customers
Get to know the people using your Wi-Fi. A good Wi-Fi service will give you daily data on your Wi-Fi usage – like how often people visit your venue and when.