Access for guests and visitors to wireless LANs have been around for a while now, and it started out mostly as a paid for service for going online in hotels or other public spaces. But paid for guest access is not very popular with users nowadays; they expect access for free – but someone still has to bear the costs!
In today’s online world, offering access to a wireless LAN is almost an obligation for any site operator. Be it a hotel, restaurant, stadium, retail chain or a small barber shop, online guest access is always in demand by the customers or visitors. Apart from the end-user, who benefits the most from providing Internet access and yet still covering the costs of the hardware and installation?
In general, end-users are willing to make some effort to get guest access, as long as it is simple and free of charge. This opens the doors for what is known as “social media access”. In a very simple and straight forward manner, users can get guest access with the aid of their social media accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, tumblr, etc.
This way of accessing user data is a gold-mine for marketing departments. Using social media access, marketers get the META data without stepping into privacy issues, overall demographic information on their users, and this lets them know what to do on the hotspot.
It is not the name of the user that counts (as this cannot be stored anyway) but more general information: gender, age group, language, etc. Marketing departments gain detailed knowledge of their typical visitors, and consequently they can adapt their marketing campaigns and messages to suit.
The main capability of social media access isn’t provided by the hardware vendors themselves. They just provide the equipment, such as routers and access points, that supply the processing power. The implementation itself is mostly done by third-party providers using the capabilities of this high-end equipment.
Today, it isn’t only the company’s IT department which decides on the investment in IT equipment, but more often the marketing department, who are able to obtain more specific information about the customers on their premises.
WLAN Consulting is an initiative of LANCOM Systems. LANCOM Systems is the leading German manufacturer of wireless networking technology that complies with industry standards.