Damage type is thermic, and so shields have a resistance penalty against them. Armour piercing capability is rather low, making them less effective against hulls – but not ineffective. These traits are common to almost all laser weapons.
When fitting Beam Lasers, there is a lot of choice. If your goal is to exploit their high DPS as fast as possible to strip shields, then the Thermal Shock experimental effect is a no-brainer. With bigger, more variant ship builds other choices become viable; while Overcharged/Oversized is always a good choice, with Beams you’ll want to keep an eye on overall power usage and adjust accordingly. For the small slots you can use non-stacking effects, and of course if power is an issue you can switch to Burst or Pulse as an alternative given the benefits of constant DPS. In conclusion any Beam Laser build really requires attention to power management to ensure you can fire them enough to garner the benefits.