Just about everyone understands how powerful Facebook can be for extending their business’ reach and adding to its bottom line. The platform is the frontrunner of all social networks in terms of active accounts, traffic, and most everything else. Just a few months ago, more than one billion people logged onto Facebook in a 24-hour period and with more than 1.5 billion active monthly users, Facebook is a flat-out Phenom in the social arena.
If you are the operator of one of the 40 million small businesses that use Facebook Pages, there are some exciting new tools that just made it easier to connect with audiences and increase conversions. No matter if your storefront is brick and mortar, digital, or both, these new offerings can make a serious impact.
New CTAs for Engagement
Calls-to-action are of massive importance in driving engagement and sales. In a recent blog post, Facebook unveiled plans to optimize the mobile experience in a way that helps integrate the goals of your business more closely with your social following. The new CTAs are located directly below the cover photo and include:
- Book now
- Sign Up
- Watch Video
- Contact Us
- And more
The best part of these new CTAs is that you get to decide which pages they link to; on or off of Facebook. This allows the consumer experience to go much deeper than simply liking and interacting with your brand on social. Now businesses can guide users on what they should do next, much like guiding a person through the conversion funnel.
In addition to the new CTAs, Facebook has added a ‘Shopping’ tab that allows brands to showcase products and enables users to make purchases without ever leaving Facebook. The new section will reportedly include ‘Buy’ buttons, in part thanks to a joint collaboration with Shopify.
This is a massive opportunity for businesses — Facebook has voiced that nearly half of its users come to the platform actively searching for products. This could also assist many small businesses in cutting down operation costs associated with running and maintaining a smoothly functioning retail website.
Similar to the ‘Shopping’ tab, Facebook will also sweeten up business pages with the addition of a ‘Services’ section. This will help to boost service-based business’ products to a more tangible level and generate audience awareness of the services and features.
While it is still less likely for individuals to purchase services as opposed to products over Facebook, this nonetheless creates an enormous opportunity for service providers to curtail sales cycles. And in conjunction with the aforementioned CTAs, potential customers are now able to contact your business about the services more easily than ever before.
Understanding Foot Traffic
Along with the new features added to business pages, Facebook is helping out local brick and mortar stores through the expansion of Page Insights. Here, a new tab is made available that assists businesses in understanding its local foot traffic and local trends by utilizing user app locations to recognize when your neighborhoods are most active.
Retailers can now view how many of Facebook’s users are were within 150, 450, and 1,500 feet of the business location in addition to the ability to see age, gender, and if a person is a resident or a tourist. In the blog post announcing the augmented insights, it was stated that, “Now, for the first time, advertisers can see the percentage of people nearby who have seen their ad, helping them understand how well their ads are reaching their potential customers. Over time, this new metric can also help advertisers draw a connection between reaching a larger percentage of people nearby and accomplishing the business outcomes they care about.”
Following up on 2014’s introduction of local awareness ads, Facebook will now offer location specific ads for brands that operate multiple locations. This will allow businesses to simplify targeting efforts and grants the ability to select specific store locations for any and all ads. Now people who are near any given store will be supplied with the establishment’s name, address, and a call-to action that will supply directions or the phone number. These new ads will be highly beneficial for any business with more than one destination.
Facebook vice-president of monetization product marketing Matt Idema commented on both of these local optimization tools by saying, “These [products] are both ways for businesses with the insights product to understand the state of foot traffic around their [stores] and give them an opportunity to see how their ad campaigns affect that foot traffic. In addition to the ads being locally relevant, the way that the ads get delivered to people in the system will also be delivered locally.”
While these tools will certainly boost profits and revenue for Facebook itself, businesses all over the country can be winners too; especially those who are optimized for mobile. As Facebook continues its transformation from a social platform to a “lifestyle platform,” more and more features will be added for businesses to positively impact sales, awareness, and brand loyalty. All you have to do is use them. The tools are at your fingertips.
Which of these features do you see as most beneficial to your business?