As small businesses began to pivot to the digital landscape, tech giants followed suit by developing different features to help brands stand out. At the forefront of this initiative was Facebook, as they launched the Business Resource Hub to share guides and platform updates for those affected by COVID-19.
Over the last few months, they’ve supported small businesses financially by distributing $100M in cash grants and ad credits, and strategically by incorporating new platform features. Learn more about these updates and how you can leverage Facebook features to amplify your small business:
Given the restrictions on live events, businesses began taking advantage of online platforms to stay connected with their communities. Facebook took this opportunity to develop its current streaming services while introducing new, innovative features in the process.
Paid Online Events, as a way for businesses, creators, educators, and media publishers to earn money from their online events. According to the company, they saw live broadcasts from Pages double in June compared to the same time last year. With this new feature, Page owners can create an online event, set a price, market the event, collect payment and host the event, all in one platform.
These events can be hosted on Facebook Live from Pages in 20 countries that meet their partner monetization policies. To get started with your first paid online event, check your eligibility here.
The company decided to waive the collection of fees from these paid online events for at least the next year. For transactions completed on the web, and on Android in countries where Facebook Pay is available, businesses will keep 100% of the revenue generated. However, if users purchase access to the event from the Facebook app on iOS, businesses will only receive 70% of the revenue. This is because Apple collects 30% App Store tax that Facebook wasn’t able to waive. If this is the case, users will be notified during the payment process.
Live videos are still a great feature to use to connect with your audience at scale and communicate with them in a less structured way. Due to the surge of live-streamed videos in the past few months, Facebook launched updates to adapt to the new circumstances.
Recently, Facebook re-introduced the Live WIth feature, which allows admins or profile owners to invite a guest onto a live mobile broadcast. This is great for live Q&A sessions, topic discussions, and more. They’ve also made cause-related marketing online-friendly by integrating the option for broadcasters to raise money for non-profits directly through their live broadcast by adding a donate button.
Pages can now rehearse a live broadcast only visible to administrators and editors with a feature called Test Broadcasts. Businesses can also schedule live videos to notify users of the upcoming event. Publishers can then trim the beginning and end of a live video and post the recorded broadcast onto their page for users who missed it to engage with. Overall, live videos can be leveraged to create a dialogue and connect with users – depending on your business’ goals and marketing strategy.
With more users shopping online, Facebook Shops is a way for businesses to create an online storefront for their products. Businesses can launch this feature on Facebook and Instagram profiles to maximize exposure. To support small businesses further, Facebook partnered with eCommerce companies like Shopify to guarantee seamless transition and monitoring. Page Owners can select products to display in a customized layout, organized by product collections and accent colours to help users identify the brand.
Users can then browse your catalogue, save products they’re interested in, and proceed to checkout through your website. Potential customers can also contact the business directly through Messenger for any questions and concerns. Make your business stand out and enhance the online window-shopping experience, as your Shop can be discovered through Facebook Pages, stories or ads.
Businesses can now create a more optimal browsing experience by choosing a call to action (CTA) button for their overall page. When choosing your CTA, think about your goal and where you want to redirect your customers. To add a CTA to your page, click on the “edit” button below your cover photo and select the most suitable one!
This is a great way to optimize the user experience for new page visitors – something Facebook has made sure to increase the likeliness of. Users can discover local businesses through the ‘Businesses Nearby’ section on the App, which was introduced to help boost virtual foot traffic. They’ve also made it easier for businesses to communicate with their customers directly through Messenger by upgrading the Business Inbox.
If your business offers digital gift cards or food order services through select partners, you can easily integrate this onto your Facebook and Instagram page. When people buy digital gift cards, the customer will receive their gift card via email and can redeem them in person, by phone or online!
All that’s left to do is add the CTA to your Page and share the news through a post and/or story. With the current shopping industry shifting to online purchases, this feature helps you stay connected to your community and let them support your business.
Facebook has an array of features to implement in your digital marketing strategy – and these are just a few of our favourites! Over the past few months alone, Facebook has introduced many new features for small businesses to help them adapt to the new ‘normal’.
Now more than ever, companies need to stay connected with their community – either through live events or social media content – and optimize their online user experience in order to compete in the digital landscape. With new updates and features being consistently added to Facebook, you can expect to stand out if you learn to take advantage of them. If you’re looking for a social media marketing strategy tailored to your business and reliable management services, contact our team at The Influence Agency today!