On October 19, Facebook announced several new features to help consumers interact with, and purchase from, local businesses. Facebook has been adding lots of new features lately, with updates such as Facebook Live (the social platform’s live streaming video service) and Marketplace, where consumers can buy and sell items.
Wondering what this means for your business?
These changes could:
- Help new consumers discover your business
- Allow current customers to recommend your business
- Help customer interactions and transactions take place smoothly and in a single platform
Here’s the list of updates Facebook is rolling out:
1. Get Recommendations.
Users can now ask friends for recommendations, such as “Where should I get my hair done in Columbus?” or “What’s the best lunch spot in Granville?” Facebook will ask if the user wants to turn on recommendations. If they do, their friends can recommend local businesses in the comments, and as long as the business has a brand page on Facebook, they’ll be tagged in the comment.
2. Discover local events and buy tickets.
The events tab now shows friends’ recent event activities as well as more events in the area, giving local consumers a chance to discover events you may not have otherwise heard of. So, if you’re holding an event at your business any time soon, set up a Facebook event and invite your followers. Local consumers could find your event too, and you could bring in some new customers!
Customers can also buy tickets to an event, so if you’re planning to hold some events during the holidays, you could create a Facebook event, invite your followers (don’t forget to tell them to share your event) and consumers can buy the tickets right from the Facebook event page!
The image below shows what a few of the new features will look like:
Image Source: Facebook
3. Order food.
The future is here. As you can see in the image above, we can finally order pizza on Facebook. Businesses that want to take advantage of this feature will need to use either Delivery.com or Slice, a service that helps pizza lovers discover local pizza restaurants.
4. Request an appointment.
Businesses that require an appointment can now allow customers to book those appointments over Facebook. The business can then confirm the appointment via Messenger.
5. Get a quote.
As you saw above, consumers will be able to request a quote via Facebook.
While businesses that give pricing quotes to prospects might not think of Facebook as the platform where consumers might discover them (if I need an emergency roof repair, I’m probably going to go directly to a search engine) this could work well with the recommendations feature.
If a current or former customer recommends your business to a Facebook friend via that new recommendations feature, they could then check out your Facebook page and use it to get a quote from you.
It’s worth a mention that Facebook is also working with PayPal so that consumers can purchase items in Messenger. This means that not only could they order food, but they could also pay through Facebook Messenger.
RevLocal Digital Content Manager, Megan Hudson, said she is looking forward to helping local businesses use these new features to drive sales and make customer interactions smoother.
“Consumers can complete the entire buying cycle within Facebook easily and with confidence, with features such as reviews and the new recommendations."
"I’m most excited about working with our paid advertising team to develop integrated marketing plans that help local businesses bring extra attention to their current specials and upcoming events. It is clear that what worked today may not work tomorrow in social media marketing, but that’s where we come in to help clients adjust and find new, effective Facebook marketing strategies,” Hudson said.
Need help implementing a Facebook marketing strategy? Check out our social media and content marketing services to see what social content marketing could do for your local business.
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