Still not convinced Facebook is taking over the lives of your customers? Just take a look at their products page. The Messenger app has replaced text messaging, and even includes a video conferencing feature to knock out FaceTime and Google Hangouts. Consumers turn to their News Feeds over business website home pages, to see the latest relevant events and product offers to them. And now, with the April 2016 introduction of Facebook Chatbots, the social network is helping customers do everything from quickly manage flights in one app, to shop for high-end fashion brands with a personal smartphone shopper. Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, isn't shy about his quest for world domination. The Wall Street Journal reports he hopes that chatbots solve the problem of “app overload”.
Despite what you may think about it, Facebook continues to press to become the daily internet of things for all web users, and momentum is in their favour. If you're a small-to-medium-sized business, you need to get in on action now. In 2015, CNBC reported FB's market capitalisation soared beyond $300 billion for the first time, and analysts expect its value to continue to skyrocket. With more than 1 billion daily users and with them clearly stating late in 2015, that it’s focus for 2016 was SMB’s, here are a few of the key features you need to be using to foster engagement and drive conversion, and they have made them affordable for SMB’s and bloggers to utilize.
Facebook Advertising and Pages
Facebook for Business offers highly customisable options for businesses to target their customers and set goals, including driving online sales conversion, achieving more app downloads, and raising brand awareness. Where else can you specifically target 16-year-old girls who publicly exclaim their affection for Chris Hemsworth? Which may not sound that appealing, unless you are a fashion blogger or startup fashion brand targeting tweens, and then it is critically valuable. Even a simple Facebook page presence is powerful, because in 2015 they added mobile call to action buttons that allow businesses to give users a way to complete actions such as calling the business, perusing product offerings and shopping for products.
Since Facebook pages allow users to rate businesses on a five-star scale, Facebook's Best Professional Services page was a sensible transition when it debuted in December 2015. Like review sites such as Yelp, the page allows users to search for the service they're looking for in whatever area they want, see a rating, and read reviews. Employing a Facebook page manager to monitor ratings and interact with customers to improve sentiment is vital as the services page increases in reach. After all, when's the last time you chose a 1-star-rated company to do business with?
Who needs TV when you can watch live broadcasts on your phone? Facebook Live allows SMBs to live-stream 30-minute-or-less broadcasts to followers, and then let them live permanently on pages as “programs.” Facebook reports users comment more than 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than other clips. Facebook Live videos are real, raw and candid, making users feel like they're a part of the action and are more connected to your brand. You no longer need to be a big brand to deliver live video to consumers, which puts you on an even footing, even with big competitors. It is only your imagination and creativity, that will stop you from competing.
If you're SMB still hasn't decided on a definitive mobile strategy, Facebook Canvas could be a starting point. The new mobile experience combines photos and videos to tell a brand story and showcase products, serving as image-heavy landing pages that feature emotionally compelling narratives. For SMBs that want to retain creative control on advertising, and save on budgets, Canvas has no limits on creativity and makes creating elegantly professional mobile experiences simple and easy. Plus, you won't have to deal with a dozen pesky and costly meetings with your agency to make sure the messaging is exactly on target.
Want to chat with millions of users and give personalised responses, all at the same time? Create a chatbot. With features including natural language assistance, Facebook Bots for Messenger allows your brand to send and receive texts, images and calls to action to and from customers. Brands that are already taking advantage of this new technology include Jarvis, which handles reminders, and Burger King, which allows for instant ordering. For brands that want their followers to be able to instantly complete purchases, investigating bot capabilities through Facebook is a move to satiating cravings for instant gratification.
How does your business plan to use their new products and features in 2016? Be sure to let us know via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. We really love incorporating great ideas from the community. And be sure to stay tuned to hear more about how Metigy is innovating to make using these options easy and highly effective.
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