New Important Facebook Page Features Coming

This week Facebook announced three important updates to the way Page owners and managers can interact with their client base and followers.
The updates now being tested range from third party integration for booking appointments to Map integration in personal posts asking for local business recommendations.
Here is a breakdown of the updates:
  1. Integrate with your existing service providers (third party integration)
    Plugin the services and tools you already use to manage your business:
    Start Order
     – Accept orders with delivery.com or Slice.
    Book Now – Book appointments with HomeAdvisor, MyTime and other services.
    Buy Tickets – Sell tickets with Eventbrite or Ticketmaster.
    Get Showtimes – Provide show schedules and sell tickets with Fandango.Soon you will be able to manage the entire booking process within the Facebook ecosystem. A good example of this is a takeaway restaurant giving customers the ability to view their menu, order, pay and track their delivery all while still on Facebook.
  2. Manage bookings and enquiries through messaging on your Page
    Even without custom integration of your third party tools you will be able to use call to action buttons to engage and generate leads with the call to action buttons.
    With the new “Get Quote” and “Request Time” call-to-action buttons, when a person takes an action on your Page, such as asking when they can schedule an appointment, a Messenger thread is automatically created between your business and that person.
    Here’s what’s available:
    Get Quote – Give people the option to request a quote for your service. (Limited global availability for Pages at this time.)
    Request Time – Coordinate your bookings. Available in the US only to Pages that have added a Services section.
    Shop Now – Showcase products and let people make purchases from the Shop section. Globally available to all Pages. Facebook are also rolling out a way for posts to be tagged with products from the Shop section.
  3. Map location integration with friend recommendation requests
    Businesses that have completed their “About” section will feature more prominently and be easier to find within the Facebook ecosphere. Now, when people create posts asking for recommendations from friends, they will have the option to include relevant Pages in comments and post these recommendations on a map.

Why should you care?

These changes are being primarily rolled out on mobile. As Facebook states, “The consumer shift to mobile has shown that people want to be able to do everything from their phones.” This parallels what’s happening in Search SEO and PPC advertising; the major players now having a mobile-first focus.

While these new features are mainly being rolled out in the USA at the moment, New Zealand is usually among the first markets to see new features when they get a wider release. Jump in and have a play around — you may be one of the lucky users to see these features being tested here.

The ability to integrate third party applications will no doubt expand rapidly once proven, and more local tools will be available.

Keeping people within the Facebook ecosystem may be a little creepy but has a couple of significant benefits. These include ease of use for consumers and businesses. Facebook, of course, benefits from increased revenue from commissions and advertising.

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About the Author Glenn Marvin

Glenn is a Partner and Senior Consultant who has had a very successful career building growth companies in the private equity arena. He has a wealth of experience in both the digital space and strategy development. Prior to becoming a partner in SureFire Glenn built one of the largest digital teams in New Zealand for a NASDAQ listed global online marketing company & Google's largest premium partner.

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