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Updated Facebook Features Can Help Your Small Business

new_facebook_changesFacebook is the central marketing tool for many companies, and even if it isn’t exactly central at yours, it should be incredibly important as a customer relation tool. The platform has added a couple of new features that could help businesses connect with new customers in the future.

Facebook Place Tips Expands

Facebook Place Tips is no longer for large and in charge businesses and is, in fact, being introduced specifically for small and medium sized businesses. The service has been in use by large businesses for over six months now, and when introduced to small business pages in test-sized amounts, Facebook claims that a steady increase of traffic occurred from those who are visiting in-store locations.

Facebook Place Tips pop up when a customer checks in at your location. The default page says something like, “Thanks for Visiting!” and has some highlights from the past few months of your location. However, some of the new features include Place Tips menus for restaurant check-ins as well as reviews, information that is mentioned frequently about the location, business hours, popular items and even upcoming events. The welcome note can be customized daily, so coupon codes, event promos and popular products can be added to this area.

Place Tips works best when it’s hooked up to a Facebook Bluetooth beacon, which sends out a local signal to those who are in the store when they check in. This also helps verify that customers are checking in correctly. The beacon is free, but you will need to request one from Facebook.

New Business-Oriented Ads

The new ads that Facebook is introducing are also targeted to mobile customers, just like the Place Tips. These new ads are meant to allow app users to have an immersive ad experience that is both enjoyable and a selling point for an item. The post would appear as a sponsored post, but once tapped, a full-screen ad would appear. This ad would then allow a user to scroll a number of different angles of a few products—the demo showed expensive watches—and even rotate an item 360 degrees to show off all angles of the product. This never brings the user away from the app and they can return to the News Feed easily, just like the newer “Instant Articles” feature of Facebook, which is basically an internal browser that keeps users on the Facebook app instead of directing them away to other websites.

Currently, the mockup introduced is just that: a mockup. However, after some testing and feedback, Facebook does plan on launching a version of this that will be available to all companies for purchase, small and large alike.

These changes are designed to benefit small business, and hopefully will result in some more business for any company that decides to invest in such features.

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