Lately, it seems as though every time you log into Facebook there’s a new update to check out. Whether it’s a new photo feature or a redesign of your timeline, the ever-changing platform is always looking for ways to expand its capabilities and stay up to date. As marketers, it’s essential that we stay on top of these updates in order to keep our digital presence fresh. Here’s a breakdown of the latest Facebook features that have rolled out.
1. Book Appointments
A call-to-action component is essential in almost any form of digital marketing. Facebook has enabled a way for brick and mortar businesses such as hairdressers, therapists, and chiropractors to add a “Book” button to their posts and pages in order for users to schedule appointments. This feature uses a third-party software called MyTime, a multifunctional platform allowing small businesses to provide online scheduling services to customers, as well as point of sale, listings management and search and social booking. To incorporate this feature, go to your business’ Facebook page and select “Add partner apps to your Facebook page,” then select MyTime.
2. Find WiFi
This feature is especially valuable to those of us that are frequent travelers, particularly to areas with low cellular connectivity. Facebook provides a map using location services that allows you to find local businesses that have free WiFi. It also includes the businesses’ hours. However, businesses are not automatically displayed. They have to opt-in by verifying their network on their Facebook page. Facebook’s goal was to optimize internet connectivity, and ultimately promote Facebook usage. To check this out, click the “More” tab in the Facebook app, then select “Find WiFi.”
3. Send or Request Money
Some people find payment tools on various social media apps to be dangerous to their bank accounts, yet many see it as pure convenience. Following the release of Snapcash on Snapchat, Facebook has also rolled out a payments feature called “Send or Request Money”. This tool is located in the “Explore” menu in the Facebook mobile app and enables users to send or request money from friends using their debit card or PayPal account in the Messenger app. The feature is especially useful for those that shop and sell using Facebook Marketplace.
4. Sound Collection
If you’re a content creator, this part is for you. Facebook now offers an array of free audio tracks and sound effects for you to jazz up your videos. This feature is used in conjunction with the Facebook Creator app- a tool for users to create and manage their own videos, live broadcasting, and to connect with all the people watching. Sound Collection provides access to thousands of sound effects, music, vocals, noises, and instrumental tracks from all over the world and can also be used with posts shared on Instagram. To start adding fresh sounds to your video content, click here.
Many of you may have noticed your Facebook friends posting GoFundMe pages onto their timeline when in a time of need. Facebook adopted this into a native feature called Fundraisers. Users can discover “suggested” fundraisers and search specific categories to donate to such as education, environment and animals. Users can also create and manage their own campaign to raise money for any number of reasons. Your campaign can be for a cause of your own, or through an official Nonprofit organization such as PETA or the Wounded Warrior Project. This feature is also found in the Explore menu on your Facebook mobile app as well as desktop.
6. Order Food
Whether you’re in a hurry or simply don’t want to leave the house or office for food, Facebook has the feature for you. Users can order a meal from a variety of nearby restaurants through the “Order Food” button under the “Explore” tab. Facebook uses location based services as well as categorized options so users can easily find something they’re craving or simply what’s nearby. The only thing that’s missing is a “place an order” button to be incorporated into Facebook advertisements from local cafes and restaurants targeting users in their area. Hopefully, for consumers and business owner’s sake, this feature is in the works. In the meantime, this is still a valuable tool for those of us that are immediately plagued with hunger after seeing a Buzzfeed Tasty or Delish video in our timeline.
7. Messenger Kids
While Facebook’s Terms and Conditions still require users to be 18 or older to make an account, Facebook now enables kids to connect with family and close friends through a secure messaging interface. This tool, called Messenger Kids, allows parents and guardians to make a separate Messenger account and approve their child’s list of contacts before allowing them to connect with anyone. Kids can stay in touch with loved ones and close friends by sending videos, photos, and messages without mom and dad having to worry about any sensitive content. Facebook also incorporates fun stickers and filters to complete the kid-friendly experience.
It’s no secret that social networks are striving to be one-stop-shops destination, and Facebook seems to be paving the way. Facebook continues to roll out marketing features linked with different apps – some that they haven’t created themselves but are proven to be useful. In doing so, users have less and less need to divert to another platform for their personal as well as business needs. For help determining which Facebook tools may be useful for your brand, see how we can help here.