MENLO PARK, CALIF. — Facebook says it’s going to help businesses make themselves more accessible on mobile devices. The social networking company announced today that it’s updating its Pages offering to now not only include enhanced call-to-action buttons, and improved Page layout, but also new sections — all geared towards the mobile audience.
“Building an online presence is hard,” says Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. “And building a mobile presence is even more difficult.” With Facebook, it’s free. “It’s the mobile-Web presence for small business customers.”
And Facebook is certainly a place for this community: there are now more than 45 million active businesses on the platform. Sandberg views small business akin to being about entrepreneurship that’s used to create opportunity for families and their customers. She reiterated the company’s mission to connect everyone together, and this is especially applicable to small businesses. Sandberg remarked that Facebook is able to connect business owners to new customers, delight them, and even help source materials and talent.
Starting today, Page administrators will be able to incorporate new call-to-action (CTA)/messaging buttons and will find that they’re featured more prominently to capture the user’s attention. Although CTA buttons aren’t exactly new, admins can opt to use one of several that Facebook is currently testing on mobile, such as “Call Now”. Previously, Pages could have one of seven buttons, including “Book Now”, “Contact Us”, “Use App”, “Play Game”, “Shop Now”, “Sign Up”, and “Watch Video”.
To help businesses cater towards their audiences instead of forcing them to conform to the structure Facebook has for all Pages, new sections are being added that administrators can take advantage of. To start, the social networking company is releasing new Shop and Services sections. The former is geared towards helping retail businesses showcase their products more prominently. The latter will enable professionals to tout their offerings right front and center on their Page.
The inclusion of a Shop section is intriguing since it’ll allow businesses to sell more of their products right from their Page, thanks to the integration of a Buy button earlier this year. In doing so, Facebook could possibly be trying to circumvent administrators going to third-party services like Shopify for their e-commerce needs.
Although there are different Page categories, the Shop and Services sections appear specific to the “Local Business or Place” category — although it could be said that at least Shop is viable for other Page types including entertainment, brand or product, and cause or community.
Facebook isn’t done sprucing up its Pages for businesses. In addition to all of this, in the coming weeks, users will notice a new coat of paint on the Page. The company says that this is being done to help make it easier to find information without “lots of scrolling and clicking.” One noticeable update is Facebook’s updated emphasis on tabbed navigation: Page visitors will be able to click on a tab associated with a particular section to see the details. Of course you’ll be able to get a summary of all the sections on the Home tab.
More than 655 million access Facebook exclusively via their mobile device. What’s more, regardless of device, the company says over 1 billion people visit Pages every month. Businesses are eager to find ways to further tap into this market opportunity and have probably prodded Facebook to provide more tools to become more engaging with users.
There can be a lot of information on a Page, whether it’s through admin-created posts or comments left by fans. It just doesn’t work the same way on mobile — people hate scrolling incessantly to find the information they want. So now Facebook is tweaking its Pages to accommodate businesses.
Facebook has been taking steps to update its Pages offering. Most recently, it introduced a tool that allowed Page admins to respond privately to customer concerns. It also started giving video publishers more control in how their content would be distributed and seen on the social network. There’s also the added capability for administrators to pull up saved responses to common questions.
“The new features for Pages reflect our belief that no matter if you’re a plumbing company, a flower shop, a non-profit or a brand, your Page should house the information people are looking for, help you communicate with your customers, and support your unique goals,” the company says in a blog post.
Today’s event took place in Facebook’s new office building in Menlo Park, Calif., and was attended by dozens of small business owners and constituents. The release of these features could definitely benefit this community as they are probably looking to the social network to help build up a bigger brand for themselves against larger chain stores.
Never one to be content with the status quo, Facebook went on to say that more call-to-actions and sections will become available in the future.
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.39 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 we… read more »
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