Technology giant Facebook wants more small business owners to handle their day-to-day communications, marketing and promotions through the platform, urging users that alongside the likes of Twitter and Instagram it is still a place where people spend most of their time – even when it comes to shopping. Indeed, online retail spending has been forecast to reach £60bn in the UK in 2016 and mobile devices will be responsible for 36 per cent of all sales according to RetailMeNot. Let’s also not forget there are now more mobile connections around the world than there are humans on the planet. It’s definitely a concept any business would love to tap into. As Facebook’s Benji Shomair, director of Pages, said in a previous interview with Real Business: “It’s all about the shift to mobile. The world has gone mobile and that is something that’s accepted as the dominant media. However, through no fault of businesses, the shift to mobile consumption has created a problem – it’s quite hard to reach people with traditional tools in the mobile world.” That’s where Facebook Pages comes in. It is a dedicated offering to business users – a shop front of sorts – that the company hails as the place brands can “share stories and connect with people”. And with mobile encouraging businesses of all sizes to seek creative means to sell products online, the platform has been trying to help by making its call-to-action buttons more prominent on Facebook Pages. One of the updates to soon hit Facebook Pages is the increased size of the call-to-action button on mobile, making it brighter and positioning it directly under the Page cover photo. Some new offerings could also include “Call Now,” “Send Message” and “Contact Us” buttons.. Meanwhile, a new “Shop” section and “Services” section will enable companies to display products and help customers more efficiently. After all: “While it’s easier than ever to create a mobile presence for your business, it can still be difficult to drive the kind of results that matter to the bottom line,” Facebook said. “These updates are just few initial examples of ways we’re creating a richer experience for people on Pages. “That’s why the company is enhancing call-to-action buttons on Facebook Pages to allow people to schedule, order and buy more on your Page in a matter of taps. For instance, if you run a pizzeria, hungry customers will be able to review your menu, make their selection and complete their order with you, directly from your Page. If you operate a spa, potential customers will be able to review your services and book an appointment with you, directly from your Page.” While Facebook Pages has started allowing you to plug in the services and tools you use to manage your business, the option is currently only available in the US. Firms will also be able to manage bookings and make enquiries with the new “Get Quote” and “Request Time” call-to-action buttons via Messenger. “We’ve built Facebook Pages to be the mobile solution for your business – a place where people can discover, interact and communicate with your business at any time, in any location and on any device,” Facebook added about the new updates. “We’ll keep adding new features that are designed to help you grow your business and succeed in a mobile-first world.” Image:ShutterstockBy Shané Schutte
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