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Facebook Shops And Other New Features

The Coronavirus has forced businesses to adapt and innovate. Organisations are looking at new ways to sell their product or service and to maintain a connection with customers. Facebook has responded brilliantly, fast-tracking launches and developing new initiatives on the platforms they own. These new features are largely focused on supporting small businesses, wellbeing and addressing the ongoing issue of online bullying. With the launch of Facebook Shops and so many other new tools, we wanted to round up the latest launches on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook Shops

Predicted to be a gamechanger for small businesses, Facebook Shops will provide an easy way to set up an online store on Facebook and Instagram. Recognising the need for businesses to move online, it will deliver a personalised fullscreen storefront and an immersive online shopping experience. Customers will not need to leave the app when shopping with brands that have enabled checkout. Furthermore, Facebook Shops will also be extended to other apps owned by Facebook, including Messenger and WhatsApp.

Image Source: www.facebook.com

From a customer perspective, new features will make it easier than ever to discover products and brands you love. Expect a dedicated shopping tab on Instagram, product features in the Explore page and new Live shopping features. In his announcement, Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that AI and augmented reality tech will also be incorporated to Facebook Shops in the near future. Furthermore, they are testing the integration of loyalty programs so you can reward your customers.

Free and easy to create, they will be customisable according to who is viewing your collections and compatible with key e-commerce platforms such as Shopify. While the shopping features are free, the Commerce Manager which enables checkout within the app, will charge a fee per sale.

Zuckerberg said, “This isn’t going to make up for all of the lost business, but it can help. And for lots of small businesses during this period, this is the difference between staying afloat and going under.” This new feature will be rolled out globally over the next few months and we believe crucial to any e-commerce business going forward. If you need help, give us a shout.

Share Instagram Lives to IGTV

In the last month, Instagram Live has seen a mighty 70% increase in use. Amongst other new updates, Instagram has just announced the ability to share your Lives to IGTV once you’ve finished streaming. This increases the value of Instagram Lives for a brand, as it also builds content for your IGTV channel. It means your content can gain more reach and increased engagement, for the same amount of effort.

Utilise this feature by building an IGTV Series your community will love, share a weekly Instagram Live that captures their interest and hooks them in weekly.

Instagram Stickers

The Small Business Sticker has been widely celebrated since its launch, offering a new and engaging way for people to show their love for businesses in Instagram Stories. It provides a fresh opportunity for companies to reach new customers and stay connected with existing customers also.

https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/get-support-on-Instagram

Image Source: www.facebook.com

Plus, you can now add a digital gift card or food ordering options via new interactive Instagram Stories stickers and on Facebook. This encourages followers to take action directly from your page. To set these up from your business page, you will need to have an account with one of their partners. More on this here.

Additional Small Business Support

In addition to the above tools, Facebook offers a wealth of support via the Covid-19 resources on its Business Resource Hub. They are running a Small Business Grants Programme, offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time. Currently, it states they are still working through eligibility details for the UK, however, you can sign up for future updates.

As well as a Resilience Toolkit and Quick-Action Guide, they’ve also provided guides tailored to specific industries, providing tips on how your business can adapt and respond to changing environments. We’d also highly recommend investing time on Facebook Blueprint, their in-house training portal designed to help people learn new marketing skills with free online courses.

If you’re looking for Instagram specific support, there is also an Instagram COVID-19 Resource Directory.

Instagram Guides

Instagram Guides is the latest feature to launch on the platform. It provides tips and recommendations from respected organisations and creators. Each Guide features a scrollable list of carefully curated posts, both from the account sharing the Guide and others. In an effort to support those struggling with the current crisis, the first Guides focus on wellness and mental health.

Currently only a handful of creators can share Guides, if approved, the new icon will sit between the Feed and IGTV tabs. Guides are shareable to Stories and will also appear in the Explore Page in the near future. Heads Together and Zoe Sugg are some of the first to share Instagram Guides in the UK.

The Fight Against Online Bullying

Earlier this month, Adam Mosseri – Head of Instagram, announced further measures to support the fight against online bullying. The new features give a user more control over their own account, the newly launched tools include:
  • Ability to pin a select number of comments to the top of your comments thread. This allows you to set the tone.
  • You can now delete multiple comments and block or restrict multiple people at once.
  • New controls allow you to manage who can tag or mention you on Instagram.

It’s fantastic to see these steps are being taken. We recommend being mindful of what content you’re consuming and who you’re following. If posts you’re seeing stir negative feelings or emotions, take a step back. Remember, you’re in control of what you see.

What Do You Think?

Facebook has responded to the crisis with new features designed to support the wellbeing of businesses, communities and the economy. We think they’ve done an incredible job and expect more announcements in the coming months. Let us know what you think via @KitchMedia.

Even with all this support, managing a social media strategy that is successful in driving sales and building brand awareness, can be both daunting and time-consuming. If you’d like a chat or some support please get in touch.

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