Social media giant Facebook has unveiled new tools it said will streamline usage and advertising for small and medium-sized businesses, including the ability to make customer appointments and issue reminders.
Facebook announced on Wednesday (8 April) that it has launched ad automation and new video creative tools to enhance its offering for the 90 million SME users of the platform worldwide, in addition to launching the ability to make and manage appointments directly through the platform.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and at Facebook, we’re committed to building tools that make it easier for them to connect with customers. We know that for SMBs, time is precious and they want simple tools that save them time and resources,” said Liam Lucas, SMB team lead at Facebook ANZ.
“Our new Automated Ads take the guesswork out of creating effective ads that can run on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network, making it easier for SMB owners to drive results and focus on growth.”
How do these new features work?
Facebook has moved to the free business tools available to businesses to incorporate an appointments function.
It will allow customers to book appointments with the business, and the business can then accept and manage appointments directly as well as send appointment reminders to customers either by text message or through Messenger.
“You can also customise your business’s menu of services, display availability and accept and manage all appointments directly from your business page,” Facebook said in a blog post announcing the new features.
Users will also be able to sync appointments made through Facebook with their personal calendar or other appointment management tools.
Another feature of Automated Ads, according to the social platform, is the ability to develop customised marketing plans.
The feature lets businesses create up to six different versions of their ads, by answering several basic questions. The automated software will then suggest call-to-action buttons, text and other inputs based on the business’s profile page.
It will then automatically track the performance of each of the different versions to determine which is the best performer, and provider notifications on ad performance as well as recommended tweaks to optimise performance.
The function is also capable of comparing goals with desired ad spend, or recommend a budget to achieve a particular goal, as well as make audience recommendations for advertisements.
Meanwhile, existing video editing tools will be beefed up to include automatic cropping, as well as video trimming and text overlays.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.