Facebook Shops – Why the latest update is great news for businesses with products to sell.

Whilst the world feels like it’s on pause, the social media giants have been busy working to launch new features for businesses who are, more than ever, reliant on their digital presence. One of the biggest announcements in the past few weeks is the new Facebook shops feature.

Facebook says; “Facebook Shops is a mobile-first shopping experience where businesses can easily create an online store on Facebook and Instagram for free. Shops let you choose which of your items you want to feature, merchandise with product collections and tell your brand story with customisable fonts and colours. In Facebook Shops, you’ll be able to connect with customers through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct to answer questions, offer support and more.”

Facebook Shops 2020 update

This isn’t a brand new feature, Facebook has had a shops option before this launch, the new shops go far beyond what the previous version ever offered.

The look of your virtual storefront can be customised to match your brand and customers can convert and checkout without ever having to leave the app. The new shop is widely thought to be an improved version of Facebook’s previous offering, giving control to businesses and convenience to customers.

For businesses who have had to close their physical shops during the Covid-19 crisis, this new feature is well worth looking at. To get started go to ‘settings’ on your business page, then click on ‘templates and tabs’ and look for the shopping template. Then follow the set up instructions.

There’s more support for businesses via Facebook’s very useful Business Resource Hub

https://www.facebook.com/business/resource

Wave goodbye to Facebook ‘grey badges’

 

If you run a small business and have a Facebook business page as part of your marketing and brand strategy you may have seen the message below pop up when you log into your page:

 

Facebook grey verified badges are going

 

Facebook created the grey verification tick for small businesses and brands in 2013 but as of the end of October 2019, this feature will no longer be available.

There’s a lot of talk online that this is not a good move from Facebook, it gave smaller businesses the chance to put an ‘official stamp’ on their page and appear genuine, but Facebook’s reasoning behind the removal of this feature is that most users that see this tick don’t really know what it means. We have to agree with this to be honest, the elusive blue tick which is the reserve of celebrities, politicians and national/international brands, is far more recognised as an authentic ‘badge.’

There is no indication that the ‘blue tick’ will be going anywhere.

The best way to reassure your page ‘fans’ that you’re the real deal is to post regular, authentic content. Be present yourself as a face of your brand – images and video are important here and offer useful advice and tips – don’t just sell! For more advice on how to be authentic on social media read our blog here

We regularly share hints and tips on our own Facebook page – why not follow us www.facebook.com/onetothreemktg 

 

Introducing our preferred partner for Facebook Advertising

We’re often asked by our clients to help them with their Facebook advertising campaigns and we offer a beginners guide workshop to setting up and running Facebook ads. We also work 1-2-1 with our regular clients, helping them to select their audience, trial single image and carousel ads and set boosts. However, as our regular clients and colleagues will know, our focus is on the organic side of social media. We’re great believers in sticking to what we love and what we do well, but we don’t like to say no!

We are therefore delighted to announce that we have teamed up with Nobull, a Buckinghamshire based creative communications agency, who are now working as our preferred partner for all things Facebook advertising!

Nobull logo

Claire ‘cut her teeth’ with Nobull, having worked with them as a fresh-faced executive way back when and has kept in touch with the team who are bursting with creativity and knowledge. We are big advocates of doing what we do well and what we love.  Whilst we’ve helped our clients with Facebook Ads in the past, we recognise that in the ever evolving world of Facebook Advertising, we want to be able to offer our clients the very best expertise and return on investment.

If you answer “yes” to any of the below questions, a Facebook Advertising campaign could be for you.

  • Do you want to turn Facebook advertising into a revenue stream for your business?
  • Do you want to reach a new, defined audience?
  • Are you more interested in targeted marketing that generates results, rather than broad marketing with no provable income?
  • Do you want to remarket your services to customers who have visited your website, but not bought from you yet?
  • Would you like to know exactly how your Facebook ads are performing so you can measure your ROI?

Contact us today and we can discuss your requirements and we’d be delighted to introduce you to Nobull.

 

BIG NEWS – Facebook pages can now join some Facebook groups!!!

We’ve been keeping an eye out waiting for this change as we had a feeling it was coming……HURRAH!!

Within Facebook Group settings, a new option has popped up for group owners that enables them to “allow Pages to request to join as group members.” Previously, only personal profiles could join Facebook Groups and post and comment within them.

We think this is great news for businesses as you can now interact as your page and not ‘you’ which means your brand recognition will be strengthened and you can keep your personal profiles even more separate from your business, if you wish.

You’ll know if a group has ‘ticked’ this box because you will see an icon in the bottom right asking you if you want to interact as you or your page. Just click on it to change the option.

 

See the picture below for how this looks.

 

Facebook groups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember it is down to the group to change the setting so if you really want to interact with a group, as a page, why not let them know. If you’re an admin of a group you’ll find the option in the group settings.

x

 

Facebook business pages are changing (again), but there’s no need to panic!

Many of our clients have been receiving emails from Facebook stating, “We want to let you know that your Page’s template will be changing.”  Remember you are in control of how your page looks.  If you ignore these emails, your page will automatically change (and you will be given a date when this will happen).  You can change to the recommended template immediately, by clicking on “Learn More” or you can keep your existing template under page settings. However, we recommend changing your template as Facebook is giving you the chance to let potential customers know more about your business e.g. if you are a restaurant you can showcase your menus, if you are a shop you can direct people to make a purchase.

According to Facebook, the new templates are the result of people and businesses wanting “easier and faster ways to connect with each other.” They go on to say, “Relevant information such as hours, price range and recommendations are prioritised so people can easily take action, like placing an order or contacting you directly.”  Facebook again says that the new page layouts have the aim of seeing better engagement with consumers by “showcasing important information specific to each page’s industry.”

One of the bigger changes that we can see so far is that in the new templates, action buttons will be featured near the top of the page, encouraging users to ‘do something’– so whether that is booking an appointment, placing an order, purchasing online etc will depend on what you offer and the options will depend on the template chosen.

If you’re an admin on Facebook, you will likely get an email soon (if you haven’t already) prompting you to switch your current Facebook page to one of the new templates.  We recommend you activate the change. Simply click on the “Learn More” link in the email and then when you get to the page, click the “Apply Template Now” button.

If you have not received an email about the changes simply log on to your page, click on settings, click on edit page and you’ll see the templates there.

Facebook will inform you what your current template is, and which one they recommend for your page. PLEASE NOTE if you don’t change it yourself, Facebook will automatically select a template they think is best suited for your brand at the end of August 2018.

No matter which template you select, you still have the option to customize the order of the tabs, and choose which ones are visible to users by going to Settings, Edit Page.  So these changes don’t mean you’ll lose control of how your Facebook page looks, you will just have to spend a little bit of time tweaking it.

The templates available are:

  • Standard– This is what most pages are currently. Through this update Facebook is tending to prompt you to select a more specific template below.
  • Services– designed to help people find your services and get in touch. (THIS IS THE TEMPLATE WE HAVE CHOSEN FOR ONE TO THREE).
  • Business– designed to help you manage your business, including areas for special offers and job postings.
  • Venues– allows you to highlight information like your venue’s hours, location, and upcoming events.
  • Movies– allows you to highlight showtimes.
  • Nonprofit– designed to encourage people to fundraise and donate to your non-profit organisation.
  • Restaurants & Cafes– allows you to highlight your menu, hours, location and photos.
  • Shopping– designed to showcase products and make it easy for people to shop online.
  • Video page– designed to highlight video content on your page.

Simply pick the template that is the best match for your business.

As always – our advice, whatever the template you’re using, is to keep your page fresh with engaging content, imagery and video and think about who your audience is. Speak to them, don’t sell to them and enjoy Facebook for the marketing resource it is.

In the news.

Whilst there’s no doubt social media is an excellent marketing tool for businesses the addictive nature of it is a worry or personal users.

Facebook has today announced the launch of an activity dashboard, a daily reminder and a way to limit notifications to help people control the time they are spending online.

Read more about this here.

 

What do you think?

Have you tried Facebook stories? Here’s our guide.

The algorithm changes to Facebook have, pretty much across the board, seen a reduction in reach. Whilst engaging content, some targeted boosts and use of video and imagery can help to increase reach, Facebook stories are another ‘free’ method of doing this and they’re currently not used widely so it’s a great time to get started.

If you want to get your business in front of your audience and be one of the first to adopt this method of reaching your audience, read on!

Stories appear at the top of users’ Facebook News Feed on both desktop and the mobile app (picture here is on desktop) so you’ll be ‘front and centre’ with your message.

Just like Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories are visual rather than text-based (although you can do a ‘stylised text option) and they can contain multiple photos and videos.

They will disappear in 24 hours.

As I write this, business pages can only post Stories using the mobile app, not from desktop – so first things first – download the Facebook app (not the Pages app, just Facebook) if you haven’t already and it seems that if a page is managed in Business Manager stories don’t work.

Good posts and good stories aren’t always the same! Stories tend to lend themselves better to behind-the-scenes content don’t need ‘professional’ photography, necessarily. The nature of a story is to be ‘in the moment’ and unique and something of a journey for your audience.

Here are a few tips on creating a good Story.

Plan out a few ‘storyboards’

For example, if you’re a beautician you might want to show a before, during and after manicure.

A PT might like to share a few shots from a bootcamp session.

Can you go ‘behind the scenes’ in your story.

This can be something as simple as your lunchbreak, your daily walk, your arrival at a meeting – think about creating personality with these stories.

Stories can be a great place for delivering tips

Five top tips on how to create the perfect healthy lunch or 3 tweaks to your LinkedIn profile that will help you to reach more people. You can use visuals for this but also write text over them in the app.

Stories let you use text and stickers

Do use them so you can have some fun too!

How to create Facebook Stories

Through the Facebook app on your phone, you can directly post Stories by:

  1. Going to your business page
  2. Scroll down to where you see ‘Your Page’s Story’
  3. Click ‘Create a Story’
  4. Create your Story by taking photos or video, or upload photos and video from your Camera Roll
  5. You can add filters and text
  6. Once you’re done, at the bottom of your screen, click the ‘Next’ button
  7. You will be prompted to add it as a Story, or as a post to your page
  8. Select “Your Page’s Story” and click the arrow button at the bottom

It’s as easy as that!

Currently there isn’t any ‘formal’ way of measuring Facebook stories but we suspect as they grow in popularity they will be added to the Facebook Insights dashboard – we’ll keep an eye on this and let you know!

Thanks for reading

 

Open post
Facebook

BIG news from Facebook – how it could affect your business Facebook presence

Facebook is often in the news – profits made, fake news, social responsibilities…..but in recent days it has hit the headlines with BIG changes that will affect your business. We’ve spent some time researching what these changes mean to businesses and now share our thoughts.

Mark Zuckerberg is keen to take Facebook ‘back to it’s roots’ of connecting individuals.

Zuckerberg has said: “We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness. But recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content – posts from businesses, brands and media – is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”
You can read his full statement from 12th January 2018 here.

Essentially Facebook has seen that more and more people are scanning their newsfeed but not interacting and Facebook believes this is because newsfeeds are saturated with business posts and not posts from ‘friends.’

Here’s what’s changing

The newsfeed that you navigate to automatically when you log on will now include posts from people that “matter” to you. This could be friends and family, posts from groups, and business pages BUT only if your community (i.e. your friends and family) are engaging with those posts.  This means that business pages are likely to see organic post reach dwindle even further.  We’ve always advised our clients that content and engagement are so important when it comes to social media (and all things to do with digital marketing).  However, this is now more important than ever.

Here’s our tips on what to do!

Consider content

The new algorithm says it will give priority to “community” posts that encourage communication and discussion.

  • Think about discussion topics that can relate to your business.
  • What questions can you ask?
  • Sell, sell, sell simply won’t cut it any more.
  • What will make people enagage? This relates to content but also asking people to check in and write reviews.
  • What are your audience interested in and likely to engage with?
  • Think ‘fun’ – what will make people laugh and respond?
  • Run competitions.
  • Post events as separate ‘events’ rather than just a post with a date, so people can express an interest or show they are attending your event.

Schedule in Facebook only

There has always been debate over whether post reach is limited if using an external scheduling tool but with these changes it is now ‘fact not fiction’ that using Hootsuite or any other tools will penalise your posts.

Facebook’s inbuilt scheduler is easy to use so…..start using it!

Create a group

Groups will be given more priority than business pages so think about setting up a group for your content BUT remember that the content should not be all about selling, it’s still important to abide by the new rules and engage. One thing to consider is not to brand a group with your business name. For example if you are a beautician you could call your group “Top beauty tips”, a car leasing company could be “All you need to know about leasing a car.” Immediately these groups are telling your audience what you are going to help them with not what you are selling.

Advertise

Facebook are essentially saying businesses need to start paying if they want to advertise their business and for some time we have been sharing with our clients that a Facebook ad budget is a necessity but now the message is if you’re not willing to advertise Facebook is not the platform for you.

Boosted posts, carousel ads, video and image ads all work well – so use them!

Our final thoughts

This isn’t the end of the world for businesses that use Facebook but it is a big change. We will be speaking directly to each of our clients to discuss the way forward for their Facebook strategy and for some it may mean that Facebook is no longer at the top of the list of their social media must haves.

Other platforms – LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram to name just a few – exist and let’s not forget good old ‘off line’ marketing.  If you’d like any advice please get in touch.

Run a Facebook Group? We love this new feature

Facebook has added what we think is a nifty new tool for admins of Facebook groups. You can now ask up to three questions for people requesting to join the Group.

For example, if your group is related to a school and you only want parents, you can ask what year the child is in. If it’s a business networking group, you can ask which meeting location they are a member of. We think this is a great way to screen members with a bit more detail and ensure they’re the right fit for the group.

It may also help to ensure people aren’t joining groups just to ‘spam’

The answers and questions will only be seen by admins and moderators (don’t worry, no answers will be posted to the group).

If you’re managing a  Facebook community, it’s also  a good opportunity to ask about your audience’s interests and expectations, so that you can plan you future content within the group.

To set these questions up just:

  • log into Facebook
  • go to ‘edit group settings’ – by clicking on the … icon next to the ‘share’ button
  • scroll down to ‘membership requests’
  • click on ask questions
  • enter your questions
  • save

That’s it!

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