Facebook without question dominates today’s social landscape. In fact, it is the most used social platform among B2C marketers—used by 94 percent. The company continues to introduce innovative new features that give its platform the functionality of 10 social tools in one, making it a powerful resource for business owners of all kinds.
If you’re looking to make the most of Facebook by strategically leveraging its unique features, check out what’s new this year with the platform:
February 24, 2016: Facebook Releases New “Reactions” Feature
What it is: An extension of the iconic “Like” button, offering users a more dynamic way to share their reactions to posts.
- Improves customer insight: “Reactions” enables professionals to better gauge customers’ likes, preferences and tastes. If a brand’s video, for example, experiences a significantly higher like and share rate than normal, that brand can use “Reactions” to see what attracted customers most to the content. For example, perhaps customers thought the video was funny. Maybe they were shocked at its contents. Brands can also gauge different levels of enjoyment with “Like” and “Love.” All of this enables professionals to more strategically build a targeted marketing campaign.
How it works: To add a reaction, hold down the “Like” button on your mobile device with your finger or hover over the “Like” button using your desktop arrow to see the reaction image options: “Like,” “Love,” “Haha,” “Wow,” “Sad,” or “Angry.” Tap it to display your reaction to a friend (or business’) status update, photo, video, etc. ______________________________________________________________________________
April 6, 2016: Facebook Launches Facebook Live (and Live features) for Groups and Events
**Not to be mistaken with the launch of Facebook Live for celebrities in 2015**
What it is: A new live streaming feature that enables users to share moments instantly with the people they care about (friends, family and, for businesses, customers). Those using Facebook Live can respond to comments in real-time from those attending the session, as well as see their “Reactions.”
- Collect, measure and utilize valuable customer data: “Reactions” enables customers to quickly and easily express their feelings to a live event. Professionals can then use this data to improve the quality and effectiveness of future events, as well as their overall marketing strategy. Best of all, live reactions appear and disappear in real-time, meaning the person conducting the event can see how viewers are reacting to the broadcast throughout its entire duration.
- More deeply engage with customers/fans: Facebook Live encompasses a truly 360-degree user experience that offers something for everyone. For starters, it offers viewers a more engaging experience; in fact, research from Facebook found that people comment over 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos. Additionally, in live event replays—the broadcasts can be accessed and watched later—Facebook replays comments that were broadcast during the initial air. All in all, brands have greater opportunity to engage with customers, and customers have more incentive than ever to engage back.
- Bolster thought leadership/brand awareness: With the ability to apply exciting new features to live events—such as Live filters (similar to any other photo-enhancing filter) and the ability to doodle during live events—business leaders can further differentiate and professionally express themselves.
- Expand customer reach: While businesses can (and should) promote live events well in advance, they can send push notifications to contacts during the event, inviting them to join in real-time. Additionally, Facebook’s new dedicated “Live Event” space on its mobile app enables anyone anywhere (in over 60 countries, specifically) to discover videos, both live and non-live, that matter most to them. This exponentially increases business’ customer reach.
- A musician can hold a private concert to promote the release of his newest album.
- Any company can kick start an immersive live event in order to discuss the methodology behind a specific project, or to make a big announcement and gauge customer interests/reactions in real-time.
- Professionals can launch a live session while attending a big industry event to give viewers an exclusive, behind-the-scenes experience.
How it works:
- Live Reactions: This is the same as “Reactions” that are applied to status updates, photos and videos in users’ regular news feeds, but instead they are applied in real-time to live broadcasts.
- Invite during live event: During a live broadcast, tap on the “Invite” icon and select the friend you want to invite. That individual will then receive a push notification with your invitation.
Related videos: https://vimeo.com/161793035
April 7, 2016: Facebook Launches Messenger Codes
What it is: Messenger Codes lets users pull out their phone and scan someone else’s code in order to instantly start a conversation and add them as a contact. The new capability will be extremely useful for Facebook’s nearly 1 billion Messenger users.
- Quickly and effectively network/engage: Business professionals no longer have to worry about improperly spelled names or inaccurately typed phone numbers when networking with others. All they need to do to establish (and nurture) a new connection is simply scan the individual’s Messenger Code; they don’t need to be Facebook friends with that person in order to get started.
- Increase brand exposure: The quicker you can add new contacts, the faster you can share your brand’ name, message and unique differentiators. Messenger Codes can be printed onto business cards, added to company websites, included in email signatures or used in-stores. They can be applied virtually anywhere to maximize brand exposure.
- Position yourself as a thought leader: Brands will establish themselves as forward-thinking in adopting Facebook’s latest form of communication. As Facebook explains, traditional phone books are almost obsolete; therefore, those businesses that embrace modern-day communication/service methods will likely dominate their respective markets.
How it works: No matter where you are, all you have to do is scan someone’s code in order to start a new conversation.
**The company will soon be rolling out other tools as part of its Messenger service—specifically, Messenger Usernames and Messenger Links. Messenger Links are personalized links that users can share anywhere online—similar to how Messenger Codes can be shared—so customers can reach brands quickly using Messenger**
So, are you ready to begin maximizing Facebook? A quick 101 on these newest updates should leave you feeling prepared.