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Marija Mihajlova - 05/14/2020 - Social Media Marketing - 0 Comments

How Are Facebook and Instagram’s New Features Affecting Businesses

A lot of small businesses are at risk of losing their business and putting a padlock on their doors if the pandemic continues to affect the economy. That’s why tech giants have stepped in to try and make it easier for small businesses to be reached by costumers.

This move to help the smaller companies increased word-of-mouth to clients and followers about how they can support small businesses during the crisis. Moreover, a lot of grants were given out to help these companies during these challenging times.

Stay with me and read more about Facebook and Instagram’s new features and see how they’re positively affecting local businesses.

Supporting Local Businesses

Facebook’s New Features

Some local businesses are suffering extensive difficulties and can’t resolve the crisis they are in. Supporting them is crucial for the prosperity of the economy, the entrepreneurs, and society as a whole. That’s why Facebook already launched a few new features to help small businesses be reached from the right customers.

Facebook’s new features include new ways for people to discover small businesses, this also helps businesses to stay connected with their clients.

Business Nearby Section

This section in the Facebook app allows users to find small businesses locally. Facebook is doing this using the app’s geo-location. This way, people can see what’s happening in their local shops, order food, or buy items from them. These are real-time, in-app resources that help companies move their business forward.

Mobile view showing the Business Nearby Section

Facebook’s New Messenger Inbox

Apart from this, the social media platform is also updating the Messenger. The Business Inbox in Messenger will be updated, making it easier for small businesses to get in touch with their clients and prospects directly in the Messenger app.

This will make it easier for business owners who have a Facebook page to respond to the messages they are getting.

Mobile view showing the new Messenger Updates

These changes are a part of Facebook’s efforts to help businesses in their times of need. Since March when they’ve announced the $100 million grant program for small businesses, Facebook has been determined to show support and help local establishments.

Facebook also made changes to the pages’ ability to share temporary service changes and charges.

Apart from this, Facebook is also announcing various new resources related to the pandemic information, business tools, and best practices on Facebook and Instagram apps. This includes sharing digital gift cards with your consumers. You can visit Facebook’s Business Resource Hub and find out more.

Instagram Features

As we’re all well familiar, Facebook owns the Instagram social media platform as well. So, the social media titan launched support features to its photo-sharing platform as well.

Almost every one of us follows at least one business on their Instagram account. But, during the recent crisis, it’s been recorded that businesses are posting less frequently. A social media analytics company, states that posts have dropped a full 25% since the week of March 15.

On the bright side, this has led to a higher engagement rate because of Instagram’s algorithm. So some posts from small businesses have been showing up to people’s feed much more often. Moreover, you can add stickers for ordering food or sharing gift cards on Instagram as well.

Screenshot from Instagram's new features

The Support Small Business Sticker

Instagram’s ‘Support Small Business’ sticker in stories shows love to small businesses. The main idea is to share videos and photos which will be added to a shared story where everyone can see which businesses people support.

It works like this: when a user posts a story using the sticker, this story will be added to a shared Instagram story, this is the collective of all stories about small businesses.

This way, followers of one user can see other businesses that his followers are supporting which makes it easier for businesses to connect with potential consumers. Also, the business can repost the story to their stories or even contact the people who tagged them.

Screenshot showing Instagram's new stickers that support small businesses

To Wrap Things Up

This is an unusual time for everyone, not to mention the buyers. Now that many are staying at home for a longer period of time, we are clearly witnessing a new type of online behavior.

This means that prospects spend more time online and are getting used to online shopping. Their online activity is also increasing because of the information that they’re getting through the internet.

These social media giants are trying to use this to help businesses that feel threatened by the crisis. Their features and new updates are meant to drive more costumers to their pages, with the main goal being for them to make a purchase.

Using social media’s new features, various tools and the free knowledge they’re serving can be used as a good digital opportunity. Also, good customer service has to be taken into consideration. After all, seems like everyone is going online, so the competition may be tougher than expected.

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