5 New Facebook Features in 2016 for better Social Media Marketing

Posted on 4 January, 2016

Facebook has evolved from the day of its inception. New features are being added every year and they are being loved by the users. Every new feature added is an opportunity for a marketer. 
The changes in 2016 are not new to the social landscape but are new for Facebook. It looks like Facebook wants to make itself one stop and integrated destination for the social landscape. Facebook appears to be borrowing the best features of other popular services. Think of a platform with Facebook, Meerkat, Google, Slack, Yelp, Amazon Marketplace, Evite, IndieGoGo and Uber. Sounds amazing right? This is what Facebook trying to become with all its new features in 2016.

1. Facebook Mentions – Live Video

Facebook announced mentions in July 2014 and was only available to super famous.  In August 2015, it added a live feature to mentions to stream live video. It is comparable to the apps like Meerkat and Periscope which includes live video streaming capabilities. These apps made a splash in 2015, the periscope was acquired by twitter. While periscope is still a separate app and not integrated into the twitter app, Facebook plans to integrate its live streaming capabilities inside its app.

Now Facebook mention is available to all the verified accounts and it is expected to expand to more users and brands. No additional app is required to use this feature, the Live Video content prompt is located in the normal “Update Status” prompt in the mobile app.

Multiple studies have proved that video engagement on Facebook is higher than any other social platforms. As this feature is being rolled out to brands, we expect higher engagement rates in 2016 with the roll out of this feature.

2. Facebook Professional Services

Facebook rolled out its professional service to help local business to get found on facebook and to compete with Yelp and Google Business. Facebook wants to be a recommendation engine, showing personalized for the search queries. The result page displays the contact information, timings of the business and reviews of the page. It also shows a map where businesses are located and also links to a similar business in nearby areas.

Facebook did not announce this feature officially, it was a quite launch and the date of launch is unknown. Professional service is the reason Facebook is rigorous on collecting reviews about the pages we like or places we check in. Facebook professional service can be very useful for the local business to be found by a mass of people without much effort. The list of services is extensive; there are at least 85 categories where your business can be found. Make sure that you have listed your business in the most relevant category and subcategory.

3. Improved Search

Facebook is unleashing universal search across its entire social network. Facebook has transformed the utility of its search bar from just finding other users to finding posts which are public or from a friend on the search term. Now you can search a topic from the search bar which will show you top posts and posts from the people you follow on that specific topic. Facebook has started indexing all its posts and that is how it decides popular topics. You can also swap between top and latest posts and see what the world is discussing about a specific topic.

This improved search means public posts are much more accessible to the Facebook community and the reach of the posts will be wider than before and this can result in greater amount of activity in future.

4. Facebook Shopping Tab

Facebook added a ‘buy’ button partnering with Shopify to promote eCommerce businesses. Even though results of social shopping were disappointing in 2015, Facebook is trying everything to promote eCommerce businesses. The social network added a dedicated ‘Shopping’ tab outside its news feed and is rolling out this feature to a small number of users. This will be a completely new kind of ad where Facebook will host retailers products on its own platform. This feature is similar to Google shopping ads.

Keeping in mind the power of Facebook, this can become a big deal in the form of increased sales and visibility if it receives a positive response from its users.

5. Instant Articles

 

This is one of my favorite features which rolled out in 2015 from this list. How many times have you left an article without reading because it took so much time to load or had a moving image represented in a very bad way? Instant articles solve the problem and make an article LIVING. It loads with a touch without any hassle, videos are auto-played and you can actually interact with the pictures. Instant article is fast, responsive, interactive and simple. It is limited to a small number of publishers now, Facebook will be rolling out this features to more publishers this year. You can apply for it here.  

Instant articles can provide maximum utility for content marketers to make their articles interactive and awesome. This also means ramification for measurement and monetization of branded content as it is consumed on a 3rd party source.

Without any doubt, I can say that there isn’t a more exciting platform than Facebook. Though there are newer models but none can compete with Facebook taking into account the utility it offers. These new features can prove to be a golden mine for the Digital Marketing professionals and eCommerce entrepreneurs, make sure that you get the best out of these new features.


Shetul Majithiya , Digital Marketing Executive
Biznote

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