Facebook upgrades on-platfrom features due to Apple privacy clampdown
Facebook has unveiled new engagement, lead generation and customer acquisition tools in a broad update that includes a whole raft of changes.
Apple's new privacy features are undoubtedly a threat to how Facebook allows businesses to conduct business on the platform. These new features can be seen as a way to keep Facebook operator-friendly.
Facebook says that 75% of adults worldwide supposedly want to talk to businesses using messaging, and in the same way, they communicate with people they know socially. Therefore, providing a less formal and quicker method to allow customers to get in touch with companies on the app is a good move.
The new changes help facilitate that, but they're also focused on providing new ways to reach and advertise to customers, chat with them, generate leads and increase earnings.
Quote request on Messenger
One of the new lead generation tools will allow businesses to pre-select questions to ask potential customers before starting a conversation on Messenger.
You can see this being useful for business as it'll streamline the quote requesting stage of the customer's journey, provide them with more accurate service and enhance the chances of landing the deal.
Several of these latest updates build on the existing Click-to-Messenger architecture, which has been around for several years, although it is probably underutilised.
"(The) product allows businesses to select 4-5 questions to ask consumers prior to starting a conversation. Consumers are then able to easily and quickly request a quote from a business on Facebook by completing a short questionnaire on Messenger."
The update seems like it'll be reasonably easy for Page admins to introduce and could have the potential to generate successful leads.
Instagram lead generation
Facebook has been vague about its plan to increase lead generation on Instagram, saying there are 'tools' being tested to help companies improve revenue gained from the app.
Instagram is notoriously weak for anything outside of branding, with a median ad click-through rate of around 0.3%, according to TapClicks. Therefore, meaningful improvements within Instagram will be welcomed by many.
According to Facebook, businesses have used these new tools to decrease cost per lead by 72%. To be fair, that figure is maybe a little less impressive than it sounds, instead being a damning indictment of its current performance level. It would be concerning if the new features made Instagram's already poor lead generation worse…
"We plan to begin testing paid and organic tools to help small businesses find and qualify leads directly within the Instagram app. Advertisers use lead generation ads to connect with customers and connect leads in a more personal way while reducing costs — like Seoul Spa, a Vietnamese beauty clinic, did with their Messenger campaign, lowering their cost per lead by 72%."
But that's not all – Facebook has also announced heaps of other updates:
- Start conversions with ads that click to message. You can now buy ads that encourage your audience to message you on Messenger, Insta Direct or WhatsApp.
- Start a WhatsApp chat from Insta. As many small businesses use Insta as a store-front but use WhatsApp to chat to customers, you will now be able to add a click-to-chat WhatsApp button in your Insta profile.
- Business Suite updates. Facebook will make it easier to manage your digital presence through new tools like automation. The platform is also testing an update that will let users send remarketing emails from Business Suite, will introduce post-testing and has dreamt up File Manager. This feature allows users to create, manage and post content through Business Suite.
- Work accounts. Business owners will be able to operate Pages without a personal account.
That last feature which has snuck in, Work Accounts is a feature that Facebook has been crying out for the last decade.
"Business owners routinely tell us that they are looking for access to business products with separate credentials from their personal Facebook account.
To simplify this, we're testing Work Accounts, which will allow business users to log in and operate Business Manager without requiring a personal account. Businesses will be able to manage these accounts on behalf of their employees and have access to enterprise-grade features like single sign-on integrations, giving them more control over the security of their employees' accounts."
Facebook is testing Work Accounts through the remainder of the year with a small group of businesses and is expecting to expand availability in 2022.
Spurred on by Apple's new privacy updates, Facebook has got creative and thought up these new updates to encourage businesses to stay on the platform, find new customers, close sales and deliver personalised experiences while respecting user privacy concerns.
Buried within this latest update are also several helpful features for day-to-day account management within Business Manager/ Suite, so all in all, it's one of the better feature dumps of 2021.