Facebook has hundreds of features built into its platform to help small businesses thrive. However, if you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re only taking advantage of a few of them.
With Facebook’s audience surpassing 1.8 billion active monthly users, it’s become a critical piece of real estate for your business to flex its marketing muscle. Knowing the latest marketing features and how you can use them for your business can give you the competitive edge.
Here are four features I encourage you to start taking advantage of for your business:
Audience Insights tool
Located inside the Ads Manager platform, this tool is a hidden gem for businesses on Facebook.
Audience Insights is a free tool designed to help marketers and brands learn more about their target audience. This tool takes the guesswork out of identifying your audience, and gives you their exact customer avatar including geography, demographics, purchase activity and more. You can narrow down exactly who your target audience is, and even learn which Facebook pages they like. You can also use your existing customer database, Facebook page or email list to learn more about your existing clients. You will save a lot time and money by knowing exactly who to place your ad in front of.
Facebook Product Shops
Did you know that you can sell your products directly on Facebook? Facebook Product Shops introduce a new way to sell your products online, by selling them right on your Page. Using Facebook’s simple instructions you can set up a product shop in just a few clicks. During set up, you can choose whether you want people to purchase directly on the social network or if you want buyers to complete checkout on your website.
Selling products directly from your Facebook Page allows you to tap into the existing audience of close to two billion users. Product Shops also allow you to put your products directly in front of your existing Facebook fans. These products are available for purchase without ever having to leave the social network. This feature can be further leveraged by running ads using the custom audience data from your Audience Insights Tool, so you’ll have greater exposure to your ideal customers and increase your sales.
But, the best part about Facebook’s Product Shops is—it’s free! Facebook doesn’t charge a fee for using this feature. Facebook has now become a viable alternative for brands who don’t have a website, or want to avoid paying fees from other online retail marketplaces like Etsy and Shopify.
New Facebook Ads features
The ads platform inside of Facebook is a wonderland for marketing with unlimited combinations to create the perfect advertisement. It offers a wide array of placement options beyond the traditional newsfeed. There are two new ad destinations that show a lot of promise for brands to reach a new audience and do something their competitors haven’t discovered yet.
Facebook Messenger ads provide an opportunity for you to enter into conversations with prospective customers immediately and provide them with a highly-personalized experience. You can answer questions or schedule appointments, continuing the conversation right inside the Messenger app.
In-stream video ads are new territory but provide prime advertising space with the popularity of video.
Here’s what Facebook had to say about them: “In-stream videos offer another opportunity to reach audiences by allowing advertisers to deliver 5-15 second mid-roll video ads within live and non-live videos on Facebook.”
This means if you’ve ever had hopes of a viral video, you might have found the perfect ad placement. This particular ad has the capability to bring significant brand awareness as viewers will have to watch your entire advertisement since it’s shown in between a live and non-live video.
Facebook Live marketing features
Facebook Live has spread like wildfire, and businesses are quickly looking at ways to incorporate this popular feature to grow their businesses. A few hidden features can help you take your Facebook Lives to the next level.
The livestream pre-scheduling feature is now available for business pages. To set this up, you would access the publishing tools on your Facebook page and head over to the video library. From here, you can create and pre-schedule a Facebook live stream. This creates anticipation for your video and allows viewers the option to mark their calendars so they can tune in. With the spontaneity of Facebook Live, some people found it hard to participate without proper notice. Pre-scheduling solves this issue for viewers concerned with timing and creates notifications for subscribers to tune in, ensuring you get the most out of your live stream.
Combine your Product Shop with your Facebook Live and set up your very own infomercial style broadcast. This little known feature can only be used on your Facebook Page if you have set up your Product Shop. Now, when you mention your products in a livestream you can tag the products in your video, allowing viewers to watch your livestream and access a link directly from your video, where they can purchase your product right there on Facebook. Amplify your video with a targeted ad and there is great potential to increase your visibility and boost your bottom line.
While there are many new and unknown features rolling out every week, get a head start and test out these four strategies to unleash the benefits of Facebook marketing on your business.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.