7 New Facebook Features for 2016
In recent months, the business team here at Intentional Marketer University, has been seeing a dramatic increase in the questions we receive about New Facebook Features for 2016.
Namely we see questions from users who are becoming increasingly dependent on Facebook for its benefit in reaching their customers and making their business profitable.
Despite Facebook’s widespread influence on entrepreneurs, many business owners report that their efforts aren’t as effective as they would like.
In a survey of over 3,700 marketers, Social Media Examiner found that only 45% felt their efforts on Facebook were working.
The propensity for Facebook to be useful through by performing several functions for business owner is unquestionable. However, constantly changing features require the savvy entrepreneur to stay up to date in order to take greatest advantage of the site.
In this article we cover the big 7 New features of Facebook in 2016. The interesting factor about these new Facebook changes, is that they all seem to be changes borrowed from the best aspects of other social sites.
Bottom line, Facebook wants to be the one-stop shop with everyday features of Facebook, but also live streaming like Periscope, shopping functions like Amazon, intellectual services like Google, and even reviews like Yelp.
With all the new Facebook features being rolled out through 2016, let’s jump right into the top features available now, or coming soon.
1. Facebook Live Video
Have you been using Periscope or Meerkat lately? Yes, Facebook has taken notice and they want a piece of the market too.
When Periscope hit the market with intensity in 2015 many people flocked to it initially, but that popularity has remained relatively low in the subsequent months. Because of this, Facebook wants to take major advantage. They believe more people will use the Live Video function because they are already on Facebook.
Facebook Live Video is already built into your Facebook site, meaning that you do not need to install any additional apps.
To use Facebook Live Video simply locate the normal “Update Status” prompt in your mobile app. You will see the option for Live Video.
In the past, Facebook has been keeping this service restricted to verified business pages. Learn how to verify your Facebook Page here.
In 2016 Facebook Live is expanding to more users. With this increase of service for more people, you should begin experimenting with more live video content.
Studies upon studies verify that video posts get more engagement on Facebook than other forms.
If you have been on the fence about getting started using video, now is the time to take the plunge!
Take your Facebook pages to the next level. Get our free “Awesome Post Ideas For Your Facebook Fan Page” course today
2. Organic Visibility
It is no surprise to all of you entrepreneurs out there that Facebook organic visibility has plummeted consistently over the years. A business post that used to get you 80 or more organic views 3 years ago, will get you 5 – 10 organic views in 2016.
Facebook’s official goal in response to this organic decrease was to improve overall user experience. Facebook was concerned with overly aggressive users promoting their business. Followers who were turned off by being sold to, were also being turned off with Facebook altogether. Rightfully so! Facebook’s main objective is to keep their audience happy. Therefore they only want to show the most relevant content to people who want to see it. The reason for the organic reach decrease is not hard to understand.
As you know, lower organic reach means more pressure on you to use paid advertising, which means more revenue for Facebook. Count on seeing even greater decreases in organic visibility in 2016. Here are some actionable strategies for you to increase your organic reach. We recommend these at IMU and use them ourselves:
Optimize your page for SEO:
- Choose a highly descriptive username
- Use descriptive keywords in your “About” section
- Choose the appropriate category for your business
- Optimize your page images. Your cover photo should be 851×315 pixels and your profile photo should be 160×160 pixels. Keeping awkwardly cropped or blurry images on your pages will cause your organic reach to plummet. If you look unprofessional, Facebook will treat you unprofessional.
- Make the most of pinned posts. Your only objective is to get people to click that ‘Like’ button. Keep your pinned post interesting, unique, and contains an eye-catching image.
3. Facebook Professional Services
As a professional, you probably love it when a satisfied customer gives you a review, or other form of social proof. And yep, you guessed it, Facebook wants to be that service for you as well!
Have you recently tagged a location that you have been to? Chances are good that you have then been promoted by Facebook to leave a review.
Facebook wants to be a recommendation engine. You can use this feature by simply clicking on “Places” from the choices on the top of your page. Type in your search query (for this we chose Yummy Tucson Mexican restaurants) and you will get a personalized recommendation exactly like the site Yelp.
However, keep in mind you will receive results from Facebook users, instead of the greater community experience found on Yelp.
To understand the power of this feature it is worth noting Yelp’s stock price decreased upon announcement of this feature. If you have a brick and mortar business, make sure your business has a Google listing, and that you are found on a Facebook Places search.
4. Advertising Changes
Facebook’s advertising platform hasn’t stopped changing since it first emerged more than a decade ago. Facebook unleashed a slew of updates in 2015, some of the most powerful to date. We have seen the “call now” button, carousel-style ads, and mobile ad management.
Facebook is never shy in imitating what other successful social sites are doing. (This is a great strategy to keep in mind for your own business! But that is another post…) Facebook has watched Pinterest’s successful footsteps, and now will be including more social / ecommerce hybrid functions for its businesses in 2016.
5. Improved Search
Facebook is tired of relying on outside services to power its internal searches. For example, pre-2016 if someone wanted to search for your business posts they would be rerouted through Bing. Now that Facebook has dropped Bing as their search engine, they have become their own search engine.
Late 2015, Facebook rolled out an improved search function opening up all public posts. Meaning if someone knows your business and does a Facebook search, the site will return highly specific, personalized search result. This means your public posts are more accessible to the Facebook community and that Facebook searches will become a huge driver of traffic for your business in the future.
The take away message here? Do not ever be shy to tell your audience (in and out of Facebook) to search for your business name next time they are on Facebook.
6. Facebook Shopping Tab
We are all very aware of the power behind Amazon. Have you noticed in late 2015 – 2016, that through Facebook, your customers were now able to send you money directly, or shop directly from your business page? Pretty great right?!
In July 2015, Facebook rolled out the feature “buy” button which allows ecommerce partners to sell products on Facebook through Shopify.
Social shopping is still in it’s infancy, and this is great news for your business. Start taking advantage of the new Social shopping experiences that Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are heavily promoting, and you will set yourself up for increasing profits with every year.
Pre-2016 Facebook Events has been around for a while.
It has never been incredibly popular, mainly because users simply forget that it is there. With 2016 Facebook is introducing even greater features through the Events tab on your pages. With Facebook events you can:
- Browse invitations
- Accept/decline invitations (public and private)
- Calendar entries
- Ticket buying
For entrepreneurs (think Direct Sales!) who are coordinating a lot of events, Facebook Events will be your easy and accessible way to manage them.
There simply isn’t a more useful social platform than Facebook for your business.
Facebook may not be the shiny new object that it once was, but there is no mistaking it’s still a very powerful presence for entrepreneurs. The new features of 2016 prove that Facebook cares about the success of your business. They are continuously watching what works for other channels and bring them back to you for use on Facebook.
We have showed you how Facebook is the platform for your business in 2016 and onward. Now let us teach you LIVE!
Despite Facebook’s massive size, and the decrease in organic reach, you can be assured that it is still one of the greatest tools you will ever use for your business now and into the future.
What do you think? Leave a comment below and tell us what Facebook features you are using to increase your business traffic, profit, and growth. We would love to know!