Facebook launched a new app that combines Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram for small businesses.
Facebook has recently announced the introduction of their newest app that allows small businesses to manage their pages and profiles across all platforms – Instagram, Facebook and Messenger. This new app, called Facebook Business Suite, was announced by COO Sheryl Sandberg in a post last week.
By merging the newest updates and priorities of each of these platforms, this app is a way small businesses can schedule posts for both Instagram and Facebook, as well as create ads and view insights. Businesses can receive customers messages and notifications in one, singular inbox. To make this even better, it has been confirmed that they intend to incorporate WhatsApp into this app in the future.
The idea of cross-posting functions is already available for Instagram business accounts to post on linked Facebook accounts.
Similar to the way Instagram business accounts can link their feed to Facebook, Facebook Business Suit users will need to link all of their accounts to be able to use the cross-posting and other functions of the app.
On desktop, the Business Suite can be accessed through business.facebook.com while on mobile, Android and iOS devices will be able to download a standalone app from their respective app stores. However, if a user already has the Pages Manager app, they will be given the option to switch to Business Suite.
The business Suite will allow users to see all comments, messages, alerts and other activity on all platforms in the one place. To reply to commonly asked questions, they also have the option of setting up a personalised saved reply that can be used to save time.
The app also offers a range of tools that make posting on Instagram and Facebook easier, as well as scheduling their posts and providing in-depth insight into their feed. Businesses can now also view the reach, performance and engagement of their posts on both Facebook and Instagram on this platform.
Once they have reviewed the information from their posts, they can also decide to run ads that can help further boost engagement and performance if desired.
To begin with, this Business Suite app is going to be catered primarily towards small businesses due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic forcing smaller businesses to transfer onto online platforms to not only reach their audience but sell their products.
However, Facebook’s goal is to expand this app and build a set of tools that cater to all businesses – no matter their size.
The long-term goal is to have Facebook Business Suite open for all businesses next year.
In relation to Facebook’s announcement, they have recently published two survey’s that provide their audience with insight into trends in small businesses.
The Global State of Small Business Report is a monthly report the World Bank and OECD partner with Facebook to produce, and they revealed that businesses whose online sales count for more than 25 per cent of their overall sales are more likely to increase sale rates in the next year.
They are also less likely to fire employees.
The second study that was released by Facebook was a look into the ways COVID-19 has impacted the patterns of customer purchasing and digital tools used by customers. Approximately 50 per cent of respondents revealed that, since COVID-19 broke out in their country, they have been spending the majority of their money on online purchases.
Further, 40 per cent said that their use of social media in relation to purchasing goods and communicating to businesses increased significantly.
While this provides a very positive outlook on the impacts COVID-19 has had on small businesses, Facebook acknowledges that it does not provide the full picture of what has happened since the New Year.
In a report, Yelp stated that of the US businesses that were forced to close due to the pandemic, approximately 60 per cent will not be able to reopen.
In August, it was released that 163,735 US businesses were forced to close.
Despite being a major corporation, Facebook was also impacted by this, as a large number of Facebook’s advertisers were these small businesses. However, due to the global nature of Facebook, even if the US continues losing small businesses, Facebook has a variety of advertisers outside the US that they can tap into.
The Business Suite app is set to slowly roll out in September. Facebook continuously develops apps and features that help small businesses, including Facebook Ads Manager, Facebook Pages Manager and Facebook Analytics. Facebook advises, however, that those who use Ads Manager will not get much use out of this new app.