Facebook announces new Pages tools for small businesses

Thursday 10 December 2015

Facebook has announced a number of new tools to help small businesses make the most of their online presence.

The world's biggest social network announced that more than 50 million SMEs are already using its Pages, while also rolling out more resources to try and help them communicate.

In a Facebook for Business post, it outlined a few of its key features that are aimed at helping small businesses engage with each other and their customers.

Many of these will make it easier for these types of businesses to communicate better with their target audience, such as being able to set the average time it takes page administrators to respond to messages to within "minutes", "an hour”, “within hours” or “within a day". 

They will also now be able to add these response times to Messenger threads, while an away messaging status will enable administrators of Pages to select times when they will not be available. During these periods, the time it takes to respond to messages will not be measured. 

A new inbox was also launched, which will enable small businesses to know more about the people they are communicating with. As well as giving more information about the customer, the change will also help Page admins keep up with messages faster and manage conversations more easily.

The alteration means that Page administrators will be able to see past interactions the person has had with the Page whenever they send a new message. In addition, they will also see any details that the person publicly displays, such as their current city and age.

Admins can also add notes about the person, like current orders, past customer service preferences or any other relevant information and add notes about the customer should they need to.

It is hoped all of these new tools will enable small businesses to take more control of their Facebook Page, while also boosting engagement between themselves and their customers.

In its blog post, it says: "As more customers interact with businesses on the go, Pages are the mobile solution for businesses. Now there are over 50 million active business Pages and many of them are using their Page to communicate with customers. In fact, the number of messages sent to businesses on Facebook has doubled in the past year, and people now leave 2.5 billion comments on Pages every month."

By Victoria McDonnell

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