Facebook about to offer new features for small businesses

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In addition to helping you reconnect with friends from your high school, Facebook wants to become further involved in other aspects of your life. According to Business Insider, the social media network has announced it is updating its Pages in an attempt to get more users to connect with local businesses such as restaurants and bars. The update is the biggest in three years for Pages, and it aims to make it easier for companies to advertise their services.

Facebook restaurants and caffes

Facebook restaurants and caffes

This way, Facebook is looking to boost revenue by offering free tools to small businesses that encourage them to become advertisers. The giant social network said Tuesday that it’s adding features to make it easier for these businesses that maintain “pages” on Facebook to get noticed by and respond to consumers, especially on mobile devices.

For the restaurant world, these updates could be game changers. With the use of the network’s new call-to-action button, users will be able to contact restaurants directly from their Facebook page. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg explained Facebook’s mission at a recent event held at the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters, “Our mission is to help connect everyone in the world. Businesses often depend on connecting. That’s where Facebook comes in. If you can set up a Facebook profile, you can set up a Page.”

Facebook is also introducing new ways for business owners to connect with customers. For example, if someone posts a comment on a Facebook page, business owners can reply with a private message. Businesses that respond to 90% of messages and do so within an average of five minutes will earn a green badge.

Through industry-specific sections, restaurants can now include their menus and even listgoods that can be purchased through their Pages. This could allow Facebook to replace apps like Yelp, GrubHub, and others that are dedicated to helping users connect with local restaurants. To this effect, executives say they are also working on improving the way users search on Facebook so that when they search a word like “restaurants,” a list will show up.

The announced Pages update comes a couple of weeks after Facebook announced a new virtual assistant that will help users make restaurant reservations, among other things.

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