There’s a bit to take in here.

Today, Facebook has announced a raft of new tools to help businesses establish more direct connection with prospective customers, with a specific focus on personalized messaging, while it’s also looking to improve business discovery, and provide new management options to better facilitate business activity and reach.

All of these changes are part of Facebook’s larger commercial drive, which also includes Facebook Shops. Facebook is attempting to guarantee that “the best dollar individuals spend each day” is spent on the social media platform.

Despite the fact that this is a strange statement, there are some important and possibly major new aspects included in this new version, so keep reading.

Here’s what you should expect from your Facebook business tools in the near future.

First off, Facebook is launching new click-to-message ad options, which will expand your capacity to engage with customers in different messaging apps.

As explained by Facebook:

“Businesses can already buy ads that encourage people to message them, whether in Messenger, Instagram Direct or WhatsApp. Now, businesses can choose all the messaging platforms where they’re available to chat, and we’ll default the chat app in your ad based on where a conversation is most likely to happen.”

Facebook click to message ads

Currently, when you build a message advertisement, Facebook’s computers will identify the messaging platform that the particular user prefers to use and will ask them to message your brand using that platform, as seen in the picture to the right of this paragraph.

Which may be advantageous since, according to Facebook, 75 percent of people prefer to interact with companies through text message or messaging. While the number seems high, even if it is partly accurate, offering a way for each person to contact you on the messaging platform of their choice may result in a higher response rate.

And after you’ve established a more personal connection with a user, it may be a great tool for engagement and interaction, allowing you to develop a more personal and direct relationship with each individual. The use of click-to-message advertising will not be beneficial to all businesses, but the ability to integrate all of Facebook’s messaging platforms in this manner may be an important factor for your trials.

Worth noting too that Facebook also made Login Connect with Messenger generally available today.

Continuing the messaging theme, Facebook will also now enable businesses to add a WhatsApp click-to-chat button to their Instagram profile.

WhatsApp click to message ads

You can see in this picture that companies will now have the option of using the word “WhatsApp” in their profile description to encourage people visiting their profile to contact them through WhatsApp messaging.

Because of this, businesses that primarily rely on WhatsApp may be able to maximize exposure and connection. In addition, with Facebook putting more emphasis on WhatsApp business tools and launching new features to help brands connect, Instagram may emerge as a key visual accompaniment for the messaging platform.

The social media giant also said that companies will soon be able to create advertisements that drive customers to WhatsApp straight from the Instagram app.

The increased focus on WhatsApp business may be a significant factor in Facebook’s continued development, given that the messaging app is already a vital connector in emerging countries such as India and Indonesia. Additionally, if Facebook can successfully convince more Indian companies to rely on WhatsApp as a result of the growing eCommerce push, additional features such as these will play a significant role in magnifying those efforts.

In addition, Facebook is testing a new feature on its main app that would allow companies to choose 4-5 questions to ask customers before beginning a messaging conversation with them.

Facebook 'Get Quote' button

The idea is that this will help streamline business response by providing more context ahead of the chat, while it could also narrow down the info required to provide a quote for your query.

It’s similar to the automated reply options Facebook has provided in Messenger for some time, but by incorporating it into Facebook direct, it adds another way to once again spark conversation, and get that initial interaction moving, generating warmer leads.

Facebook also notes that it’s looking to test similar on Instagram in the coming months.

On another front, Facebook’s also adding new email and messaging capabilities to its Business Suite management platform, which will make it easier for businesses to manage their full marketing and outreach flow from the app.

The ability to send re-marketing emails from inside Business Suite is the most significant enhancement on this front.

Last year, Facebook trialled a similar feature in its Pages app, which gave companies the option to send personalized marketing emails directly from their Facebook Page to customers. With the addition of email features in the Business Suite, Facebook is able to position its marketing tools in a more comprehensive category, with enhanced CRM capabilities available via the company’s applications on the social network.

This may be beneficial, but it also has the potential to lead to more companies being more reliant on Facebook. In the past, this has not always resulted in a positive outcome for the brand.

Apart from that, Facebook is also rolling out an improved File Manager feature for its business-oriented apps, which will make it easier to manage your Facebook content through the app. Additionally, the company is introducing Post Testing, which will allow brands to compare multiple versions of a post to determine which one people are more likely to engage with.

Facebook Business Suite update

Businesses will be able to submit up to four versions of their posts, which Facebook would then test with sample audiences in order to collect reaction information. You may then direct your advertising dollars toward the winner, which may result in greater outcomes.

On the other hand, Facebook is now testing a new feature called ‘Work Accounts,’ which will allow company owners and managers to use Facebook’s marketing capabilities via a different profile from their personal log-in information.

Frequently, company owners tell us that they want access to commercial goods using credentials that are distinct from their personal Facebook accounts. Working Accounts, which will enable business users to log in and run Business Manager without the need for a personal account, are now being tested to make this process more streamlined. Businesses will be able to administer these accounts on their workers’ behalf, and they will have access to enterprise-grade capabilities such as single sign-on connections, allowing them to exert more control over the security of their employees’ accounts.”

For social media management teams and advertising partners, this might be especially beneficial since they would then be able to access brand business accounts without the need of adding credentials to their personal profiles.

Essentially, this would link any changes made on your account back to the company profile itself, which may make monitoring changes more difficult, particularly if several individuals are making changes to your brand information. A choice to not utilize your own log-in, on the other hand, may be beneficial in light of growing worries about data privacy and exposure.

Facebook says it will test Work Accounts with a limited number of companies during the rest of the year, with a wider roll-out planned for 2022, according to the company.

Facebook is also introducing a new initiative to help small companies get started, as part of its efforts to recruit more of them. The program will integrate third-party resources into a wider company startup package.

We will begin to provide certain small companies access to a package of useful tools and advantages, such as a Facebook advertising voucher in addition to free access to QuickBooks accounting software for three months or free access to the creative tool Canva Pro for three months, to name a few examples.

The goal here is to collect as many potential Facebook business partners as possible, especially given the growing interest in online marketing now underway. By delivering a more complete business offering, Facebook may be able to increase the attractiveness of its services and get more small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) on board – which may result in substantial take-up during the post-pandemic recovery.

And finally, Facebook is also looking to expand its Business Explore program to more people in the US, as well as additional regions like Australia, Canada, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Facebook in-feed recommendations example

Customers who take the time to check out (or hover over) certain updates within their feed will see a list of related content from Facebook Pages below those posts, as shown here. The Business Explore process, which Facebook first began testing back in April, will highlight related content from Facebook Pages below those posts. Users may then tap and find related brands and subjects, which will help lead them to additional companies inside the app as a result.

As stated by Facebook, the feature will assist individuals in connecting with new and relevant companies, while also assisting brands in reaching new customers “and driving deeper consideration that may result in sales.”

In fact, Facebook is trying to allow better brand connection via its capabilities, with direct connectivity to messaging tools that make it simpler to get in contact with and build a relationship with each user, which is the true purpose of all of these choices.

Although it plays into the need for a more customized relationship, Facebook says it may also be able to avoid some of the negative consequences of Apple’s app tracking change, which restricts the amount of data it can gather on each user’s interactions with each business.

Providing more direct connections, which both Facebook and brands can monitor, may be able to mitigate some of the negative effects. Leaning into messaging will also be essential for the next stage of post-pandemic re-opening, as more individuals seek to go back into the world as a result of the outbreak.

And if Facebook can successfully implant any of these components as regular habits, it will have scored a major victory. Moreover, although Facebook’s previous attempts on this front (such as Messenger Bots) have been mostly unsuccessful, maybe now is the right moment to promote more instant connection, something people are desirous of after being separated from one another for so long.

What’s more, several important considerations for your marketing efforts are on the way, and they’ll arrive just in time for the Christmas season.