Q&A: Facebook Features Aid Marketing Processes

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Last year was the first in which viewership on the Internet, through social media channels like Facebook, surpassed viewership on television, notes Jennifer Filzen, the owner of Rock Star Marketing.

In the past, small business owners have struggled to afford advertising on platforms like radio or television, she says. Typically, small business owners have a budget with just enough wiggle room for one or two advertisements on those platforms. Fortunately, nowadays, companies like Facebook and Google offer features like ad building.

Recently, Facebook launched two new features that could aid business owners like those that operate body shops: an automated ad builder and an appointment manager.

In Facebook’s ad builder, small businesses can answer questions about what kind of company they are and their goals for the campaign. Then, based on their answers and information gathered from the Facebook page, Facebook will recommend who they should target, the budget they should set, and offer different versions of the ad.

And, now a business can also set appointments and manage those through Facebook and Instagram.

Essentially, for body shops that have enough employees to devote one to marketing—or, for body shops that want to tackle marketing on their own and cut out a fee to pay an outside marketing consultant—Facebook is creating more options for owners to take it into their own hands.

Below, Filzen shares what she feels are the true benefits of Facebook’s new marketing features.

Do shops typically go to marketing consultants for help with advertisements?

Yes; for example, right now, I’m working with a few select clients on a guinea pig project. Most businesses that I’ve seen have worked with Facebook Ads since 2014 but run into the problem that it wouldn’t give them a return on investment. They used to be very clunky and worked better if people were selling a product directly.

Why are the new Facebook ads promising for small business owners?

The new Facebook ads are very promising for small business owners because it will help them take control of advertising for brand awareness.

Companies saw a greater return if they were trying to sell something through direct marketing. And, the Facebook ad manager during that period was not easy to use. They do have an advertising blueprint that will help you put together an ad or carousels, but if you’re not creative, like a designer, you were kind of out of luck in the past. It was just a different skill set that business owners needed to use the platform. And some didn’t have it.

What do shops need to know when it comes to working with the new features?

I can see these features going far, especially the appointment manager. When you think about it, a lot of these shops are already contacting customers through social media or text messages. So, this new feature will help keep track of appointments all in one place and offer customers an easier way to get a hold of the shop.

But, it will be important for shop owners to make sure they designate someone to monitoring the responses. Can you imagine a customer making an appointment through Facebook and your shop isn’t aware of it? Maybe you’re more used to people calling you. Shops really need to monitor those appointments or else they could potentially lose out on a lot of market share.

What do shops need to know when using Facebook’s new features, specifically?

Shops will have to keep a close eye on their Facebook accounts and monitor it to see when new messages pop up every day. The new feature allows businesses to schedule appointments through Google Calendar.

I think that this feature is better suited for small businesses besides collision repair shops because it might require more manpower to monitor the app than the shop can provide.

If shops are not seeing a link to access the new appointments feature, they can access it in two ways. One way is to click on the Appointments tab in the top, white navigation bar. The other way is to click on the Settings tab in the white navigation bar at the top. Then look to the left navigation bar and look for the Appointments Settings tab.  The business will be able to set its availability, message settings and services.

Are other companies offering similar features?

Google My Business is doing something similar. They’re doing their best to make ad building easier with the help of adwords. The trend of enabling business owners to create their own social media ads is definitely there right now.

One thing these companies are offering is a way for the ad to include video or, at the very least, images. It’s been proven that customers are more likely to click on an ad when it is accompanied by an image. The number one thing people click on is videos and the number two thing is photos.​

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