facebookDespite all the newcomers to the online world, Facebook has shown it still has plenty of staying power for small businesses. Now the giant social network is rolling out some new features that are great for you to be aware of if your business has a Facebook Page.

Call-To-Action Buttons
At the top of your Facebook Page where your main banner image is, you’ll see a small button with a mail icon. This is a Call-To-Action button you can edit to send someone from your Facebook Page straight to a page on your website, for example, where they can find more information on your company. The button could say Contact Us (and link to your Contact Us page on your website), Book Now to set up an appointment, Send Message to send you a direct message and more. It’s a simple but smart button that not every business will take advantage of but should to move a prospective customer that much further along the sales process.

Private Messaging
Another new feature for small businesses is private messaging directly to customers. Let’s say that you receive a post from a customer asking you a question on your Facebook Page. Some businesses will reply back to that question out in the open for all to see on their Page, but not every instance of that is appropriate, such as a discussion of budget and pricing. That’s why you can send that person a private message in response to their posted question, which may be easier to keep the momentum of the conversation going rather than posting, “Let’s talk offline – give me a call at…” It’s more immediate of a response that also protects the privacy of the interaction. Win-win.

Does this mean Facebook can replace my website?
In a word, no. Your website is ownable by you and Facebook can make changes to its products that affect users any time it wants. Your website is still going to be your Home Base online, as it should be. However, there’s something to be said for continually making your Facebook Page more user-friendly for potential customers so they can easily find out more information about you and then take the next step just as easily too. Expect more features from Facebook like the ones above as the company aims to get small businesses using their Pages actively rather than merely “setting and forgetting” them.