Handling accounts across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger often required bouncing between different tools and interfaces. On Wednesday, the social media giant took aim at this irritation, offering new interfaces to unify account management across these platforms.
Available via mobile app or desktop web browser, the new Facebook Business Suite gives business accountholders a launching pad to post and schedule content on Facebook and Instagram, even simultaneously, as well as view metrics and insights on what’s working and what’s not, check notifications, read and respond to comments and other activity.
The suite also allow the ability to create advertisements or boost a post, though the company added that it’s not intended to replace its existing Ads Manager tool. Retailers may also want to note the personalized saved replies feature, which could come in handy for quick response to common customer questions.
Facebook plans to roll out Business Suite gradually throughout September.
Merchants, brands and other companies must link their Facebook and Instagram accounts before they can use the new dashboard. It’s available on desktops at Business.facebook.com or on mobile via new standalone Android or iOS apps.
According to the company, Facebook initially set out to create the tool for small businesses, which have been severely undercut by the coronavirus pandemic. But over the next year, the goal will be to build Business Suite out into a more robust offering for both large and small businesses. Eventually, the plan is to cover WhatsApp as well.
New Facebook studies point to the heightened need to give mom-and-pop merchants and other small operators a helping hand with online efforts.
Its latest Global State of Small Business Report — a monthly study put out by the tech company, World Bank and OECD — further validates what experts have been saying for months, that businesses pushing online sales are faring better in these challenging times. Operations that take in more than a quarter of their sales are likely to have higher overall sales this year and aren’t as prone to lay off employees.
According to another Facebook study commissioned with Deloitte, 40 percent of respondents reported increased usage of social media and online messaging to shop products or get business recommendations.