6 Facebook Features You Should Know About

Picture of Aliza ShermanAliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.

6 Facebook Features You Should Know About

Facebook got a facelift in 2020 with a new layout that is meant to make it easier for Page visitors to see the bio and posts front and center. One potential new feature in test mode at the moment is eliminating the “Like” button on Facebook Pages. Instead, Page visitors would be able to follow the page with only a follower count displayed. While this change hasn’t been rolled out widely, you should already have better access to your Page insights on the left side of your Page, including some new stats available directly on a post.

A new look and feel are not the only features that Facebook has made. Here are six new features or changes that you may want to examine more closely to see what they can do for your social media marketing efforts.

1. Group Video Calls: Messenger Rooms

Messenger now has Messenger Rooms that are joinable video calls that you can use to connect with team members or customers. Participants do not have to be a member of Facebook or even download the Messenger app to join in. When you’re in Messenger, look for the video symbol to “Create new room.”

2. Going Live from Messenger Rooms

You can now broadcast a Messenger Room session on Facebook Live to stream the group video conversation to a larger audience on your Page. Live video has been noted to increase engagement. If you’re seeing a continued dip in engagement on static posts, consider a more dynamic live stream from your Messenger Room.

3. Facebook Live With

Facebook allows you to broadcast on Facebook Live then invite another individual Facebook member into your live stream for a split screen session. You can use this feature to interview someone else or simply hold a conversation with another person for educational or entertainment purposes. Facebook Live With is similar to Instagram Live’s feature allowing you to add one more person to your broadcast. When you tap the “Live” icon at the top of your Facebook Page News Feed, you then tap “Live With” icon at the bottom of the screen to select the person you want to invite. You will not be able to invite another Page, only someone with a profile.

4. Connecting with Customers via WhatsApp

The communications tool WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, and the company is making it easier to connect with your customers using WhatsApp. You can generate QR codes that initiate WhatsApp chats with your company and distribute those QR codes anywhere you reach out to customers including your website, in a chat, and on your product packaging, for example. Facebook Messenger is a great way to communicate with other Facebook members. WhatsApp can expand your reach including to global customers. In WhatsApp, you can include links to your catalog or products.

5. Collections Lists

Facebook Collections lists are a feature that lets you archive links, photos, events and other content that you can access later. To save items, click on the three dots on the upper right corner of a post, photo or event and choose to save it. Name your collections and group items together in a logical fashion. You can access your saved items at facebook.com/saved. You can invite other users to contribute to your Collections and share them with friends. Note that Collections are currently part of a personal Facebook Profile versus a Page so keep that in mind as you begin to use them. Facebook is testing out the ability to share Collections publicly. Stay tuned.

6. Digital Gift Cards

You can create digital gift cards that can be redeemed at your business. Customers can purchase the gift cards now and redeem them at a later date. Digital gift cards can help you generate immediate revenue. To facilitate the monetary transaction for digital card purchasing, you need to use a third-party partner such as PayPal, Shopify, Square or Ecwid. For more details, search the Facebook Business site at facebook.com/business.

As always, Facebook adds new features and changes or eliminates existing features on a regular basis. Keeping an eye out for new features can be helpful but only use the ones that are relevant to your business.