Earlier this month, Facebook made an update that so far has flown under the radar of most social media marketers. Its call to action buttons have become more functional.
The social media network has been offering brands the opportunity to include CTAs on their pages and individual ads for a couple of years now, but the nature of these buttons had been relatively straightforward. Now, they are being integrated into your marketing and lead generation efforts. Here’s what you need to know about the functionality of Facebook’s new and updated call to action buttons.
The essence of the new tool is simple. Businesses have been able to add buttons to their page for almost 2 years now, but they consisted of a relatively simplistic website link. Now, according to Facebook, brands can use those same buttons underneath their cover photo to order food, schedule an appointment, get a quote, or book tickets to an event.
In other words, as the network describes it, your audience will be able “to take action faster once they’ve found something they want to do or a place they want to go.”
How the New CTAs Work
On his website, Facebook expert Jon Loomer has published a great, in-depth discussion on how exactly the new call to action buttons function. They integrate with a list of partners that is limited for the time being, but will be expanded in the near future. Currently, the following services can integrate with Facebook’s new functionality:
- Microsoft Bookings
- Booker by Booker Software
- Front Desk
If you have an account with one of these services, Facebook can walk you through the process of integrating that account with your Facebook page. The result will be a more seamless experience for your lead generation, booking, and ordering needs.
Understanding the Rollout
For the time being, the new and integrated call to action buttons will only be available in the United States, and limited to businesses with accounts on the above partners. But according to MarketingLand, that list is scheduled to expand quickly in the near future. Fandango and Ticketmaster, for example, are already preparing integration.
For the services that do integrate at this time, the decision to partner with Facebook was a no brainer. As HomeAdvisor CEO Chris Terrill notes,
Facebook Pages help businesses reach customers where they are already spending time, making it easier than ever for customers to find the information they need to get things done. Our Instant Booking marketplace — a marketplace that will drive one million transactions since last year’s launch — will leverage Facebook Pages to help homeowners instantly and conveniently book appointments with service providers.
Integrating Facebook’s CTAs Into Your Marketing
If your business does not fall into the services provided by the above launch partners, you may not find this new functionality relevant. But given Facebook’s history of expanding new features quickly after initial success, our advice is to monitor the development of the new call to action buttons even if they are not yet applicable to your business model.
Ultimately, your goal on Facebook should be to drive your audience to engagement, whether that means completing a purchase, requesting a quote, or schedule an appointment. In the past, that meant a clunky linking process that required your followers to visit your website before actually converting. As was the case with the network’s Lead Ads last year, this step helps remove the friction in the conversion process and should improve your Facebook marketing efforts.
Of course, as is the case with any new feature on social media, you need to make sure that you integrate it into your existing strategy. For help in that regard, and to learn more about how Facebook’s new call to action buttons can benefit your business, contact us.