Social media catch up: The latest updates on Facebook and Instagram for businesses

Here at Vonto, we want to make sure you are up to date with some of the biggest developments that have happened on Facebook and Instagram to make sure you’re ready for the busy shopping season.

Table of contents

You can now charge for Facebook online events

The events industry has been hard hit by COVID-19. This has been especially tough for businesses that rely on music events, networking meetups or lessons and coaching sessions for revenue.

Being able to charge for Facebook events is great news for small businesses currently using several different tools for taking payments or hosting their online classes. This also takes advantage of Facebook’s powerful tools that you can use to build hype for the event such as groups, ads and other promotions; all on one site.

Setting up a paid experience is easy for users with a business profile and minus a small transactional fee you are able to choose the ticket price and keep the revenue. A big plus over other platforms.

Keeping all of the promotion, hosting and payments of online experiences in one platform can really take the multi-tasking out of digital events. This makes it easy for a business of any size to benefit from this update.

Facebook paid events

Facebook Groups can now feature sponsored posts

Facebook groups are a great way for your brand to create an online community. Groups have been getting a lot of love from the developers over the last few months and so it’s a great time to create one for your business.

Allowing sponsored posts in Facebook groups means that even without a large following of your own, the right partnership with an large existing community could drive a lot of traffic your way.

It’s as simple as reaching out to a decent sized group in your niche and asking them to run an advertisement with a “sponsored post” tag. This tag will identify you and give a link to click back to your page, much like a sponsored post from an influencer on FB or IG.

Running a busy Facebook group can be a full time job in itself, so it’s good to see ways to monetize a large following that isn’t just paid membership.

Instagram launches profile QR codes

This one has been trialed for a while now in Japan but this month Instagram has launched QR codes for each individual profile.

It’s really easy to find your own code. While on your own profile, tap the menu icon in the top left of the app and choose QR Code. From the QR page you can edit and share your own code or scan another.

These codes are a great way to drive traffic to your business’s Instagram account. You could include it on any printed promotional materials or on your product packaging to capture happy customers and turn them into followers. This can go one step further and you could include it as part of your brick and mortar store and you can convert foot traffic into likes.

With lots of businesses already using QR codes to aid in social distancing it seems that they will become more and more common in everyday life. 23% of Australians are already regularly using QR codes, so think about where you can integrate them into your physical marketing.

Instagram Reels have made a big impact

In case you have missed it Instagram released a new feature in August called Reels. They are essentially short videos with an option to add music and effects. They are well positioned to challenge TikTok, who are on the back foot due to privacy concerns.

Like all new features on the ‘gram, Reels are being favoured in the algorhythm right now, no doubt you have already seen them autoplaying in your explore tab. They can be accessed from the Instagram camera (top right on the homescreen) and swiping at the bottom until the mode changes to Reels.

Some big brands have already jumped on the bandwagon uploading short creative content with awesome music backing tracks. There is no need for fancy equipment or editing skills to make one, just play around with the settings and choose from the free music library to make the most of the increased exposure.

Instagram reels

Instagram’s in-app shop now has its own tab

Earlier this year Instagram added the option to buy products directly from it’s app. This is potentially huge for e-commerce brands as it moves the entire sales funnel into one place.

Social media is a great way for potential customers to discover your brand, especially as people are getting more used to shopping online these days. 89% of consumers say they will buy from a brand they follow on social media and 84% will choose that brand over a competitor. Now you are able to add a “buy now” option to your social media marketing campaigns to capture that intent.

Instagram has also recently released a dedicated tab so customers can browse suggested products. These suggestions are based on demographics and who they follow, so should be targeted for each user. Right now the shop tab is featured just below the search bar on the explore page. However, there are rumours that the IG shop tab will feature more prominently in the future. This means this is a great time to set up your store and take your products directly to your customers’ feeds.

Instagram shop

The Takeaway

All of this time inside has made people more connected to their social networks. Facebook and Instagram have been hard at work releasing heaps of updates that give a better experience for their users and more opportunities for businesses to connect with new customers. Try out some of these new features and stay ahead of the curve on social media.

Vonto’s free business analysis app can give you a hand understanding your social media metrics. From working out how your content is performing, to working out the best time to post Vonto serves you daily insights that can help you make informed business decisions. The app is completely free, so download today and see what insights are waiting for you.