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Facebook Just Gave Small Businesses a Bunch of New Tools

Facebook Just Gave Small Businesses a Bunch of New Tools
Image credit: Maria Elena | Flickr

This week, Facebook rolled out a series of new tools geared towards entrepreneurs, in a move that will not only hopefully benefit business owners but also possibly provide additional revenue for Facebook.

If you are one of the more than 45 million businesses that use Facebook's Pages, you will notice a couple of new call-to-action buttons on mobile like "Contact Us," "Send Message" and "Call Now," with more to come. The buttons will be placed at the top of the Page just under the cover photo.

The social giant is also introducing two new sections -- "Shop" and "Services" -- to help better reflect what the company has on offer. The Shop section will reportedly come with Buy buttons (thanks to a partnership with Shopify), while the service section will display current offerings. 

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Business owners can also expect an updated mobile layout for their Page over the next few weeks, with the addition of tabs to help users navigate between different sections like Posts, Services, Shop, Home (for about us info), photos and videos.

These changes are the just the latest updates for business that use Facebook. At the beginning of August the social giant also updated private messaging for business Pages by adding a "Send Message" button to the local advertisements that pop up to the right of the News Feed. Admins can now also respond to comments on the Page with a private message, for example, in the event of a customer-service issue.

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This summer also saw Facebook change how it measures cost per click (CPC). While before CPC was measured by clicks within an ad, like commenting, sharing or clicking on a link to website, in July the social giant broadened the definition to included users visiting another site, hitting a call to action button, setting up an app or going to look at a video on another site. At the beginning of September, it also announced an upgrade to their Conversion Lift advertising measurement tool to help businesses see which campaigns are making the most impact.

All of these updates remain free to users, but ostensibly with the emphasis on driving sales, it could lead to an increase in advertising sales for the social giant. Dan Levy, Facebook's VP of Small and Medium Businesses told CNBC "If we can increase the value of that ad by being able to direct people to a page optimized to a mobile device, that's just going to increase the value of the ad, because it's going to increase the possibility the customer is going to convert." 

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