Employee of the Month: Facebook Pages


When it comes to customer service, Facebook is probably your eternal employee of the month.

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 6.57.47 PM

Earlier this week, the company unveiled its new and improved features of Pages for business purposes. With currently about 45 million active businesses on the platform, Facebook is trying to become the primary source for their digital presence and storefront. This is especially applicable to small to medium-sized firms that are struggling to connect with their target customers. Pages almost makes traditional websites redundant and is also a lot more cost-effective since it erases all setup costs of registering a domain name, web hosting, web design as well as maintenance.

With regards to the mobile landscape, 85% of the time spent on smartphones actually takes place within apps rather than on websites. It is not only a lack of financial resources that small companies face but also picky users that have only 29 apps on average on their smartphones. A small to medium-sized company is not very likely to make it in the Top 29. And this is just the beginning. Pages has already gone way beyond being just the digital storefront. It has become a tool for customer service and support, which becomes especially apparent when consumers publish their problems and complaints publicly as a post. These Facebook posts are similar to other social media metrics that are open, visible, accessible, and characterized by a high level of customer engagement; and this is a very safe recipe to easily become a PR disaster, as “social media is a leading indicator of firm equity value” (Luo et al. 2013).

So what do the new features entail?

  • More call-to-action buttons (e.g. book an appointment or even call the company directly)
  • Two new sections “Shop” and “Services” to showcase offerings more visible and accessible
  • Improved layout for viewing as a mobile site
  • Rewarding fast responses to customers’ requests and complaints with a badge
  • Ability to send private messages to angry customers

The last two aspects are particularly interesting as this could transform the entire practice of customer support. Instead of having to set up a call center with relatively high average handling times, companies can respond to several requests at the same time and optimize by using the same template. As a further step, this could also create a completely new opportunity for third parties to offer customer services solely targeted at handling messages on Pages.

Another caveat emerges for Google as consumers might start shifting from searching for companies on Facebook rather than Google. Due to the standardized layout, visitors are very familiar with the setup of Facebook Pages and will find the information they are looking for faster and easier. With all the features, there are more means to raise social engagement and to share with your Facebook friends. Hence, it is a lot more dynamic. And more importantly, it is exactly catering to the needs for improved mobile pages.

Currently, not all of features have gone live yet so we shall see to what extents this transformation will go.

https://www.facebook.com/business/news/pages-updates

http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/smartphones-so-many-apps–so-much-time.html

http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/22/consumers-spend-85-of-time-on-smartphones-in-apps-but-only-5-apps-see-heavy-use/#.szoa5l:XdQe

http://www.wired.com/2015/09/facebooks-way-past-friendsit-wants-whole-world/

Luo, X., Jie, Z., and Duan, W. (2013). “Social Media and Firm Equity Value”. Information Systems Research 24(1). pp. 146-163.

SID: 354902kh

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One response to “Employee of the Month: Facebook Pages”

  1. 344068lb says :

    Relevant and interesting blog post, thanks for sharing! Of course it is really valuable for businesses to have a business-related Facebook page but at the same time I was thinking about the transformation that is happening here. A lot of businesses are mainly focussing on a Facebook page nowadays, but is that really a good thing? In my opinion there are definitely some crucial advantages of the ‘normal’ website that businesses sometimes ‘accidentally’ forget.

    Take for example the unique factor of a personal website. On Facebook, because of all the limitations, all the pages are standardized and competing with each other is only possible within a certain frame. Consequently, potential customers cannot see the actual differences between all the companies anymore. The limitations of Facebook will cause that a brand becomes a faceless brand (McMillan, 2015). Through a unique website a company is able to differentiate themselves from all the others out there.

    In addition, it is really crowded on Facebook and all your competitors are spending money on advertising. It is possible that a competitor’s ad appears when a customer is checking out your Facebook page and he or she will lose attention and will switch to another page. On a personal website people are more focussed and have less impulses from competitors while they are reading your information (Brown, 2015).

    These are just a few interesting thoughts for companies in my opinion to take into account. I definitely think that a Facebook page with all its advantages and improvements is a great addition to a normal website, but I doubt whether Facebook can fully replace the websites where businesses can still be unique and stand out. Let’s see where this transformation takes us.

    References:
    http://www.outboxonline.com/social-media/facebook-page-vs-website/
    http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/28496.asp

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