Just in time for National Small Business Week, Facebook recently announced that it’s expanding several of its small business-focused tools, including the ability to book and manage appointments directly on Instagram and Facebook!
This is a big deal if you’re a service-based business on Instagram.
Rather than spending a ton of time scheduling customer appointments and sending out reminders, you can now accept and manage appointments, collect customer information, and send appointment reminders all from a single location — your phone!
Wondering how you can use the new appointment booking feature for business? Read on to find out!
Instagram’s “Book” button isn’t anything new — it’s been around since early-2018 when the platform first started testing call-to-action buttons for business profiles.
But up until this point, when you tapped “Book” on a business’ account, you’d be taken off of Instagram to an external landing page to complete your booking.
You also had to use a third-party service to manage your bookings, like Acuity Scheduling, Appointments by Square, or Booksy.
But that’s all changing now! According to Facebook, they’re in the process of rolling out a new appointment bookings feature that lets Instagram users book appointments in real-time, directly on Instagram and Facebook!
With this new tool, service-based businesses on Facebook and Instagram will be able to accept and manage appointments, customer information, and send appointment reminders all from their phone.
How to Use the New Appointment Booking Feature on Instagram
In order to use the new appointment booking feature, you need to have an Instagram business profile with a connected Facebook Page.
Start by opening your Facebook Page and clicking the blue call-to-action button below your Page’s cover photo.
Click “Start Setup” and then “Next” if you want to show your available appointments (in this case, you’ll need to set the days and times that you’re available). If you don’t want to show your available appointments, click “Not Now.”
Note: If you choose to hide your availability, people will have to message you to request an appointment.
Businesses also have control over their appointment messaging and can adjust their preferences for things like appointment approval and advance bookings.
Click “Next” to add your services and service descriptions including price, duration, and images.
Once you’ve completed the above steps, you can connect the feature to your Instagram account.
Once you’re done connecting the button to your Instagram account, you should see a new “Book” button just below your bio!
When someone clicks your Book button, they’ll be able to confirm the time of their appointment.
They can then request the type of service they want (like a personal training session), add any additional info, and tap “Request Appointment” to book.
When a booking request is made, you’ll be able to choose whether you’d like to send customers appointment reminders or follow-up messages!
You can also see all of your scheduled appointments by heading to your Facebook Page and clicking “Appointments” at the top of the page.
This is one of those clear-cut features with a very simple use case — especially if you’re a service-based business on Instagram!
What we really love about this feature is that it works equally well on Instagram and Facebook — and you can manage all your bookings from a single location (your Facebook Page). This basically streamlines the booking process on Instagram and Facebook and makes it a lot easier to manage your appointments across both channels!
Plus, with the ability to follow up with customers via Messenger, you can keep the conversation going and keep your brand top of mind!
Have you tried the new appointment bookings feature on Instagram? Let us know in the comments!
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