By Michelle Klein, VP of Global Business Marketing
We know the holidays are one of the busiest times of the year for many businesses, so having the right resources and skills to manage your business during this time is critical. According to a Facebook-commissioned Ipsos study, in 2018, nearly half of US shoppers had started shopping for the holidays in November or earlier. That’s why today, we’re opening our doors to small businesses to help them prepare for the holiday season and introducing new tools to help them manage their business across our apps more efficiently.
We estimate more than 140 million businesses use our apps every month to find new customers, hire employees or engage with their communities. And today, we’re opening up 17 of our largest offices and hubs around the world to host Boost with Facebook Holiday Bootcamp — a training program designed to help small businesses and nonprofits learn how to grow their business and get ready for the holiday shopping season.
Over a 24-hour period, the Boost with Facebook Holiday Bootcamp is welcoming small businesses to our offices in New York City, Menlo Park, Austin, Chicago, London, Dublin, Berlin, Madrid, Warsaw, Istanbul, Lagos, Johannesburg, São Paulo, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Singapore and the Philippines.
Introducing Customizable Templates to Boost Your Holiday Creative
We know businesses have limited resources and time, and it may not always be possible to create new assets for ad campaigns. So we’re making it easier for businesses of all sizes to create vertical, full-screen assets by introducing customizable templates for Stories, available across Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.
New Features to Manage Customer Communications
Earlier this year, we enabled businesses to manage their messages from Messenger and Instagram Direct in a single location from their Facebook Page Inbox. And during the holiday season, we’ll introduce new features to Instagram Direct messages to help businesses manage customer communications more seamlessly and efficiently across our apps.
From fulfilling orders to keeping up with customer requests, we know staying on top of customer communications is important, so we also created new messaging tools like labels, search and folders to help businesses stay organized.
Since businesses may not always be available to respond to customers right away, in the coming weeks we’ll be rolling out tools like instant replies to let businesses automatically respond to initial messages and give people more information about their business or let them know their typical response time. Businesses can also set up an away message for when their business is closed or on vacation and create saved replies to answer commonly asked questions.
More Tips and Training to Make Your Holiday Marketing Stand Out
We’re also sharing new tips for helping businesses get ready for the holiday season.
This year, we’re hosting over 200 free training events for small businesses and nonprofits around the world. We do this because we believe growth benefits everyone: every day, people launch and grow businesses, which help strengthen their communities and grow their local economies.