Facebook recently hosted a global training program designed to help small businesses gear up for the upcoming holiday season.
Boost with Facebook Holiday Bootcamp was held October 10. The social media giant also used the event to make a number of announcements about new small business Facebook holiday marketing tools and solutions.
Facebook Holiday Marketing Tools
Small Business Trends spoke with Michelle Klein, Vice President, Global Business & Customer Marketing at Facebook about both.
“We know the holiday season is a huge opportunity for small businesses to hit their yearly targets in a significant way,” she said.
Networking and Training Sessions
To that end, Facebook opened its doors at 17 offices globally for the event. There were several networking and training sessions centering on the holidays. It was important partially because there are 140 million business users that use Facebook apps every month.
The announcement of customized templates for Facebook Stories was the other news. These are the video and photo collections generated by users. They can be shared with the main Facebook app.
The new template is geared toward businesses and can be shared across Instagram and Messenger too. Small business can take static images and share them with this new tool.
“It’s basically a template that makes it easier to add text and an image to get a new look and feel,” Klein says. “Stories is an easy format to use and a great way to connect with consumers.
We’re also launching new features on the Facebook Page Inbox, which is something we know small businesses want.”
Businesses can now sort through Messenger and Instagram Direct messages in a single location from their Page Inbox. Facebook is also promising new additions to Instagram Direct messages. And instant replies so SMBs can respond to clients automatically.
“From fulfilling orders to keeping up with customer requests, we know staying on top of customer communications is important,” a company release reads. “So, we also created new messaging tools like labels, search and folders to help businesses stay organized.”
Boost with Facebook Holiday Bootcamp was the first of its kind for Facebook. The training event took place at a number of different locations including New York, Dublin and Nigeria. Thousands attended across 17 cities. There was a Facebook Live event with Shark Tank co-lead Kevin O’Leary. The event ran for 24 hours. Even more joined online.
Klein says these new Facebook initiatives all have a common goal familiar to small businesses.
“This is about meeting consumers and their expectations in a world that is real time,” she says. “People are messaging and expecting more from businesses than ever before. These new tools make that whole process even more automatic and instantaneous.”