This holiday season is critical for small businesses. 20% of small business owners expect to make more than half their annual revenue in the last months of the year (Global State of Small Business Report, Sept. 2021).
With the holiday season upon us, we’re announcing new products, like audio and video calling in Business Inbox in Messenger, Live Audio Rooms and expanded access to appointment bookings that can help reach customers online and help good ideas be discovered.
Announcing Video and Audio Calling on Messenger
People’s preferences for how they want to talk with companies are evolving. To provide small businesses with a convenient way to communicate with customers in a private setting and enjoy the benefits of phone, video calling, and messaging all in one app, we’re testing business audio and video calling with select small and medium businesses using Business Inbox in Messenger. This feature allows them to seamlessly connect and transact with their customers using audio and video communications right from the platform.
Bringing Live Audio Rooms to Small Businesses
Today, we’re expanding the ability to create Live Audio Rooms to select small businesses as part of our plans to bring social audio experiences to Facebook.
With Live Audio Rooms on Facebook, small businesses can host live conversations on topics relevant to their customers, and people can discover them across Facebook. Small businesses can invite friends, followers, creators or any listeners in the room to be a speaker. The host can invite speakers in advance or during the conversation.
We’re excited to see how SMBs use Live Audio Rooms to connect with their community and support their business.
Expanding Appointment Booking Globally
Starting today, we’re gradually making Appointment books available to all small businesses, globally. Appointments on Facebook are an easy and free way for small business owners to receive and manage appointments from new and existing customers using their Facebook page. It also enables customers to book appointments with local service providers at convenient times.
Supporting Small Business With Personalized Ads
Earlier this year, we introduced the Good Ideas Deserve To Be Found campaign; showing people how the personalized ads they see help them discover new things they love and support small businesses. Now, we’re testing more ways to let people know they’re supporting a small business when they engage with a personalized ad. Soon, people may see an informational message in their feed when they ‘like’ or ‘love’ an ad from a small business. The message explains how engaging with an ad from a small business can help the business continue to find new customers and grow.
72% of US small businesses who use personalized ads say it’s important to their success,1 so we’ll continue to test more ways to highlight how personalized ads are an important way people discover small businesses on Facebook and Instagram and help small businesses grow from an idea into a livelihood.
Making Shopping Easier with WhatsApp Collections
People can now view a business’ products directly in its business profile, and we’re rolling out catalog collections to small businesses around the world. Collections allow businesses to organize items in their catalogs by category so customers no longer have to scroll through long lists of items to find what they’re looking for.
For example, a restaurant can create collections featuring appetizers, entrees and desserts, and a clothing store could add collections for men’s clothes, women’s clothes, shirts, pants and more. Once people choose what to buy, they can add it to their cart and send the order to the business.
Businesses interested in creating a collection can learn how here.
Save Time and Manage Your Online Presence
To help businesses save time and prioritize fulfilling holiday sales, we’re gradually introducing new tools within Facebook Business Suite and providing insights and streamline the ad creation process. On Facebook Business Suite, we’re including new features to help businesses save even more time like the ability to create Instagram-only ads on desktop and providing new insights to help measure ad performance including recommendations on target audience, optimizations for ongoing campaigns and easy access to best practices from Blueprint and the Help Center.
We’re also making it easier for small businesses to select the right goal when creating an ad from your Facebook Business Page by consolidating 11 goals into three: Automated Ads, Create an Ad, Boost Existing Content.
Lastly, we’re simplifying the ad creation process in Ads Manager to better align campaign objectives with traditional marketing goals such as awareness, site traffic, leads or sales.
The need for digital business communications and transactions is critical this holiday season. To learn more, Boost with Facebook Good Ideas Season offers free resources, education, and thought leadership to inspire and educate small business owners for the important shopping season.