5 Tips for Growing Your Small Business This Holiday Season

Now’s the time when people are spending. Be the place they do it by sharpening your marketing.

The holiday shopping season is an exciting time for small businesses. According to 2015 U.S. Census data, almost 20 percent of annual sales for some retailers happen during this time period.

Here are five tips to help your business shine this holiday season:

1.) Be where customers are — on mobile.
Business are going mobile, and this year more holiday shopping will be done on smartphones than ever before. In fact, 62 percent of consumers report using their smartphones more than previous years to research holiday shopping, and 60 percent of consumers say that they plan to buy more often from smartphones or tablets.

The good news for small businesses: If you have a smartphone and a Facebook page, you have a mobile marketing strategy. And on Facebook, through the Ads Manager app or with products like Slideshow, businesses can create ads right from their phones. If your customers are on mobile, then your business must be as well.

2.) Bring the in-store experience to life online.
With new tools such as video and Live on Facebook, taking a brick and mortar business online is simpler and more powerful than ever. Third party research predicts that 75 percent of all data will be video by 2020. People expect experiences that are authentic — and the holidays are a perfect time for connection and new beginnings. Two million small businesses on Facebook already use video to connect with customers directly from their phone.

Kay’s Designer Consignment in Florida is one of these businesses. Kay has done a great job showcasing her new products using Facebook Live, and interacts with customers as they view and ask questions. She has sold thousands of dollars’ worth of product through Live. You can too.

3.) Create scroll-stopping creative.
Video and Live on Facebook are just two of the many ways that telling a story has gotten easier and more magical (especially for sales). When it comes to telling the story of your business or selling a product on Facebook, remember to show, not tell. With creative apps like Instagram’s Hyperlapse and Boomerang, great natural light, a simple tripod, and festive backdrops, you can turn any space into your creative studio.

But being creative doesn’t always mean re-inventing the wheel. Remember to repurpose the assets you already have. Turn beautiful product images from your website into a carousel ad, or ask to feature content your customers have shared — it will make your brand the life of the party this holiday season.

4.) Connect with customers anywhere in the world.
The number one reason businesses succeed or fail is their ability to attract customers. With Facebook’s powerful targeting, businesses can reach the customers that matter to them. During the holiday season your business can use Custom Audiences to re-engage customers who purchased from you last holiday season or use Lookalike Audiences to find new customers that look similar to your existing ones. The Museum of Science, Boston, for example, used these tools successfully last holiday season to increase sales of gift memberships.

And if you want to find new customers around the world, you can. Businesses can use Facebook’s cross-border tools like International Lookalike Audience to connect with customers that look like their best customers — but in other countries. SA Co., an outdoor gear and apparel brand, used these tools to launch in 32 countries including Germany, Dubai and Mexico, increasing sales by 37 percent. More importantly, the growth enabled them to expand from one employee to 50.

5.) Measure, measure, measure.
Facebook wants to be the best minute and dollar you spend on marketing. But success starts with knowing your goal. Whether it’s getting more customers to your store, more downloads on your app, increased sales on your ecommerce site or higher quality leads, Facebook has the tools to help you achieve and measure real business results.

One of these tools is the Facebook Pixel, a piece of code for your website that allows you to report conversions, build audiences and get rich insights on how customers use a website. The pixel can help a business understand how customers view Facebook Ads across multiple devices, including mobile phones, tablets and desktop computers. Give your business the gift of measurement this holiday season.

Bonus tip: Maintain momentum.
After the holidays is an excellent time to build relationships with new customers. Relationships take time and consistency. Make it your New Year’s resolution to find ways to make your customers feel special and informed throughout the year.

KATHERINE SHAPPLEY
CONTRIBUTOR
Director, SMB North America at Facebook
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