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Facebook ready to help local businesses during pandemic


Facebook ready to help local businesses during pandemic

A number of new features are being rolled out on social networking site Facebook and photo-sharing platform Instagram that will help its users to discover, find and support local small businesses.

Facebook is expanding its efforts to help local businesses to overcome the challenges they are facing during the coronavirus pandemic. The company highlighted that for these businesses, shifting to doing business online is more urgent than it ever has been. In order to assist, both Facebook and Instagram will be receiving new features to help its users to support these businesses, including the following:

Small business hashtag

On Facebook, the hashtag #SupportSmallBusinesses will start to be promoted and will encourage users to share the small businesses they love with their friends and contacts. The aim of this is to increase the exposure small businesses are receiving and present them to an audience that may not have discovered them yet.

Instagram stickers

Similarly on Instagram, a ‘Small Business Sticker’ will be added which will allow users of the platform to show appreciation for their favourite small businesses. When a story is published to the site containing this sticker, it will be added to the shared Instagram-wide story, in a similar way that the ‘Stay Home’ sticker that was introduced at the beginning of the lockdown operates. Furthermore, if the business is mentioned within the post with a sticker, then that business can also repost the content to their own story.

Business Nearby

As well as this, Facebook is launching a feature that will allow its users to find essential products and services and get them more quickly from local businesses. Using the ‘Businesses Nearby’ feature, users can find out all the latest details about local stores as well as being able to directly message them, place an order, and purchase a product. This will help local businesses to improve their “virtual foot traffic”, which will be key as they move deeper into the online world.

Resource Center

Facebook is also rolling out its Brand Resource Center, which will be dedicated to business and will contain the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus pandemic. This section will contain real-time information and is created to help local business owners to quickly take any necessary steps to get their businesses moving forwards.

It can be found in the shortcuts section on the Facebook app and within a business’ profile on Instagram.

Inbox update

In order to make it easier for businesses to communicate with its customers, Facebook will be implementing a major update to the Business Inbox within its Messenger app. This update will allow the manager of the page to switch between their personal and page accounts within Messenger. This ability to seamlessly switch accounts simply is designed to speed up the process of responding to messages from a business page.

COVID-19 tags

Finally, Facebook will launch a way for a business to tag any posts related to the pandemic. When composing a post on the platform from a business page, there will be an option to add the COVID-19 post tag. This will help customers when they are scrolling through their news feeds to find updates on the virus, They will also stand out within the feed so as to catch attention.

If your business needs help getting online or raising its online profile in these strange times, get in touch with Engage Web today.

Alan Littler

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