Coronavirus Updates and Resources
The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced millions of small businesses to rethink and re-strategize the way they connect with their quarantined customers. To help businesses through this challenging time, social media platforms are offering new features and tools to make connecting with customers easier. Some social media platforms are even offering classes aimed to help small businesses stay successful through the COVID-19 crisis.
If COVID-19 has negatively impacted your company, now is a good time to increase your social media presence and utilize these helpful features and tools. Here are just a few ways popular social media platforms are helping small businesses:
Leveraging Instagram for your small business during the coronavirus pandemic can help you stay connected with your customers. Instagram has made it easier for companies to feature gift cards, online food orders, and fundraisers throughout their profiles and interactive stories. The social media app recently introduced the new “stickers” feature, which is a way business accounts can share promotional links with their customers and followers. With this new feature, users can simply tap on a sticker promoting gift cards or food orders to make a purchase through the company’s website. Businesses also have the option to use these stickers to promote fundraisers on their company Facebook pages. The new stickers feature not only allows customers to support local businesses through the popular app, but makes it fun and convenient too! Click here to learn more.
Being active on Facebook can help your small business reach customers and even grow awareness. With consumers spending so much more time with social media, now is more important than ever to have a strong online presence. Facebook has committed $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for businesses with 50 employees or less, which will be dispersed across more than 30 countries. In addition, Facebook has added new functionalities to its platform for small businesses, including the option to create personal fundraisers, the opportunity to promote digital gift cards, and ready-made post templates. They have also made it easier to display temporary service changes on both Facebook Pages and in the platform’s search functionality. Click here to learn more.
Small businesses can use this time to improve their presence on Yelp. Responding to reviewers, updating menus and pricing, or posting about promotions is a great way to use Yelp to connect with customers during coronavirus. In an effort to help local restaurants and bars, Yelp announced $25 million in relief in the form of waived advertising fees, free advertising, and products and services. As part of this relief effort, restaurants and bars that remain open during COVID-19 will receive free access to Yelp page upgrades. This access includes the “Connect” feature, which helps business owners communicate timely information to their customers. Yelp is also introducing a new “contact-free” delivery option for users ordering food directly through the Yelp app. They are also planning to deploy a tool that enables business owners to indicate if they’re open for delivery or takeout easily. Click here to learn more.
If your business operations are at a temporary standstill due to COVID-19, consider using this time to improve your skills or refresh your knowledge in the subjects of management, sales, marketing, and finance. LinkedIn is currently offering 16 free courses through the end of June to help small businesses navigate the challenges of today’s economy. Here are some of the helpful topics they cover:
In addition to free courses, LinkedIn’s blog provides helpful tips on topics like “how to stay productive during COVID-19,” “how to build relationships when you’re not face-to-face,” and “using virtual meeting tools to connect with co-workers.” Click here to learn more.
If you are looking for small business support in your area, here are a few other organizations that may be able to assist:
Keep Your City Smiling is a service that creates gift boxes filled with products sourced from local businesses that may be struggling due to state-imposed shutdowns. If you would like to send a care package to a loved one or some of your loyal clients, consider sending them one of these gift boxes! This service is currently available in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City.
Rally for Restaurants is a website dedicated to supporting local restaurants through online gift certificates and food delivery sales. Simply search for the local restaurants you love on the website and order takeout for yourself or buy a gift card for a friend.
Help Main Street is dedicated to spreading awareness for small businesses. The website allows users to purchase gift cards from their favorite local restaurants and salons, or donate financial support. It’s easy to use: search by your city or zip code to populate all the participating businesses in your area. Don’t see your favorite local business? The website offers assistance to sign other merchants up for the service.
Our mission at e-Health is to support the health and well-being of individuals and small businesses. For additional coronavirus advice, health tips, and information on coverage, please visit eHealth.com
For information and guidelines specific to the coronavirus outbreak, visit cdc.gov
This article is for general information and should not be relied on as medical advice. Check with a medical professional for medical advice.