Facebook Helps Businesses Respond to the Impact of COVID-19

Facebook published three new guides to help different categories of businesses respond to the impact of coronavirus.

There’s a general guide for retail businesses, a guide for retail advertisers, and a guide for eCommerce advertisers.

Here’s a brief overview of the information included in each guide.

Responding to the Coronavirus: For Retail Advertisers

Facebook’s guide for retail advertisers offers the following pieces of advice for responding to the coronavirus.

Protect the health of your customers

Proactively inform customers about the measures your business is taking to ensure peoples’ health and safety.

If your business is situated in an area that receives a lot of traffic, such as a shopping mall, then also communicate the measures being taken by the area as a whole.

Offer alternatives

Consider supporting alternative avenues if you have the resources to do so.

Alternatives can include setting up an e-commerce solution, or even selling goods and services through Facebook Live.

Facebook also recommends leveraging dynamic ads that serve relevant and in-stock products to match the needs of individual customers.

Leverage technology

Allow customers to pay with mobile services that do not involve handling cash or credit cards.

Any efforts made to reduce touch points should be communicated to customers so they have reassurance you’re committed to health and safety.

Responding to the Coronavirus: For Ecommerce Advertisers

Ecommerce businesses are affected by COVID-19 as well, as the pandemic is affecting supply chain and logistics networks.

Facebook offers the following pieces of advice to retail advertisers.

Highlight important information and announcements

Make important information readily available to customers who visit your website and Facebook page.

Here are some examples of information that should be clearly communicated:

  • Shipping delays
  • Inventory shortages
  • Changes to estimated delivery dates
  • Special notices

Facebook recommends adding this information to your home page, shipping information page, and product detail pages.

It’s also a good practice to share this information across your business’s social media channels.

If it’s an especially important announcement that everyone needs to be aware of, you can even pin it to the top of your Facebook page.

Maintain communication with customers

Delays are inevitable right now, and perhaps even expected, but it’s still important to communicate this to your customers.

Manage customer expectations during this time and confirm that they’re OK with the increased delivery time.

This will create a positive experience that customers will remember in the future.

Safe and Sound: How Businesses Can Respond to the Coronavirus

Along with the advice given in the two guides above, this Safe and Sound guide for retail businesses offers these additional recommendations.

Bring in-person events online

Consider using alternative channels for hosting events that need to be postponed or cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

For example, businesses could turn a physical workshop into an online webinar.

Businesses could also use social media channels like Facebook and Instagram to organise live sessions.

Be responsive to customers

Be responsive and provide customers with visibility and transparency during these times.

Businesses will likely be receiving a high volume of queries for the foreseeable future.

To ensure these inquires are responded to quickly and accurately, Facebook recommends creating a standard set of guidelines for the customer service team.

Consider what customers will be asking and prepare responses in advance.

Facebook recommends taking the most common questions and creating FAQs.

Stay Safe and Informed

Facebook prefaces each of these guides by encouraging businesses to stay safe and informed.

That means keeping up to date by monitoring official sources like the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as the local government and health department.

Staying informed gives businesses the ability to respond quickly to any developments that may affect your business.

Source: Facebook (1, 2, 3)