There are a number of ways to communicate virus-related updates to customers on the platform.
Social media is a critical channel for customer communication. According to the most recent public numbers, Facebook has more than 150 million businesses on the platform, globally, more than 90 million of which are small businesses. During the outbreak, the site has seen massive traffic increases although without a corresponding ad revenue bump. With reach and scale comparable to Google, Facebook is a platform that can get your message directly to your customers quickly and easily, especially if you’re taking advantage of these new tools.
On Friday, Facebook announced the ability to publish hours updates and service changes on Facebook Pages. Businesses can mark themselves “temporarily closed” (as with Google My Business) or communicate other types of changes that are important during the coronavirus outbreak (e.g., takeout, online classes or e-commerce offerings).
Another tool to communicate this message to your customers is the new ability for businesses to pin posts to the top of their timeliness.
The changes and where they appear
Facebook says that to make the changes, you go to Page Settings–>Page Info–>Temporary Service Changes. There, businesses can indicate that a location is temporarily closed or select other options, under the heading “Open with Service Changes.”
On your mobile device, it will look like this:
Once you’ve made the changes, they will appear in several places:
- The business page
- Page previews
- Search results
- Curated lists of local resources on Facebook
Curated lists give users quick access to curated information that you and your friends may be interesting to your and your friends. Facebook uses the example of food delivery: “Within Events, if people are looking at a featured list of ‘Places Offering Delivery,’ they’ll see businesses that indicate that their services include delivery.” A search for places offering takeout or delivery, presumably, would also show the same information.
For now, businesses with multiple locations will need to make these changes for each of their locations.
Implementing these simple changes to your business’s Facebook page is another opportunity for you to stay in contact with your customers during this confusing time.