There is no doubt that Small business owners (estimated at 30.2 million in the United States) have been hit hard by COVID-19. They’ve had to close their doors abruptly, shift to online and contactless offerings, and some had to furlough their employees.
We don’t exactly know yet how many will not be able to re-open their doors but for those that have made quick shifts to their businesses, here are some great ways that we can support them (some for little effort and no cost to us via Facebook and Instagram, of course assuming they are on these two platforms).
No matter your feelings on Facebook or Instagram, it’s nice to see them make strides as a large tech company to push out these products and resources considering what a large amount of small businesses there are, and how everyone is hurting. This may not be the overall solution, but it can be a great step in the right direction.
TechCrunch outlines the way Facebook and Instagram launched new products so that consumers can show support for their local and small business.
What consumers can do:
- When logged in to your Facebook, check out their new Businesses Nearby section (it will let you set it between 1-500 miles from you). Peruse the businesses for updates, and see if there is one that you would be comfortable supporting.
- You can add the Support Small Business sticker on Instagram, or use the #SupportSmallBusiness hashtag on Facebook
- If you are a Creator on Facebook, you will also be able to easily tag small businesses
By doing these simple things, it will create additional exposure for them, and even be included in Instagram stories that will be shared via localized content. It may not feel significant, but with that many, this might be an easy thing to do at low cost and minimal effort for many of us.
What Small Business Owners can utilize?
- Facebook has created a specific Business section in Messenger in hopes to make it easier for them to respond to customers.
- Facebook has pulled together resources specifically for COVID-19, and owners can access this through their Facebook shortcuts or within their Instagram Business profile.
- They set up a $100 million grant program for small businesses.
- They added the ability to add temporary service changes.
As many businesses (begrudgingly or not) utilize social media to promote their products and services, hopefully these developments will help them continue to reach consumers and stay in business. It’s impossible to look at just these two social media channels individually without looking at their entire marketing and operations plans, but hopefully these create positive impacts since they have quite a large presence in how we connect, socialize, and share our experiences.