Facebook is providing a set of templates to help businesses communicate need-to-know changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The templates are designed for messaging such as:
- Informing customers they can still place orders while the business is temporarily closed.
- Encouraging customers to shop online.
- Reaching out to the community for support.
- Sharing links to buy gift cards.
- Expressing gratitude to customers.
“We know that many businesses are facing unexpected challenges right now including keeping in touch with customers, so we wanted to share a few things you can do to get ahead of these challenges and stay connected.”
Here’s a look at the new templates, which are available to download now.
When using this template, Facebook recommends providing contact information and including details on when orders are being accepted.
It’s also a good idea to share the measures being taken to keep products safe.
Facebook recommends using this template to encourage customers to shop online while your brick-and-mortar location is temporarily closed.
These posts should Include links to your website or to specific items you are selling.
Asking for Support
If your business is going through a particularly difficult time, Facebook recommends using this template to ask your community for support.
Share that your business is open to receiving donations, and take advantage of Facebook’s new ability to set up a business fundraiser.
Selling Gift Cards
Encourage customers to buy gift cards from your business with one of Facebook’s ready-made templates.
Let people know how to find and purchase gift cards, and include direct links to purchase pages when possible.
Use one of these templates to express gratitude for your community.
Facebook recommends keeping it short to simply communicate that you’re united with your community.
More templates for each of these types of posts are available to download here.
Facebook offers additional recommendations for keeping up customer relationships during this time.
Responding to Messages
Businesses can respond to messages more efficiently by utilizing different features baked right into the Facebook interface.
Your Facebook Page Inbox, for example, can be used to used to receive messages from both Instagram and Messenger.
No need to keep up with multiple apps when you can just use one.
“Stay connected to your customers even if you can’t be there in person. Answer customer questions your business receives from Messenger and Instagram right from your Facebook Page Inbox.”
If you’re too busy with your business to keep up with messages during this time, Facebook suggests setting up automated responses to handle frequently asked questions.
Common questions are likely to include inquiries about business hours, online ordering, safety practices, and so on.
Here are some examples.
Hold Online Events
If your business was planning to hold online event that have since been postponed, Facebook recommends hosting a live video on either Facebook or Instagram.
“Live is a great way to broadcast real-time video on Facebook with just your camera on a desktop or mobile device. Think of it as a chance to take your customers behind-the-scenes.”
Facebook offers the following suggestions for live videos:
- Host a Q&A
- Go Live with someone in your audience and interview them
- Showcase and explain your products or services
- Teach your audience how to do something
- Create a Live series
To see other ways Facebook is helping businesses respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, see its business resource hub here.