COVID-19 Communication Guide

A guide to help communicate with your consumers during COVID-19 business changes

Communicating with your customers and clients when a new mandate is released is vital to the success of your business. Some businesses are affected to the fullest extent and others are not affected at all, and it is our job as business owners, marketers, and PR directors to make sure that the community knows what the new mandates are, if they have affected your business or not, how they will be affected by those changes, and who they can contact for more information if they need it. The better you communicate with the consumers, the better chance you have to succeed in this ever-changing business climate that is currently being driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below are some of the main general questions that consumers, clients and customers want to know about your business during COVID-19 and regarding new mandate changes. We have also listed some suggestions on how to answer them.

Remember that you might have different services or adjustments that may go to different audiences, so your messages and their mediums will need to be tailored to those specific people.

You will also likely send out your information in different rounds which include different levels of information. For example, your first round will be more broad as you digest the new mandate information and figure out how to adjust and your next rounds will include more details as you adjust your services based on the needs of your consumers during the new mandates.

General Consumer Questions:

ARE YOU CLOSING?
If NO → How does this affect your business?
→ Even if there are very little or no changes to your business, you should still communicate that there have been new mandates set forth by the state, and they do not affect your normal business operations and if anyone has any questions, how can they get a hold of you.

If YES:
→ Make it clear when you plan to close (date & time)
→ Make it clear when you plan to reopen (date & time)
*The mandate dates & times may not be specific enough to your business hours

Does your business generally charge a monthly fee?
If NO → Skip to the next question.
If YES:
→ Explain how you plan to move forward with the monthly fee?
→ WILL THEY STILL BE CHARGED?
→ Are you offering something different to make up for not having (some/all) your services available?

Are you adjusting your services?
→ These may be adjusting as you go, so be broad but let people know where they can go to keep updated on these adjusted services and then as they adjust – continue to communicate with your consumers.

Where can they go to get more information?
→ This can be your website, social media, client logins, emails, texts, etc.

Who can they contact for questions? (One point person.)
→ You may have one or more people taking questions while you are open, closed, or have adjusted services. Just make sure to be clear on who the public should contact.

Make sure to have help checking all of your public-facing information. It takes at least 2 sets of eyes (and brains) to make sure you get all of your bases covered!

Where to change this information: (UPDATE OFTEN AND WHEN THERE ARE ANY CHANGES)

Website:
– Website (Pop-up: we don’t like them, but they are really effective in this situation)
– Website – HOME PAGE
– Website – COVID-19 Update Page (Create or keep updated if you have a page)

Social media:
– Social Media – Create COVID-19 UPDATE (FB & GMB)
– Social Media – PIN THE POST
– Social Media – Change your Banner image to reflect the changes
– Social Media – Create Highlights (IG)
– Social Media – Change Profile and Info pages
– Social Media – Change Hours if needed
– Social Media – Change COVID Services if needed (FB)

Google Listing:
– Google Listing – Create COVID-19 Posts (1 per week with updates)
– Google Listing – Change Hours
– Google Listing – Change Services

DIRECT COMMUNICATION LINES TO YOUR CLIENTS & CUSTOMERS:
– Direct communication lines like Emails, Text Messages, and Business Apps are great ways to get your information out immediately but sometimes are forgotten in the hustle of distributing new information.
– Remember to use these more direct messages cautiously and consistently, but do not overwhelm your clientele by respecting their information and time.

COVID-19 has brought not only challenges to businesses and communities but also opportunities for increased communication with your business’s consumers, clients and customers. Whether the operations of your business have been altered because of the pandemic or they have stayed the same, it is important to provide information frequently. From your website to social media to your Google Listing, it is vital for your business to communicate consistently across multiple channels. In a time of uncertainty, make sure your business gives inquiring minds what they want to know.


Interested in Downloading the Covid-19 Communication Guide pdf? Fill out the form below!


Facebook: What’s New in the New Look

Some of you may have already noticed that Facebook got quite the facelift recently. There’s a new design for Facebook’s page, which is being referred to as FB5, and things are moved around and found in different places. We are going to take you through all of the new features we found, including the dark mode option!

One of the biggest changes to FB5 that many notice right away is the new design. There is more white space and a cleaner look. The Facebook logo is also slightly different with a lighter blue background. One of the features that many will love with this new design is that you can choose to use Dark Mode! You can easily toggle back and forth from the drop-down next to your name.

If you have a business page on Facebook (and if you don’t, see our blog about why you need one) your settings are now on the left side of your page, instead of at the top. We think this makes it easier because everything you could need for editing your page is conveniently located on the left now.

Facebook page settings on the old Facebook.

New Facebook page settings menu.

The top navigation is different now with where your Facebook profile picture is, where you can find your handle, and a convenient button to “View as Visitor” right out in the open.
The optimal size for your Facebook Cover Photo is 940 x 352 pixels. There are some things to keep in mind when picking your cover photo. The new Facebook has rounded corners, the profile picture slightly covers up a bottom part of the cover, and there’s a slight gradient at the bottom of the cover photo. Make sure to have these in mind when creating or editing your new Facebook cover photo. Your Facebook profile picture should be 132 x 132 pixels. This is still the standard circle from Facebook, but it is seen lower and to the left of the cover photo on the new Facebook.

How the top of your page is displayed on the new Facebook.

How the top of your page looked like on the old Facebook.

FB5 also shows your page insights right away. You can see the people reached, post engagements, and post likes, with percentages of how you normally trend. You can change this to just show yesterday, the last 7 days, or the last 28 days.

Underneath the insights is where you now see all of your About information, including how many people like and follow your page.

Insights shows right on your page with the new Facebook.

On FB5, they wanted to place more of an emphasis on groups and events. Some may have noticed that the new mobile version has a new tab at the bottom that takes you through a news feed that are posts from all of the groups you are in. The new FB5 is rumored to do the same as well. We will keep you updated with new features that we find. We are excited to see how the groups and events play an even larger role in Facebook.

Old look of the about section.

New look of about section.

If you need any help with Facebook or any areas of your marketing, please contact us. We would love to learn more about you and your business!

Facebook, Instagram, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tik Tok, Snapchat, Pinterest, oh my!

Posting Frequencies

Social media can be very overwhelming because of how many different platforms there are, what messages should go on different platforms, and which times are best for posting.

There are numerous articles out there that claim they have the perfect recipe for social media posts. Social media platforms all have algorithms that consistently change to give their users the best experiences based on the purpose of that platform. These are are the deciding factors of what comes up in your followers or friend’s news feeds. As a business, you want to make sure that your content is coming up in potential customers and existing customer’s feeds. 

For this article, we will discuss posting frequency for Facebook, Google, and Instagram. If you have questions about other social media, please contact us and we would be more than happy to help you develop a strategy.

Quality over Quantity

Although there is contradicting information about posting frequency, one thing always reigns through: posting quality content is more important than the amount you post. Your business does not want to be known for spamming with unrelated content just because you feel that you should be posting a certain amount every day or week. Make sure your content is informational and valuable to your followers and potential followers. They want to follow you for a reason – make sure you are listening to what they would like to hear more about so you can continue to be a resource.

Facebook

Did you know that Facebook has over 2.6 billion monthly users? This makes it the biggest social media worldwide, according to Statista. Because of the incredibly high amount of users, it’s impossible for small businesses to ignore this marketing tool. We hear all of the time that Facebook is dying and that people think they need to switch to other social media sites, but Facebook is still towering over all of the other socials.

Source: Statista.com

It’s suggested that you should post 2-3 times per week and absolutely no more than once per day. As touched on previously, the Facebook algorithm does not like it when there are too many posts and will not show your content to as many of your followers if you over post. 

Google My Business

Google My Business replaced Google Plus. Many small businesses are not aware of their Google My Business page or how to claim and verify it. We are experienced in helping businesses claim, set up, and verify their listings, along with creating strategy on consistent information updates and posting.

This is not your normal social media feed. It’s recommended that you post on Google My Business once a week. You can post updates, offers, and service changes. Google My Business continues to be incredibly helpful and useful throughout the COVID pandemic. You can change your hours to temporary hours, let customers know what services you’re offering, such as restaurants if they are open for dine-in or just take out, and communicate updates about reopening dates. Pandemic aside, you can also post special hours, such as holidays you are closed for or only open until a certain time.

Watch our video about how and where to update hours:

Instagram

Posting frequency can depend on the number of followers you have. On average, large businesses post about 1.5 times a day. Since Instagram is such a visual platform, it can be daunting to post creative and original content so often. As we mentioned before, quality content is better than quantity. You want your followers to look forward to your posts and have them be aesthetically pleasing.

There’s a lot to consider when building your business’s social media strategy. It’s important to frequently check your insights, reporting, reviews and respond, and continue listening to your followers to find out what they would like to see. Strategies are subject to change! Please see our post about How to Build A Facebook Marketing Strategy for advice and tips.

We love working with small businesses and meeting new people. Please feel free to reach out to us if we can be of any assistance:

How to Build a Facebook Marketing Strategy

In a previous post, we covered how to set up a Facebook Business Page and the types of posts that you could use for your page. Now, we want to dive into how you can create a Facebook marketing strategy for your business in 2020. Don’t have time to create a Facebook marketing strategy? That’s no problem either because we’re here to help.

Creating a winning Facebook marketing strategy isn’t something that will happen overnight. It will take some time and will require social listening. 

Social listening is something that is paramount to a successful Facebook marketing strategy. Social listening is watching what your customers are saying on social media, what they engage with, or even asking them what they want to see. Test out a couple of different types of posts with different content to see what people engage with the most. Look for certain trends that are similar throughout your top engaged posts. Social listening can also determine what products your customers love the most, what challenges your product could help solve, and how you can set yourself apart from the competition.

The first step to any marketing strategy would be to define your audience and a Facebook marketing strategy would be no different. You need to think about your target audience, where do they live, how old are they, what are their biggest problems, what types of jobs do they have, and how are they using Facebook? 

For help with demographics on Facebook, Hootsuite has a great article about it here.

Facebook makes finding out who is looking at your posts and engaging super easy with their audience insights feature. This can help you find ages, gender, education, and more.

The second step you should take with your Facebook marketing strategy is setting attainable goals. These goals should not just be about how many likes you can get on your posts but should relate to your business goals. Getting a ton of likes means nothing if you aren’t selling your products. You should also generate a brand-style guide for Facebook that will help all of your posts feel consistent and so that people know it’s your brand when they see different posts or photos.

After you have your goals, you need to create a content plan that will work on achieving your goals. Is one of your goals to generate more leads for your business? How will you achieve this with posts? We’re not saying that you should only post content that is promoting your brand. Actually, almost the opposite. A good rule of thumb to follow is the 80/20 rule. This is posting 80% of content that entertains, informs, or educates your audience while the 20% is to promote your brand. Providing insightful value can help others to see areas where you are an expert and they could then seek you out to help with their business. Facebook is a relationship builder, so it’s good to help promote others and build networking relationships here. The algorithm that Facebook has in place also does not like when people push sales too hard, which will, in turn, make those posts not be seen as much. It could be helpful to develop a content calendar so that you know your posts are consistent and that you’re posting when you want to.

The fourth step is to optimize your page. One of the main things that you can do to compel your audience right away is to have an eye-catching cover photo. This is something that people coming to your page will see right away and a big spot that you can use to keep attention. To get people to like your page, there are many things you can do with your email, blog, or website. Have the link to your Facebook page in the signature of your email so that people already talking with you can easily find the page. If you already have a blog or website, have an icon with a link to your Facebook page. If you share often on your blog, have the option for people to share your post to their Facebook. 

Don’t have a website, but need one and don’t know where to start? We would love to help.

Once you start gaining more likes and followers, you can’t just abandon the effort you put in. Use the social listening we discussed and keep sharing things your audience likes to see and are engaging with. This is also a good time to review content calendars.

For the fifth step, it would be wise to utilize the amazing features and tools that Facebook offers. A big opportunity is to join Facebook groups that make sense for your business. You don’t want to join these and only promote your business, but rather be an active participant yourself and when an opportunity comes up, share information about your business or how you can help solve someone’s problem. 

Did you know that Facebook has a feature for the Facebook Chatbot? This is how some businesses respond so quickly to you! Hootsuite also has an amazing article on how to set up a chatbot and how to best use them here.

Another tool to set up once you are comfortable with Facebook is the Facebook Business Manager. Here you can control who has access to posting on your site and how much access they have, setting up organic posts and paid reach, and manage business tools.

The sixth step is to incorporate Facebook ads and Facebook pixel. Facebook ads don’t have to be a lot of money, in fact, you can set the amount that you want to use and Facebook will stop the ad once your money has been spent. Facebook ads help you to know that you’re getting your message in front of the target audience you want.

Facebook pixel is a code that you put on your website. It helps track conversions from your Facebook page to your website and remarkets people who have previously been to your site.

Lastly, it’s important to look into your insights and track what is working and what isn’t. With Facebook Insights, you can track if someone unliked your page from a particular post or how many engagements the certain posts ranked best. You cannot just set your marketing strategy and then forget it. You need to often look back at your strategy and your metrics and adjust. 

Facebook can be a great tool for marketing your business, but it’s not a one-step tool where you set up your page and you’re done. It can be hard work and takes time to build an audience and create content your audience wants to see. If you need help with Facebook marketing, please reach out to us for a free consultation.

Creating & Navigating Facebook Business Pages

Did you know that 2.5 billion people use Facebook every month?

Obviously, this is a huge number of people and could be a great resource for your business to get your message out to your target audience. Because of this, we want to help you navigate Facebook for businesses, which starts with setting up your Facebook page.

Setting up a Facebook page for your business

The best part about using Facebook to set up a business page? It’s completely free to set-up a page on Facebook for your business. Down the road, if you want to run ads, you’ll, of course, need to pay for these, but you can have an online presence for free on Facebook.

In order to set-up a Facebook page, you must first have your own personal account and logged in before going to facebook.com/pages/create. Then, choose the type of business you have and enter your business details.

You want to brand your Facebook profile so that everyone knows what business the page is for. Add a profile picture and cover photo that makes sense for your business. Using a logo that fits in the profile picture is always a good idea.

Under edit page info in settings, fill out your contact information, description of your business, and other information such as operating hours and price ranges.

Not many people realize this, but your Facebook page comes with a username (a vanity URL). The username is one of the ways people can find you on Facebook and the way that others can tag your business page in their posts, comments, etc. If you already have other social media accounts, it’s best to use the same username across all their channels.

A call-to-action button can really help people on your page find more information, call you directly from your site, or shop your products. This is set up under your cover photo where it says “Add a Button”.

After reviewing your Facebook settings and understanding privacy settings, your Facebook business page is ready to go!

Types of Posts

There are several different types of posts that you could generate from your Facebook page. The following are all the posts you can use to market your business: text posts, picture posts, video posts, live video posts, premier video posts, linked content posts, poll posts, Facebook stories, and pinned posts.

Text posts are a great way to strike up conversations with those who have liked your page.

You know what they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Maybe a Facebook photo post could be worth even more? We know that it’s definitely worth more than just a text post. People love looking at pictures, especially aesthetically pleasing ones. Posts with pictures are a great way to get people’s attention. These usually tend to get more engagement and impressions than text posts.

If a picture is so great on Facebook, then imagine posting videos on Facebook! Videos play automatically as someone scrolls down their news feed, so videos can easily catch viewers’ attention. You can do short videos or longer ones that will tell more of a story. Do remember though, that most videos don’t automatically play with sound on, so remember this when creating or choosing a video to share.

Facebook Live videos are a great way to catch your audience’s attention. With Facebook Live Videos, it alerts people that like your page that you are going live. Your audience can also comment on the video while it is playing, interacting with other customers and the person on the video. The video will save to your Facebook page after for those who wanted to tune in but weren’t able to. 

A new feature that Facebook recently debuted is Facebook Video Premiers. This is a cool new feature that is similar to going live because it will alert your audience when the premier will start. This is a great way to build up some excitement around whatever video will be premiering. 

While a linked content post doesn’t usually generate the same amount of engagement as videos or photos, they tend to get more engagement than text posts. Linked posts include links from an external page and can be used to link to your own content or merchandise. This is also a great way to link to other businesses and support others.

A Facebook poll is a great way to ask questions of your audience. These don’t have to always be serious but could be something your co-workers have been debating. For example, are hot dogs considered a sandwich? In fact, we might have to do a poll for this because this has not been settled in our office…

Facebook Stories are unique because they disappear after 24 hours. They are vertical photos or videos. These are a popular new tool that many people are using since they appear at the top of everyone’s news feed and can be quicker to scroll through than your news feeds, where your uncles are arguing about a sporting event.

A pinned post is a regular post that was on your page. A post that you pin will stay at the top of your page, even after you create and publish other posts. A good idea of a pinned post is an offer that a restaurant is running with information for their promo code so customers can quickly find this information.

We know there is a lot of information for Facebook Business Pages, but we’re always here to help with any questions you may have while going through the process. Check back to find more posts in this series around topics like how to build your following and how to create a Facebook marketing strategy.