With all the uncertainty and news about businesses closing down or cutting their operations. Instagram and parent company Facebook unveiled last Monday an application update that aims to help small and midsized businesses cope with the coronavirus pandemic called Support Small Business.
The Support Small Business sticker can help businesses reach new customers and stay connected to the people they serve. When businesses are mentioned in the sticker, they can repost the content to their stories or message people who tagged them. Businesses can also use the sticker to shout out other entrepreneurs in their community.
Instagram said in a blog post, “Businesses are facing immense challenges during the Covid-19 crisis, and supporting them is critical to the well-being of entrepreneurs, communities, and the economy. As many stores remain closed and social media serves as an online Main Street, the shift to doing business online is more urgent than ever. Today, we’re announcing new ways for people to support and discover small businesses, along with more tools for keeping businesses informed and connected with their customers.”
A #SupportSmallBusiness hashtag was also introduced for parent company Facebook’s flagship application, and creators on the social network can add an in support of tag to support SMBs.
Instagram chief operating officer Justin Osofsky said, “We want to do everything we can to support small businesses right now, whether that’s building new tools to help them stay in touch with customers or giving people the power to easily show their love to businesses they care about. Every bit of support counts right now—we’re making progress with these updates, but our work is far from finished.”
Among the features of the new update are the following:
Facebook’s Businesses Nearby feature can be used to find information on which local businesses are still providing goods and services. All you need is to message the chosen businesses and buy from them via third-party apps. This not only gives sales to the entity but also adds virtual foot traffic.
Businesses on Facebook can use this tool to tag COVID-19 related posts on their pages in order to keep people updated about the latest stories about the pandemic.
Through the shortcuts in the Facebook application and business profiles on Instagram, businesses on both platforms can access COVID-19-related information, business tools, and best practices.
There will a dedicated business inbox in the messaging application for easier transactions and navigation.
An updated chat plugin that enables businesses to respond to messages from their pages directly in Messenger and give people a way to chat with businesses on their websites without requiring a Facebook account is also added for the new feature.