Facebook was already looking at launching Facebook Shops. They were planning on a small business survey that painted a rosy picture of the state of businesses in the United States.
Then the pandemic hit.
The report instantly became a lot more bleak. About 1/3 of business have closed their doors. And the reality is that a lot of these businesses rely on Facebook’s apps to sell, communicate with customers, promote their business, and more. If you want to be sure you’re doing a fantastic job running your page on a daily basis, we’ve got some tips here.
As a result of their research and the tough situation many businesses have found themselves in, Facebook has made about $100 million available to small business all over the world, in the form of grants, with about $40 million reserved for US businesses. Facebook small business grants could be a huge help, if you qualify! However, most of us probably won’t see any of that money.
Here are some of the other Facebook tools for small businesses now:
Facebook Shops are free online real estate that businesses can recolor and make their own. From Facebook:
People can find Facebook Shops on a business’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile, or discover them through stories or ads. From there, you can browse the full collection, save products you’re interested in and place an order — either on the business’ website or without leaving the app if the business has enabled checkout in the US.
Still at home, but want to find support your favorite businesses? Buy gift cards! You can use them later, or send them to friends. You don’t even have to leave the platform to do it. Instructions for purchasing online are here.
For businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19, Facebook has made fundraising available. Here are some of the policies surrounding this, but if you are an established business, you may be able to ask for help!
You might have to provide documentation and approval from the business owner, if you’re fundraising for someone else. It’s a separate program than the nonprofit fundraisers we’ve all seen, so the rules are a bit different.
This may or may not already be fizzling out, but Instagram’s Support Small Business sticker launched on Instagram a couple weeks ago with the intent of allowing users to highlight their favorite small businesses.
The sticker aggregates images and videos into a Small Business shared story where people can see which small businesses their friends are frequenting. If you’re unsure of what a Shared Story is, remember the Stay Home sticker? It’s that. It can’t hurt to get your patrons to tag you for a bit of added visibility.