At Amplified, our #1 goal is your business’ success, which can mean something different as we navigate these challenging times together. We know that with recent news of the COVID-19 Pandemic, businesses like yours are experiencing unexpected changes and severe challenges, and we’re committed to providing as much support as possible to help your company succeed through this crisis.

Below you will find a collection of resources we’ve assembled from our own digital marketing and communication experts, as well as sourced through various trusted partners and brands. We will continue to keep this information as updated as possible, so please check back frequently.

To get started, download our COVID-19 Business Continuity Planning Checklist.

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Developing a Communication Plan

Now, more than ever is the time to be an over-communicator. Your prospective customers want information and if they don’t get it, the absence of information on how your company is handling the coronavirus might begin to fuel rumors. Even if you don’t yet have an on-site preparedness plan, you can let your customers know you’re working on one.

Remember that how you communicate is incredibly important. Rather than only making an announcement on Facebook – when it is possible that not all of your audience is on Facebook – it is best to use multiple channels.

Make sure your company’s coronavirus position and plan is on the homepage of your website, with a link to more information. Start your communication plan internally to ensure that everyone within your organization is properly aligned around consistent messaging.

 

Where should you communicate?

  • INTERNAL: Share your company’s policy and plans internally with your staff members & teams – Check out this template.
  • INTERNAL: Communicate ways to help prevent the spread, and your company’s policy on handling ill feeling employees, working remotely, etc. internally to your employees – Try something like this template.
  • WEBSITE: Share anything from the above two messages onto your website’s statement – listed publicly as a blog post or page. Here are a few things to consider:
    • Measures your company is taking to prevent the spread
    • Measures your company is taking to protect your employees, and your clients or customers
    • Ways in which your company’s services or product offerings may change
    • Events that may be cancelled
    • How potential and current customers or clients can stay in touch with your business
  • DIRECTORIES: Update all of your business directory listings (most importantly, Google My Business)
  • EMAIL NEWSLETTER: Send an email to your subscribers
  • SOCIAL: Post the above content from your website statement as bite size or full length/linked updates on your social media channels
Free Virtual Consultation

Amplified is committed to helping companies both large and small navigate the shift in marketing and communications together with you.

We are offering no-obligation virtual consultations to help you better understand and learn ways to communicate your brand and company’s position during this time, as well as assist you with ideas on how you can maintain your presence – both digitally and physically – while distancing yourselves and staff members from the public.

To schedule a time to connect with one of our experts, please fill out your contact information below.

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Quick Action Worksheet & Business Continuity Checklist

Plan your emergency response and develop plans to minimize downtime.

Get Your Planning Worksheet Here.

Download our Business Continuity Checklist Here

 

Stay Connected Through Facebook & Instagram

In challenging circumstances, it may be more difficult than usual for your business to support its employees and communicate with customers. Below are some recommendations and resources that can help you minimize disruptions.

Facebook has a free suite of tools that can help you stay connected with your customers and employees. To take advantage of them, create a Facebook business Page, and an Instagram business account for your business. These free online accounts can serve as digital storefronts for your business, and will allow you to stay connected with your customers and employees virtually—from nearly anywhere, anytime.

 

Stay connected with your customers and employees

Whether your business sells goods or provides services, reliable communication channels can help ensure your customers and employees are getting the support they need.

More Facebook Resources Can Be Found Here: https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/resource

Coronavirus COVID-19 Marketing & Communication

Updating Your Google My Business Profile

Update Google My Business ProfilesContent derived from Google My Business Emails.

Has your business been affected by the Coronavirus?

With the recent developments around the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), let your customers know if you’ve made changes to your daily operations. We recommend doing at least one of the following:

Have your business hours changed?

If you’ve changed your hours, be sure to inform customers.

Update your business description

When customers search for you on Google, they’ll see your business description. Update it now to reflect any recent changes.

Is your phone number up to date?

People may want to contact you directly to ask questions. Make sure your phone number is correct.

Create a post

Share more detailed and timely updates about your business through Posts.

Learn More About Updating Your Profile

Limited Google Review Services

Google placed a notice at the top of the Google My Business support pages that reads, “If your business is affected by COVID-19, update your profile to provide the most accurate information”. This should include your updated business hours, as well as if you have shifted your business model in any way, such as to offer no-contact pickup or delivery.

Per Google, new reviews, review replies, and new Q&A will be unavailable during this time.

Learn more about updating your Google My Business Page.

 

 

 

Using Facebook Live

Live videos can be a great way to proactively educate your customers during this situation. You can post Live videos and stories on Facebook and Instagram, host virtual events to show your customers how you’re actively keeping your premises and products safe, and answer customer inquiries about how your business will continue to support its customers.

What is Facebook Live?

Facebook Live is a feature on Facebook that uses the camera on a computer or mobile device to broadcast real-time video to your Facebook page’s audience. These videos will appear in your audience’s newsfeed/timeline.

Sample uses for Facebook Live:

  • A message from your CEO or other staff about how you are handling COVID-19
  • Showing your audience a behind the scenes shot of your business
  • Showing your audience how you and your teams are working together for the community
  • Instructional workout videos, like Yoga, Pilates, ballet, strength-training
  • Converting what was to be an in-person type event to a virtual event
  • Live shopping experiences for your audience in-store, comment to ask more about a product
  • Industry-specific how-to or instructional videos

Instructions for Mobile Devices:

  1. On the Facebook app, tap the house icon located at the bottom of your screen to get to your newsfeed/timeline
  2. Towards the top of your newsfeed, select the small red camera with the word “Live” next to it
    Using Facebook Live
  3. Grant Facebook access to your camera and microphone
    Using Facebook Live
  4. Select your privacy and posting settings
    Using Facebook Live
  5. Before you begin the video you will have the option to add any of the following:
    • Write a description
    • Tag friends
    • Choose your location
    • Add an activity
    • Set your camera’s orientation
    • Add filters, writing or drawings
  6. Click the blue “Start Live Video” button when you are ready to begin
  7. Interact with viewers and respond to commenters as you go
  8. Click “Finish” to end the video

         

        Instructions for Desktop Devices:

        1. On your newsfeed, tap the three dots located under the “Create A Post” section
          Using Facebook Live
        2. Select “Live Video”
          Using Facebook Live
        3. Grant Facebook access to your camera and microphone
        4. Before you begin the video you will have the option to add any of the following:
          • Write a description
          • Tag friends
          • Choose your location
        5. Click the blue “Go Live” button when you’re ready to begin
        6. Interact with viewers as you go, respond to commenters as well
        7. Click “End Live Video” to end the video

             

            How To View Video Insights:

            1. Go to your company’s Facebook page
            2. Select the “Insights” tab towards the top of the screen
            3. Select the “Video” tab on the left side of the screen

              From here, you will be able to access all of the Facebook Live videos you have ever posted along with each video’s data

              Learn more about going Live on Facebook and Instagram by following each link here and how Facebook Events can support Live video.

              Using Instagram Live

              Instagram Live is a great tool to drive new followers, engagement, and to promote products. 

              What is Instagram Live?

              Instagram Live is an unedited stream for your followers to tune into and engage with. Live allows your audience to submit their comments and questions in real-time which can help build strong connections with your audience. Every time you go live on Instagram, your followers will receive an in-app notification, and your Live will be bumped to the front of their Instagram Stories feed. 

              Instructions for launching Instagram Live:

              1. Tap the camera button in the top left of your Instagram Feed or swipe right from anywhere in your Feed.
              2. Scroll to Live at the bottom of the screen, then tap the record button.
              3. The number of viewers appears at the top of the screen and comments appear at the bottom.
              4. You can add a comment by tapping Comment at the bottom of the screen.
              5. Tap a comment and tap Pin Comment to pint it so that viewers can see it more easily.
              6. When you’re done, tap End in the top right then tap to confirm. From there, you can tap the download button in the top left to save the video to your camera roll, or you can share it to your story by tapping Share to Story

              Learn more about going Live on Facebook and Instagram by following each link here and how Facebook Events can support Live video.

              Setup Auto Responses on Messenger & Instagram Direct

              Stay Connected Covid-19

              Be responsive and provide your customers transparency during this time. With Messenger and Instagram Direct, you can manage a high volume of messages while ensuring responses are timely. In addition to answering customer inquiries, you can also take orders, provide virtual services and host video chats. You can also automate and templatize your responses, and prepare FAQs with away messages and quick replies.

              Visit Facebook’s walk through here.

              Visit Instagram Direct setup here.

              Adapting to New Changing Customer Behaviors - Google Small Business

              This information is provided directly from Google’s Small Business with Google website. The full article may be found here: https://smallbusiness.withgoogle.com/news/resources-for-smbs-impacted-by-coronavirus/ 

              Customer behavior is changing with new regulations, so you may be wondering what your specific customers need from a business like yours right now. Consider asking them directly via your social media channels, or using tools like Google Trends and Google Alerts for insight into your local market or industry.

              You may also be looking to shift some of your products or services online. Start by thinking about what value you offer your customers. Are there ways for you to offer that value in a different format or online channel? For example:

              • A retailer with a brick and mortar shop might sell products online
              • A restaurant might offer online ordering for pickup and delivery
              • A personal trainer might begin virtual training sessions for clients
              • An artist might host a YouTube livestream to teach classes

              If you do not have a website for your business, start by getting a domain and exploring options for building a website. Your website can be simple – just make sure you include key information about your business and how potential customers can contact you.

              If you are interested in exploring online food ordering options for your restaurant, consider trying The Ordering.app, which is now part of Google. It can help you to quickly get your menu online and integrates easily with select POS (point of sale) systems.

              You can also consider starting a free YouTube channel for your business. You can create videos to introduce your business, showcase what’s great about your products or services or teach customers how to do something new.

              Keep in Touch with Text Messaging

              Smart SendUtilizing tools for text message marketing gives you the ability to put your message in your customer’s palm, pocket or purse.

              Smart Send can help you achieve this through a simple and streamlined interface.

              SmartSend amplifies your business promotions and increases customer loyalty by sending texts or emails with specific marketing messages directly to your customer list. All from the convenience and mobility of your smart phone.

              Click Here to learn more today!

              US Chamber of Commerce Toolkit

              The US Chamber of Commerce has compiled the CDC’s coronavirus recommendations for businesses and workers across the country. They continue to encourage American businesses to follow data-based guidance from the CDC and state and local officials. They’ve included sharable graphics based on the CDC’s latest guidance for businesses and employees. We encourage you to share these assets on social media, websites, and other channels, and send them to your colleagues and employees. 

              Visit https://www.uschamber.com/coronavirus-response-toolkit for more information. 

              CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses

              This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will update this interim guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available.

              Visit the CDC’s Interim Guidance Page Here

              Video & Conferencing Resources

              Logmeininc.com is offering free toolkits and help for businesses who have quickly shifted to remote environments. Click here for their resources. Their join.me version is available for free trials, and you can host both video and conference calls with this version. 

              Zoom conferencing also has put together a toolkit for businesses, which can be found by clicking here. They also offer free options that you can use on a per-time basis.

              Google has rolled out free access to  advanced Hangouts Meet videoconferencing capabilities to all G Suite customers globally until July 1, 2020.

              Alexa Schirtzinger, Head of G Suite Product Marketing, offers a few tips for more productive video calls.

              Hosting Virtual Events

              If you’ve decided that hosting a virtual event is the way to go, make sure you make the most of the tools at your disposal. Need some help? Check out YouTube’s downloadable guide to making videos and hosting events on YouTube, complete with links to many more resources and video tutorials.