(Menlo Park, CA, Monday, May 11, 2020) – Today Facebook announced new ways for people to support and discover small businesses, along with more tools for keeping businesses informed and connected with their customers. Facebook remain committed to small businesses as they fight to stay open and shift online, and will continue to explore new ways to support them.

Helping People Support Local Business

Facebook is releasing a “Support Small Business” sticker on Instagram and a #SupportSmallBusiness hashtag on the Facebook app to let people show their love for small businesses. Creators on Facebook can also use a new “in support of” tag to promote small businesses to their fans.

When people use the Support Small Business sticker on Instagram, their story will be added to a shared Instagram story, so their followers can see it along with other businesses that people they follow are supporting. If they mention a business using the sticker, the business can repost the content to their stories or message the people who tagged them.

Facebook also knows people want to more quickly find essential products and services. To help them do that, they are exploring ways to easily connect users with local businesses on Facebook. Through Businesses Nearby people can learn what’s happening with their neighborhood shops, message them, or order food and buy goods from them through third-party apps. This will also help businesses see more virtual foot traffic as they move online to stay open.

Keeping Businesses Informed 

Businesses can now access COVID-19-related information, business tools and best practices in the Facebook and Instagram apps. This real-time, in-app information helps businesses more quickly take steps to move their business forward. These complement our existing Business Resource Hub and can be found in the shortcuts on the Facebook app and through businesses’ profiles on Instagram.

Helping Businesses Stay Connected With Customers 

People and businesses are already finding inspiring ways to help their local communities using Facebook tools like gift cards, food orders and fundraising. In Kirkland, WA, Sitar Indian Cuisine created a fundraiser, Sitar’s Food Drive to Feed Community Hero’s Fighting COVID-19, and raised over $12,600 to serve 5,000 meals to frontline healthcare workers and people in homeless shelters and camps.

Businesses are also using creative ways to engage their customers as they pivot to online-only service – from gyms offering workouts on Facebook Live to stores sharing product information in their WhatsApp catalog, and restaurants using Messenger to reach customers with delivery options.

To improve how businesses stay connected with their customers, Facebook plans to launch a dedicated Business Inbox in the Messenger app and an updated chat plugin for businesses’ websites. The inbox will allow businesses to answer customer messages from their Page directly in the Messenger app. With the latest chat plugin, people can chat with businesses on their websites without needing a Facebook account.

Following the launch of Temporary Service Changes, a tool that made it easier for businesses to share critical information on their Facebook Page, businesses also now have a way to tag COVID-19-related posts from the Page composer to keep people updated.

Visit http://facebook.com/resource for all the details on how Facebook is supporting small businesses.

Carolyn Everson is Vice President, Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook, where she leads the company’s relationships with top marketers and agencies. Carolyn oversees a team of regional leaders, and the teams focused on global partnerships, global agencies, and Facebook’s Creative Shop.

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