Downtown Sacramento Partnership continues to develop helpful resources, tips, and digital assets to help you drive support for your business while keeping your employees, customers and our community safe. Take the Downtown Healthy & Safe pledge and download the business toolkit to share how your customers can #SupportLocal and safely continue to support you. Download helpful Keeping COVID In Check graphics here and #SupportLocal graphics here and learn more about how to “support today, splurge tomorrow” here.
Whether your business will remain open during these uncertain times or you have suspended operations until further notice, you must adapt to your customers’ fears and needs for social distancing to stay relevant. Implement creative strategies while remembering to take all health and safety precautions for yourself, your employees, and others in the community.
Do Good: Feed the community
- Consider your options to adapt your business model. Could you offer limited groceries for pick-up/delivery in place of prepared meals for your neighbors? Can you transition to online or delivery-only enterprises?
- If you have food that needs to be distributed because you cannot utilize it, or need assistance in locating organizations that welcome the food, contact Mikel Davila with the City of Sacramento.
Open for Business: If you’re safely open, tell people!
- Meeting customers where they are, which is likely online and on social media, is critical to promoting your merchandise or services.
- Post your hours on social media and update your Google My Business and Yelp profile.
- Notify your e-newsletter distribution list to let your customers know your new hours and how to safely order take out, pick-up and/or delivery.
- You can also utilize your POS system, Square, Clover and others to notify customers through their marketing apps. This a great time to share a discount code or gift certificate link to incentivize sales.
Safety First: Give your customers confidence and peace of mind
- Take the Downtown Healthy & Safe pledge and share your sanitation efforts on your social media so customers can see you are taking the right steps:
- Regularly sanitize hard surfaces.
- Staff practicing safe physical distancing while wearing masks and gloves.
- Let your followers know you are still offering take-out orders, curbside pick-up, delivery and/or online orders.
- Don’t just think about instant delivery, consider shipping too! (if applicable)
Right Size: Convenient options to maintain social distancing
- Offer box lunches to-go and family-sized portions of favorite dishes or ready-serve dinners.
- Package ingredients to put together and cook/bake at home like a cake decorating kit or pizza with toppings on the side to assemble at home.
- Assemble as DIY project kits that offer a simple way to keep idle hands at home busy with minimal social interaction.
- Post video tutorials on cake decorating or pizza-making class to complement the take-away item(s).
- Build subscription boxes with varying contents each week/month to encourage repeat business.
Digital Marketing: Reach your customers where they are
- Put your best digital foot forward. Update photos, online shopping tools and copy on your website.
- Post high-quality photos of your merchandise or new specials throughout the day on social media and offer online ordering via phone or social media.
- Take shoppers on a video virtual tour of your store to spark interest in your products. Don’t forget to share how to order online!
- Try hosting a webinar or organize live sessions on social channels such as Facebook or Instagram. (see social media tips below for best practices)
- Facebook for Business recently published an online guide to help businesses build reliance
- Check out Google for Small Business’ Guide to Build Your Online Presence to get free recommendations for how your business can stand out online.
To help you tell the world you’re open, we’ve created helpful graphics sized for social media in this Dropbox folder.
To encourage your customers and social media followers to support you how you need it most, we’ve gathered some tips and best practices. Additionally, a private Facebook Group has also been created for downtown businesses to share ideas and resources, post updates on hours and online gift card links, ask questions, and more. To request to join*, visit COVID-19 Business Support.
*This group is exclusively for owners or primary managers of businesses in the Downtown Sacramento Partnership boundaries.
To help you incorporate into your social media, we’ve drafted copy you can personalize too:
Open for business
Add information about:
- Today’s store hours
- Today’s special or offers
- Where to order (online, by phone etc.)
- Safety protocols
- Include hashtags! #CovidInCheck #BeSafe #SupportLocal #DowntownTogether #WeAreOpen #OpenForBusiness #SupportLocal
#SupportSmall #InThisTogether #ReturnSafely #SacMaskUp #MaskUp #WearingIsCaring #InThisTogether
Our doors might be closed, but you can still support us! Add information about:
- Online ordering, delivery and/or shipping
- Online gift cards or donation pages
- Special offers
- Include hashtags! #SupportLocal #DowntownTogether
Be sure to stay up with your followers across social media platforms, encourage them to snap, tag and share and don’t forget to tag Downtown Sacramento Partnership in posts for re-sharing:
- Facebook: @GoDowntownSac + @OldSacramento
- Instagram: @DowntownSac + @OldSac
- Twitter: @DowntownSac + @OldSacramento
Join the Conversation: #DowntownTogether + #SupportLocal + #DowntownSac + #OldSacramentoWaterfront
Stay in touch with your customers
- Now is the best time to engage. Like, comment and reply to direct messages in a timely manner.
- People will be reaching out to ask if you are open, hours, delivery options, etc. Make sure you are posting frequently to keep your customers informed!
- Tip: Don’t forget you can “pin” important posts on Facebook and Twitter.
Host an online event
- Using Facebook Live, YouTube, or Instagram Live, engage your viewers on a LIVE platform to encourage them to tune in and support.
- Create a fun graphic to show your hours, what you offer, how your audience can support you! Canva has templates that are quick and easy to create or use the graphics we have provided you in this toolkit.
- Make sure you tag @DowntownSac so we can help amplify and promote! We are here to support you.
Prepare a customer service plan
- Be responsive and transparent with your customers during this challenging time.
- Consider drafting consistent replies that you can easily copy and paste.
- Connect with your customers in real time using direct messaging.
- Provide a list of FAQ’s on your social pages or on your website so your customers can easily have the answers they need.
- Make sure to keep your audience informed about the measures you are taking to make sure your business and products are safe, how are you handling customer inquiries, etc.
Utilize new Instagram features to help your business
- Instagram has rolled out a new feature for small business to share gift cards, food orders, and fundraiser stickers on your profile.
- New to Instagram? Learn how to post and get inspired with helpful tips here.
Yelp for Business
A COVID-19 Alert is now displayed at the top of all Yelp Business Pages to remind people to check current hours and availability. You can edit this alert to communicate specific updates about your business at this time. If you don’t provide a custom alert, the generic message will be shown. Need inspiration? Over 40,000 businesses have customized their COVID-19 Alert. Here are examples.
Add virtual service offerings
With social distancing the new norm, more people are searching for online services. Update your service offerings with our new options* to show how your business is available online. These will show up on your business page, and as search filters so customers can easily find you. Learn more
- Virtual Classes
- Virtual Consultations
- Virtual Tasting Sessions
- Virtual Tours
- Virtual Experiences
- Virtual Performances
Have your hours or services changed?
It’s quick and easy to update your details and let people know. See how to update my page
Google for Small Business
You may need to adjust your business operations during this time. This could mean changing your hours, temporarily closing, or changing the types of products and services you offer.
Update your Business Profile on Google
Post updates: Use Posts to communicate timely information, like delivery options or inventory updates.
- Add or edit attributes: If you’re a restaurant offering delivery or takeout, mark these services on your profile.
Adjust your advertising
As this situation evolves and customer behavior changes, online advertising is one way to keep your current and potential customers up to date. With Google Ads, you can communicate the information that you think is most relevant to them during this time, like changes to your offerings, inventory, or hours.
Google Ads has built-in automated solutions that will help optimize your ad campaigns to show the right message to the right user, at the right time. To ensure your advertising is reflecting your business priorities, you may also want to update your Google Ads campaigns.
Your local media partners are allowing essential businesses/restaurants that are still offering services to submit their updated hours, food services, and more. This gives customers the opportunity to easily find small businesses that are still open and serving the community.