As businesses emerge from lockdown and calculate the true damage caused by COVID, it’s encouraging to see so many digital big hitters turning up laden with free tools and systems to support them as they tentatively step out into the new world.
Free online tools to support your business
Facebook launches free storefronts
No eCommerce store for your business? No problem! Soon Facebook and Instagram will be so much more than a way to draw your audiences in, your business will be able to capture a sale within the app without a redirect to a website or physical store.
Facebook is continuing to invest in its shopping services which is great news for small businesses looking for options to sell online. Without an online presence, many businesses have been unable to trade during COVID-19. With the launch of Shops, small businesses will be able to get started with an online eCommerce presence for free and will only get charged at the point of purchase.
Shops will be found on businesses’ Facebook pages and Instagram profiles, and they will also appear in stories or be promoted in ads. Items that businesses have made available for purchase will appear within the shop, and users can either save items or place an order. Launched in the United States already, we’re excited to see this service roll out globally over the next few months.
Facebook Shop makes social selling easy
Boost your social media ROI with a free Maybe* account
Businesses who are finding ways to stay active on social media are maintaining a positive connection with their audiences and will be well placed to drive sales post-lockdown.
Driving engagement is the path to success on social and you’ll want to do this around topics that matter to your target audiences. Listening and engaging across multiple social platforms is hard and takes time, which is why Maybe* has brought these together into one simple dashboard.
The reporting suite means you’re always sure of what’s working and what’s not and you can access a wide range of help and training on-demand within the help centre.
Through focusing on social media engagement and listening to the sentiment of their audiences see how Keith Scarrott and Primark have maintained their connection with customers.
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Crowdfunder offers free services to support businesses and individuals ‘pay it forward’
In light of the sharp downturn in income felt by small businesses across the UK, Crowdfunder is providing the tech and tools to enable small businesses to pre-sell their services now on a promise to their customers that they can redeem later.
The aim is to support as many of the 5.9 million small businesses across the UK as possible. The Pay it Forward campaign provides access to 100% free fundraising for your small business along with support, the tech and tools plus access to a free Maybe* account.
You can use your Crowdfunder to pre-sell for example events or hotel bookings for cash now on a promise people can redeem the services at a later date whilst helping their favourite small businesses to stay afloat.
Crowdfunder will cover all platform and transaction fees and offer free training to help with online sales, cashflow support, and legal support.
Get your campaign started at Crowdfunder.
Facebook small business grants programme
Facebook has announced that it’s creating a $100 million grant program for small businesses. Facebook has said that this will include both ad credits and cash grants that can be spent on operational costs like paying staff and paying rent. It will be available to up to 30,000 businesses in the 30-plus countries where Facebook operates. Although not yet launched in the UK, you can still pre-register for when it comes available.