COVID-19 has forced small businesses to change the way they operate. Some might feel lockdown is a good time to stop engaging with customers, but they're wrong. Now is an incredibly crucial time to communicate with new and existing customers online. Here are some of the most important things you should focus on.

Update your Google My Business profile

Many of your customers will enter in your business name in Google, and they'll most likely look at the information presented in the Google Business Profile. It's crucial you make sure the information has been updated, including your opening times. Google has also created a special COVID-19 Post category for posts related to COVID-19.

Add a link to the South African coronavirus news and information portal

As per the government gazette, every website with a domain name that ends in – must now link to the government's main COVID-19 website on its front page. You'll help keep your customers aware of the latest COVID-19 news straight from an official source.

Make announcements prominent on your website

It's important to make announcements visible on the website, as your customers visiting your website will want to know how you're responding, if you're serving customers, what you're doing to protect your staff and more. It's recommended to communicate your business status, if you have pick-up or delivery options, and so on.

Make a FAQ section

A Frequently Asked Questions section on your website, made up of obvious questions combined with some questions you might have received will assist customers. Furthermore, use FAQ Structured data to receive SEO benefits.

Send out useful emails

Since you might have a mailing list or database of customer emails, communicate useful information via email, but don't be bland and boring. Brands are actively communicating with customers during the pandemic, and you'll want to stand out.

Engage via social media

Use channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to engage with your customers. Since most people are flocking to social media platforms, think of creative ways to keep them busy and positive. Good content will also have the benefit of reaching new audiences.