If your business has reduced hours or has temporarily closed its doors, remember to update your business listings online in order to effectively communicate with current and future customers.
In the short term, this may increase cash flow by reflecting accurate, timely information to potential customers and thereby creating an elevated guest experience. In the long term, this will create brand loyalty with your customer base.
This article has two parts. Part one has instructions for temporarily closing your digital listing on Trip Advisor, Google My Business, and Facebook. Part two dives into updating your digital followers of temporarily closures and/or adjustments through your website, Instagram, and Twitter pages.
- Click on your business listing on the owner dashboard
- In the top bar, point to Manage Listing
- Scroll down and click Hours
- Click Temporarily Closed
Example: Cora updated its temporary closure on Trip Advisor to better serve and assist guests.
Google My Business
Google recently announced that temporarily closing your Google Business listing will not impact your ranking or visibility online.
- On your computer, sign in to Google My Business
- In the left-hand menu, click Info
- To the right, point to Close this business on Google
- Click Mark as temporarily closed
Example: The BC Wildlife Park updated its hours on Google My Business but continues to post videos on its Instagram account.
- Go to Settings
- Click Page Info
- Scroll down to Hours and Temporary Service Changes
- Update your store hours and/or update your Temporary Service Changes
You have the option to indicate that a location is ‘Temporarily Closed’ or select from multiple options under ‘Open with Service Changes’ such as Online Services, Delivery, Pick Up or Other Changes. Businesses that choose ‘Other Changes’ are encourages to post about special hours for the elderly, access to gift card purchases or other similar options to their business page and pin to the top. Click here for more information.
Update Your Followers
Platforms like Twitter and Instagram don’t have a business hours section; however, it’s equally important to update your followers with adjusted hours and/or a temporary closure. Update your biography on Twitter and Instagram to reflect this. Far & Wide has kept their Instagram bio short and sweet with a link to their online shop.
Ask yourself the following questions and have your business bio reflect this:
- Are you temporarily closed and not available?
- Do you have an online ordering system or shop? If so, is this link easy to find if I’ve never been to your website or social media page? Will I receive a confirmation email or text within 24 hours?
- Is curbside pickup available?
- Do I order by calling and pre-paying or emailing in a form? How long will it take for you to return my voicemail or email?
- Are you doing delivery on certain days with a set cutoff date and time? Will you call before delivery?
- Are you doing delivery through Mitchie’s Delivery or Skip the Dishes? What health checks do you have in place?
Example: Fern and Frond’s Instagram bio has its business hours listed with a link to its online shop & direct link to purchase a gift-card.
Lastly, update your website to reflect the current situation that you’re in. Assume that visitors to your website are not following you on Instagram or Twitter and keep it short and simple. If you can’t remember all the websites and platforms that your business has its hours listed, simply Google your business name and scroll through the 2-3 pages to ensure your customers are informed and in the loop.
Closing your doors is financially and emotionally challenging; however, this does not mean that you should stop having a digital presence. Updating your business to “temporarily closed” online shows that you effectively communicating with your customers and business community.
Click here for 4 tips to stay engaged with your digital community.
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