Congratulations! Your ZoomBusiness online, interactive mapping directory of businesses open during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns is an excellent way to get the support they need from area residents. Here are seven ways to let the restaurants, bars, bakeries, pharmacies, retailers and service providers in your area know about the tool so they can be listed.
Before we begin, however, it helps to understand the two ways business listings can be added. First, businesses can add themselves by clicking on the Add Business tab in the upper right corner of your ZoomBusiness tool. They will add their details and submit it to your for approval in the Admin. They don't need a login or a password to do this. Second, businesses can be added by anyone with Admin access, either manually one at a time, or in a bulk upload by using the spreadsheet you'll find in your Admin panel (click here to see where that spreadsheet can be found in your Admin panel).
So let's get those businesses listed! It's in everyone's best interests to see local businesses survive. To be as effective as possible, you need to harness community support and ask people to share this news widely with links back to your ZoomBusiness page. We suggest these seven promotion strategies to get them online right away.
- Post a clear, obvious link on your website home page and header for businesses to follow to list themselves. You are doing this for them so you need to let them know. Having a dedicated box or promotional ad with an image on your website linking to the tool is a critical first step.
- Promote it heavily on your social media channels. Many businesses are on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram so let them know as frequently and clearly as possible that this listing exists for them. Ask people to help share and spread the word. If your organization moderates a LinkedIn or Facebook group for businesses, post it there. Search for neighbourhood and area associations with groups on Facebook or LinkedIn and post about it in those places, asking them to help spread the word.
- Enlist the help of regional partners to spread the word. Your county, municipal, state and provincial organizations can link to the tool as well and should be encouraged to spread the word on their social media channels. Chambers of commerce, commercial realtors, property management companies, banks can help help promote it as well. Call and email your contacts with requests to promote this to local businesses and area residents.
- Call and email them. If you have listings of businesses in your area, reach out directly to show them how you can support them. Perhaps there are volunteers in your area who can help with this outreach.
- Share the downloadable poster for them to put in their windows and post on their websites and social feeds. This helps direct area residents to your local ZoomBusiness site to support the businesses but it also helps alert other businesses to the fact that this tool exists to benefit the community.
- Send out a special edition of your e-newsletter to area businesses to let them know it exists and explain how to list themselves.
- Get local media on board to spread the word. Ask them to promote the link on their website. I would make a case for them to do it without charge, since the local businesses you are supporting are their advertisers. If they don't survive the pandemic, their ad revenue will dry up. This is a great, hopeful story about economic recovery from COVID-19 and shows the power of community in action. It's a wonderful story for them to run.
Want to learn more about adding the ZoomBusiness online GIS map directory of businesses open during the COVID-19 pandemic working for your community? We can have it up and running in one business day.