Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have had to adapt and shift to ongoing changes, including necessary health and safety protocols and changes to day-to-operations. Consumer behaviours have shifted during the pandemic, as people spend more time researching destinations and businesses; keeping them informed of relevant changes through your online listings is more important than ever so they understand what you are doing to keep them safe and what services you're providing.
Be Clear. Be Consistent. Make it Easy for Customers.
Maintaining consistency and clarity throughout all of your online profiles and listings by ensuring information like your hours of operation and contact information are accurate will avoid confusion for the consumer. If you're changing the hours on a physical sign at your business, it's a good reminder to change those hours on your digitals 'signs,' too. If you spend time each day—or even once a week—reviewing your online listings, profiles, and website, you'll be confident that everything is consistent and accurate.
One of the most important places online to keep updated is your website; it will often be the second place people will go once they have learned about your business. For example, if someone reads a blog post on tourismkelowna.com and ends up on your Tourism Kelowna listing, the next likely place they will visit is your website.
Having your hours of operations, location, and contact information easily accessible on your website is key for consumers to easily support your business. You'll also want to have your COVID-19 health and safety plan online, in accordance with WorkSafeBC requirements, and make sure that it is easy for people to find. Communicating to people that they can purchase your product or use your service safely is paramount. If this information is not readily available and easy to find, it is unlikely that the person will do more digging to find the information they are looking for and they may potentially move on to another business or service provider.
Google My Business
Arguably one of the most important listings to keep up to date is your business listing on Google. You can find a wealth of helpful information pertaining specifically to COVID-19 in the Google My Business Help Center, including information on how to highlight available in-person and online service options, how to add and edit your listing to include safety measures, and how to add COVID-19 update posts to your profile.
If you're not familiar with your Google My Business listing, you can review some quick videos to help you get started. The first video covers how to get your business on Google Search and Maps. The second video is how to edit your business profile.
Tourism Kelowna Listing
All Tourism Kelowna's stakeholders who have a Base or Enhanced Package have the ability to update their listing on tourismkelowna.com at any time. You can update your phone number, website, email, description, images, and more. You can also toggle on specific COVID-19 protocols your business has in place (or even upload your health and safety policy), to reassure visitors that your business is a safe space.
To view how to update your listing through Tourism Kelowna's Extranet, please click the button below. Our small but mighty team is working hard in the background reviewing and approving the changes you make to your listings, so it could take 24-48 hours before your changes are shown live on the website.
Facebook and Social Media
There are multiple "touchpoints" a visitor might look at to find updated information or to verify that your business is indeed open. In addition to Google, one of the go-to spots is Facebook. Hundreds of millions of people use Facebook every day, so make sure your business profile is up to date with hours of operation, contact information, website, etc. Facebook has created a handy guide to help businesses be discoverable. Be sure that any other social media accounts are up-to-date and in line with the information available on Facebook.
Another common trip planning resource is Tripadvisor, so keeping your listing updated with the same pertinent information available on your other online listings makes it easy for potential visitors to add your business to their trip plan. Destination BC also uses Tripadvisor listings to update their listings on HelloBC.com, so this is another advantage of keeping your listing up to date.
COVID-19 has disrupted so many aspects of our lives and has furthered the shift to digital communication, requiring businesses to move at light speed to shift, pivot, and adapt. Make sure your business is not left behind and maintain your online presence, profiles, and listings so visitors can easily find you, know and trust that your business is open, and that you are ready to welcome them, safely.