Google has added new support link options for business profiles which will enable organizations to list gift card and donations links on their Google My Business listings in order to call on people for assistance amid the COVID-19 lockdowns.
As explained by Google:
"With this feature, merchants will be able to add a donation link, gift card link or both to their profile. They can also share a personal message in their post to inform customers how funds will be put to use."
The links will be displayed wherever people can view your Google My Business profile, including in search listings and in maps. The options will be available to businesses that were verified before March 1st, 2020, while they'll only be available to businesses that have a physical storefront.
Google has also provided some pointers on what messaging brands should look to use in their accompanying message:
- Be personal and positive - Use this message to connect with your customers and wish them well.
- For example: Hello, friends. We can’t wait to serve you again when we reopen.
- Be focused and specific - Communicate what kind of support you want clearly: a gift card purchase, a donation, or both. Let customers know how their support helps your business.
- For example: Please buy a gift card to put toward future dog walks.
- For example: We’d appreciate a donation to help us continue to pay our staff.
- For example: Please consider making a donation or buying a gift card toward a future class.
- Be brief - The ideal length of your message is 250–300 characters. The maximum character count is 500.
Both Facebook and Instagram have added similar gift card and donation tools, providing alternate means for people to support the businesses they know and love, even if they're not able to open their physical stores at this time.
Google has partnered with PayPal and GoFundMe for donations, while for gift cards, merchants will be able to link directly to the relevant page on their website, or to their gift card offerings with eligible partners.
It's a good option for those SMBs that are struggling, providing another way to generate some level of income, and reduce the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.
The donation and gift card links are now available in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, and will be visible to consumers later this month. You can read more about Google's new link options for business profiles here.