Facebook and Instagram share new tools to support small businesses in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: To support businesses impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, Facebook and Instagram have lined up new features to direct people to gift cards from local businesses on the platforms and purchase them via select third party partner sites.

Facebook is testing a feature where people will be able to access gift cards from participating merchants in their cities through a "Support Local Businesses" promotion on Facebook. The gift cards are made possible through our partners, Fave and StoreHub who will share the value of the gift card minus their transaction fee with the participating merchant.

"Covid-19 has disrupted our economy and way of life, but it will not dampen our spirit and willingness to help one another. I'm confident that our partnership will energise communities to support their favourite local businesses by purchasing our gift cards so that businesses may continue to operate and support their staff during these challenging times," said Joel Neoh, Co-founder and CEO of Fave Group.

On Instagram, businesses can add a gift card sticker to their Stories and also a button for their business profile page. Each time someone sees a Story with these stickers or goes to the business profile page, they can tap through to complete a purchase on the website of the chosen platform.

"We know that at a difficult time like this, businesses have real worries in keeping their operations running and counting on every single support they can get. We have listened to what businesses need and we want to do our part in helping them navigate this crisis and keep in touch with their customers. With these gift cards and discount vouchers, we hope to provide means for people to easily share and support their local businesses," said Nicole Tan, Country director for Facebook Malaysia.

Instagram is also launching new capabilities to make it easy for people to show their support for businesses through hashtags and stickers. A new "Support Small Business" sticker on Instagram lets people give their favourite business a shout out. All the accounts a person follows who use the sticker will be added to a shared Instagram story, allowing people to see the different businesses that people are supporting during this time.

Fong Wai Hong, Co-founder of StoreHub also said: "Throughout this period, we've noticed how much communities want to rally around the businesses that they love - buying from them and especially gifting to friends and family. That is why we are working with Facebook on this initiative to help Malaysians discover F&B businesses in their community and support local restaurants in a sustainable and profitable way by ordering directly from them".

Starting from May 12, 2020, business page admins will also have access to a Covid-19 Business Resource which will provide tips and resources for small businesses including personalised recommendations for their pages. This is in addition to the Business Resource Hub which was launched earlier this year.

The Gift Cards feature lets people discover gift cards from local businesses on Facebook and Instagram purchase them via select third party partner sites. Businesses interested in promoting their gift cards can learn how to sign up with one of Facebook's partners.

How Gift Cards Work:

For Facebook: The gift cards will be available on a dedicated landing page that will surface all gift cards available from businesses in their local area. The landing page will be accessible via QPs that will run in News Feed, and businesses can promote the gift cards on their own Pages and News Feed posts.

For Instagram: SMBs can 1) add a Gift Card sticker for Stories and 2) a button for their business profile page. Each time someone sees your Stories with these stickers or goes to your profile page, they can tap through to complete a purchase on the website of your chosen platform.

Source: New Straits Times

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