COVID-19 has disrupted many avenues of marketing in 2020, including Facebook advertising. To keep companies and customers safe, Facebook has changed the options, rules, and regulations of its Store Traffic ads.

With lockdowns now lifted, the store traffic objective of driving consumers to brick and mortar locations has returned, but with adjustments and new features. These changes are centered on a business demonstrating concern for its customers’ health and ensuring safety procedures are displayed prominently. Many of these new safety protocols will become permanent and have a long-term positive effect on your company and customers.

As of October 2020, store traffic ad placements have been reduced and can only appear on the Facebook News Feed. Other ad type placements are currently unavailable, including those on Instagram. If you were running a different ad type previously, that ad will be paused until the ad adheres to the new standards set in place. Once you comply with the new policy changes, your ad will restart, but will only be available on the Facebook News Feed. It will not be shown in the ads’ original location. If you select numerous placement locations, your ad will begin delivering as those placement types once they become available.

To ensure your ads are continuing to run smoothly and are updated to meet the new guidelines, you should check your Facebook ads periodically. There are three major changes to Facebook ads to be aware of:

1) New Call-to-Action Button Options

The first action you should take to improve your ad display is to update your Call-to-Action buttons. New additions such as “Call Now” and “Message Now” have been enabled for consumers to have the ability to contact your business directly and inquire about health protocols and safety regulations that your business is abiding by. This can include the mandatory wearing of masks, changes to business hours, new services like curbside pick-up or delivery and indoor capacity limitations. If you are not able to constantly monitor your page and respond to questions quickly, you can set up an automatic response informing customers of safety changes you have in place or instructing them to call your business with other inquiries.

The “Order Now” Call-to-Action button has also been added to prompt consumers to go straight to purchasing options as well as a “Get Directions” button. When someone selects this button, it opens the Store Locator instead of rerouting them to the map app or page.

2) Temporary Service Changes

Changes to your Store Page have also been implemented to inform customers of what to expect from your business either online or at a physical location. These changes can now be listed under the Temporary Service Change option. This customer information can include free delivery during these restricted times or a notice of your business being temporarily closed. If your business is marked as closed on Facebook, but you had started a Facebook ad campaign prior to COVID, your ads will not be delivered to consumers until you mark your business as reopened. You will not be charged for the ads during the time that they are paused.

3) COVID Awareness

To keep all potential customers safe and aware, Facebook has also made the important addition of informing customers to check local government guidance information about coronavirus restrictions and mandates prior to visiting your location.

If you need assistance crafting a social media message or need more information on how to use social media during COVID, the CDC has put together a social media toolkit. This helpful guide includes suggestions, recommendations, and instructions for messaging, imagery, ad placeholders, and videos. Click here to view the toolkit.