Good morning, how are you communicating with customers during the crisis?

There’s no doubt that social distancing has severely impacted day-to-day operations for local businesses – and for their customers, too. During our local search edition of Live with Search Engine Land last Friday, Adam Dorfman, director of product management at along with other members of the local search community shared communication strategies to help small business owners keep customers informed. Here’s a rundown:

Use your site to inform customers. “It should be front and center, because everybody wants to know, are you, at the very least, keeping your own employees protected — all that sort of information,” Dorfman said, recommending that local businesses make their COVID-19-related announcements and information prominent and easily accessible on their sites.

Be creative with email. Consumers have already received the first wave of coronavirus-related emails from businesses. Resist messaging your customers again with bland or irrelevant response updates.

Update your Google My Business profile. “You can update the name, the description and Posts are going to be really helpful,” said Krystal Taing, listings management product specialist for RIO SEO. She pointed to a few ways local businesses can use Google My Business to relay information.

Seek deeper engagement via social media. “If you want to talk about clever COVID messaging … Instagram is where I see the best of the best,” said Dorfman. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the follower counts are growing because of this … they don’t have a business to run necessarily day-to-day, so they have all of this time and resources to put into social media.”

Incorporate offline messaging. Putting up a storefront notice with contact info can show customers you’re still within reach. However, if you typically receive high call volume, keeping customers on hold for a long time can backfire. Consider directing customers to your website, where you can publish complete details and address their concerns without keeping them on hold.

There’s more below, including our daily mindfulness exercise and an update on Facebook’s new desktop Messenger app. 

Taylor Peterson,
Deputy Editor

Social Shorts

Group video chats in Facebook’s new desktop app, YouTube gears up to compete with TikTok

Facebook’s new desktop Messenger app. Facebook has launched a Messenger app for Windows and Mac that lets users engage in group videos and chats on the big screen (aka – your desktop). People can still use Facebook Messenger on the desktop browser, but the new standalone Messenger app for desktop is designed to make it easier to connect outside of a browser – and on a much larger screen. Why we care: Facebook is taking clear measures to respond to the crisis, from highlighting coronavirus-related resources and informing users of ways to stay connected to weeding out misinformation. The new desktop Messenger app provides people with yet another easy way to keep in touch with each other (and is capable of doing it at a group level). Source: Facebook 

YouTube plans to launch in-app feature to compete with TikTok. Rumor has it that YouTube could be launching a short-form video-sharing feature before the end of the year. Dubbed “Shorts,” the new YouTube feature will reportedly live inside the YouTube mobile app and will showcase a feed of content in a TikTok-style manner. Why we care: The new YouTube feature could raise a serious threat against TikTok, which has already amassed almost 2 billion downloads globally. Since it will be tied to YouTube, the ‘Shorts’ feature could encourage more engagement from brands and creators already familiar with YouTube’s platform (and its ad business, for that matter). Source: The Information


Making Sense of 2020: New Marketing Priorities & Opportunities amidst the Chaos

Change has been the operative word for 2020. At the start of the year, CMOs said data, customer insights, digital commerce and marketing operations would be their priorities. With our new environment moving towards more digital distribution, e-commerce, scrutinized marketing spend and hiring freezes – what are the new marketing priorities and strategies? Join our panel of martech leaders to hear important insights on the opportunities that 2020 can still provide, as you try to manage your results, data integrity and martech organization needs.

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Mindful Moment

This is a difficult time for us all. We are sharing a mindfulness exercise daily to help those interested to take a moment to decompress and regain focus. If you have a tip or exercise to share with the community, please email me at

This week, we have suggestions from Tara Martello, a meditation and mindfulness coach based in Philadelphia. Today’s exercise: This 16-second meditation involves inhaling for a count of 4, holding for a count of 4 and exhaling for a count of 4. Repeating for at least 5 times. 


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What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

‘We’re not in advertising mode’: Anheuser-Busch CMO Marcel Marcondes on staying relevant – Digiday

In The Middle Of A CMO Search? Here Are 5 Key Considerations For Candidate Care In Today’s Environment – Forbes

Amazon drops out of NewFronts, joining Twitter, Digitas and Walmart’s Vudu – Marketing Dive

WeWork troubles deepen as SoftBank pulls $3 billion tender offer – Reuters

App Annie: Q1 mobile game downloads up 20% as players stay in – VentureBeat

eBay is waiving seller fees for new businesses to help shuttered retailers move online – The Verge