COVID-19 Update

Ottawa Tourism’s top priority is the health and safety of our community and our visitors. As we welcome travellers back to our region, please consult our Visiting Ottawa safely page for the latest COVID-19 information. When making plans, please confirm details with businesses and entities directly as parts of our website may not reflect current offerings.

Panoramic view of downtown Ottawa with Parliament Hill, Fairmont Château Laurier and Government Conference Centre

Social Media Recommendations during COVID-19

Below are some recommendations on what your business can do during the current COVID-19 situation to provide relevant information to the public, while still maintaining a positive presence online.

General Best Practices

  • We recommend postponing any promotions of in-person events/openings etc until the health and safety measure permit. Many people find advertising under these circumstances insensitive and it could harm your business more than help it
  • If you have upcoming events that have been cancelled, delete them from your Facebook events page. Avoid adding new ones until you know they will be permitted. If you have online/virtual events, add them as events on Facebook to help spread the word.
  • Attempt to stay positive and promote what you ARE doing, not what you can’t do/what is closed.
  • Avoid using negative hashtags #Pandemic, #Canadalockdown or negative keywords in your messaging like “crisis”, “pandemic” etc. Note that when you use the word “covid” in an Instagram post, Instagram will add a covid message to your post.
  • Always keep your customers or potential visitors up to date on your hours. A simple message pinned to your Facebook or Twitter page is helpful.

Content Ideas

  • Think of ways people can interact with your business without visiting in person
    • Virtual Tours are a great way for people to visit online
    • If a staff member is permitted in the building have someone film them giving a tour of an exhibition or giving details on an interesting artifact
    • Repurpose video content about an activity/current exhibition and frame it as “virtual visiting” versus visiting in person
    • Do an event live on FB or IG (musical performance, cooking demo, science demo, ask a curator – all can be done remote)
    • Consider putting out “behind the scenes” content eg. Tour of a brewery, where your roastery roasts the beans, some great pieces in your clothing store to highlight for spring, how artifacts are cleaned, feeding of animals, maintenance of boats/equipment, how you prepare your most popular dish. This content doesn’t need to be professionally shot or new, just reframed as behind the scenes, virtual visiting/learning.
    • Profile your products on your social channels, especially if you have online ordering options.
  • If you are a restaurant/brewery/bakery/cafe and still offer takeout/deliver promote this. People are eager to support local
  • If you sell drinks/cocktails, consider putting out a recipe a few times a week of your best sellers, enticing people to come try one when you re-open
  • Consider promoting people photographing the outside of your building if you have one. If you don’t feel you are particularly photo worthy, put something in your front window – a positive message on a paper sign, fill a window with pizza/doughnut/noodle bowl paper cut-outs, create a dining scene with stuffed animals in seats, be creative and positive.
  • If you are an art institution, consider teaming up with local artists to give painting/sculpture/drawing demos on your social channels – either as a channel takeover (artists from afar) or posted as content after they are created
  • If you are a sports organization, get players to give tips on how to improve your skills, indoor training etc. You can frame this as an online training camp

Tagging

  • Tag your local neighbourhood BIA in posts about your business, they are sharing important information through their channels
  • MOST importantly, use the #MyOttawa hashtag and tag us in your posts so we can see and promote your content. If you have a great initiative that we may have missed, or one upcoming please email social@ottawatourism.ca.

Stay up to date

Stay up to date on upcoming events and ideas to plan your next trip to Ottawa with friends, family or on your own by signing up for the Ottawa Tourism Newsletter.