COVID-19 Digital Marketing Updates

Digital marketing channels, such as Facebook and Google, have never been more important for independent pharmacies use to connect with their patients. In light of the recent coronavirus pandemic, many of these platforms are offering additional support and guidelines for local businesses. Check this page regularly to learn about the latest updates in this area that are relevant for independent pharmacies.

Check out this infographic to see how Good Neighbor Pharmacy members are using digital marketing to stay connected with their community.



Updated Facebook Advertising Guidelines for COVID-19

Last updated: December 22, 2020

As of December 18, 2020, Facebook has updated their COVID-19 advertising policy to allow ads about vaccine availability to prevent someone from contracting the virus and ads that promote safe ways for patients to access a vaccine for COVID-19. However, any ads or organic posts that promote the sale of a vaccine (examples include attempts to sell a COVID-19 vaccine kit or expedited vaccine access) are prohibited. Ads that claim the vaccine is a cure for the virus will be rejected, as will any ads that contain false claims about the vaccine. Per Facebook, “this could include false claims about the safety, efficacy, ingredients or side effects of the vaccine.” Facebook has noted that it may take time to train their systems and teams on this new policy and to expect enforcement to ramp up in the near future. 

Ads promoting hand sanitizer, surface wipes and non-medical face masks continue to be allowed with restrictions. Ads for COVID-19 test kits and medical face masks are temporarily prohibited. Ads that promote the sale of COVID-19 vaccines are prohibited. Ads that promote a sense of urgency for COVID-19 supplies and products, exploit COVID-19 for financial gain, incite fear about COVID-19 or claim the prevention of COVID-19 are also prohibited.

The updated policy can be found here

Updated Facebook Advertising Guidelines for COVID-19

Last updated: August 24, 2020

Facebook has updated their previous COVID-19 advertising policy to allow eligible advertisers to promote the sale of hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes. Per Facebook, eligible advertisers “must have a minimum advertising history of 4 months and accounts must be eligible to advertise on Facebook (ex. not disabled due to violating activity).” Ads for non-medical face masks are also allowed but must not make any claims about medical or health functions. 

Ads for COVID-19 test kits and medical face masks are still prohibited. Additionally, ads promoting any of these items as a free gift are not allowed. The list below indicates the current advertising status of products outlined in Facebook’s policy.

Allowed with Restrictions: 

  • Non-Medical Face Masks
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Disinfectant Wipes


  • COVID-19 Test Kits
  • Medical Face Masks 

Ads that promote a sense of urgency for COVID-19 supplies and products, incite fear about COVID-19 or claim the prevention of COVID-19 are also prohibited. 

The latest information from Facebook regarding COVID-19 policies for advertisers can be found here

New Advertising Guidelines for COVID-19

Last updated: May 15, 2020

Social media is a valuable platform to communicate with patients, especially during times of crisis. Facebook has issued new policies aimed at limiting the spread of misinformation related to COVID-19 and preventing the exploitation of COVID-19 for financial gain. Content intended to create a panic or imply that certain products are a cure for COVID-19 or can prevent contracting it is prohibited. In addition, advertisements selling the following products are prohibited:

  • Medical face masks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • COVID-19 test kits

More information regarding this policy can be found here. Violations of this policy could include the removal of the post or sanctions against the pharmacy Facebook business page.

Certain types of advertisement of these products may still be allowed under Facebook’s guidelines. Examples include promoting product donations or providing general public education.

Pharmacies who have had an ad removed or rejected from Facebook are able to appeal the decision if they believe Facebook made an error. More information about the appeals process can be found here.

Facebook is regularly updating their policies and posting them here. You can review this page any time to ensure you stay in compliance with their latest platform policies.

Facebook Announces Small Business Grants Program

Last updated: April 22, 2020

Facebook’s new Small Business Grants Program provides financial support to eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries where Facebook operates who have been impacted by COVID-19. Grant recipients will receive cash as well as a Facebook Advertising credit.

Applications will be live in all eligible U.S. locations by April 22. The application will be open for two weeks. To be eligible, Facebook shares that businesses must:

  • Have between 2 and 50 employees
  • Have been in business for over a year
  • Have experienced challenges from COVID-19
  • Be in or near a location where Facebook operates

For more information, visit Facebook’s resource page for small business grants or review the grant guide.

Temporary Service Changes

Last updated: April 3, 2020

In response to COVID-19, Facebook has rolled out a new feature to help businesses announce temporary changes to their services. Businesses can indicate how their services have changed, including whether or not they are still open with modified services or temporarily closed. These updates can appear on the page, the page preview, in searches and in curated lists of local resources.

To add temporary service changes, business page admins can visit their Page Settings and edit their Page Info under the Hours section. Learn more >


COVID-19 Facebook temporary service update screenshot



COVID-19 and Telehealth Links Available in Google My Business for Healthcare Providers

Last updated: April 9, 2020

Google My Business has introduced a new link option for healthcare providers to add links to their website related to COVID-19 or telehealth services. This new feature makes information about the coronavirus more prominent and accessible on listings. Healthcare providers can update their listing with these links by logging into Google My Business and editing the “Info” section of their profile.


COVID-19 Google My Business screenshot

COVID-19 Google Posts

Last updated: April 3, 2020

Google My Business is offering a new post type designed to help local businesses share updates about the impact of COVID-19 on their operations and services. This new format is prominently featured on Google My Business listings so that customers are aware of posts related to COVID-19. Business owners can use this feature to share information on temporary closures, new hours or services, safety precautions and more. These updates are text-only and can only be posted from a desktop. Learn more >

Updating Listing Information and Temporary Closures

Last updated: April 3, 2020

Google has provided guidance to help local businesses share more information on changes to their hours of operation. Business listings help customers searching online find accurate and relevant information about local businesses.

Business owners who have claimed their Google My Business listing can update their profile to reflect any changes. This could include adding special business hours or marking a business as temporarily closed. Learn more >



COVID-19 Yelp Alerts

Last updated: April 3, 2020

Yelp for Business has added a new alert for Yelp pages to help businesses communicate critical updates related to COVID-19. The COVID-19 Advisory Alert is displayed at the top of a Yelp page and can be edited to provide specific updates, such as limited services or hours. A generic message will be shown if no custom alert text is provided.

Yelp is also encouraging business owners to update their hours of operations and any service options if needed. Businesses can now add virtual service offerings, such as virtual classes or consultations, to their service offerings. Learn more > and My GNP Mobile App

COVID-19 and My GNP Mobile App Alerts

Last updated: April 3, 2020

Alerts of possible modified hours/services have been added to Local Pages and the My GNP Mobile App for all Good Neighbor Pharmacy customers. Patients will see the content below when viewing pharmacy information on these channels.

Please note store hours and services may be impacted by COVID-19. Please call your pharmacy to confirm hours and for more information.

Good Neighbor Pharmacy Premier members can reach out to their advertising manager with any questions or requests for assistance.