If there’s anything we’ve learned from 2020, it’s that we all need each other’s support—and not just financially. The same is true for small businesses. While we want to support small businesses by patronizing them and paying for their services, it’s simply not always possible for all of us to do so all of the time. However, as we’ve been exploring on our social media accounts, there are lots of ways to support small businesses that cost us nothing at all. Here are some great ways to keep your fellow members of the small-business community going through these tough times. Next time you think to yourself, “I like that company. I’d like to support them,” these actions don’t cost anything and take almost no time—and they make a huge difference.
Write a Positive Review
Small business owners say it all the time, but that’s just because it really does work: Leave a positive review online. You can go to a third-party site like Yelp and review a business there. Or even easier, just review them on google. When you search for a company on google, the company info should show up on the right-hand side of the results page. That info will include a button that reads, “Write a Review.” Click on it, and box pops up with five empty stars and a field for you to write something. Click on the star farthest to the right to leave a five-star review, and, if you like, write a quick sentence or two about why you like the company. That input will be included when someone else searches for the company online.
Tell Your Friends and Family
You may not have immediate need for a small business’s services right now, but someone you know might. Your friends and family trust your opinion above that of strangers or advertisements. If you mention a certain business you admire, then that business will be at the top of the list when your friends and family need a service they provide.
Follow Small Businesses on Social Media
Followers, followers, followers—they’re like online currency. The more followers a company has, the more trust and legitimacy they generate. Plus, when you log in to see what’s happening, you might just see a post from that company and learn something you wouldn’t have known before. Like how that café around the corner added a tasty-looking sandwich to their lunch menu, or how your house cleaner just added a dedicated employee for COVID-sanitation. This kind of info generates business.
Engage with Their Posts
Now that we’ve all become Junior Epidemiologists due to the pandemic, it’s helpful to note that social media info spreads like a virus, too—and that’s a good thing. When you engage with a company’s post, you’re not only showing them support directly; you’re also showing that feedback to their other followers, and possibly to your own friends and followers, too. One little like and comment boosts that post.
Tag Them in a Shoutout
A shoutout is even more deliberately proactive than post-engagement, and it takes no more effort. Post something about a small business you admire and tag them to be sure they see it. You’ll make their day and your followers will know you mean business.
Sign Up for Their Newsletter
In an age where we’re on social media so much, email has gained a bit more heft. When a company needs to get serious with their messaging—or even if they just want to have a more intimate communication—they’ll put it in their newsletter, and you’ll take notice. It only takes a second to sign up, but it’s a giant step forward in establishing a long-term relationship.