When it comes to supporting businesses in your community, you don’t always have to make a purchase to be impactful.
There are several free ways you can support local businesses as a consumer. What are they? Let’s talk about each one in detail.
1. Write a Review
One of the best things you can do as a consumer is to leave reviews for local businesses! Nowadays, online reviews explain a lot about a business’s reputation.
When you leave a review, whether it’s positive or negative, this helps inform other consumers what that specific business has to offer.
A review is your story about your experience, which is why it’s important to be honest and detailed in your review. While leaving the a five-star rating is easy and still helps, a business can benefit more if you leave an actual review.
For example, if you visited a new restaurant and loved your meal, the atmosphere and the service, take the time to leave a review. However, don’t just say “It was great.” Explain the reason why it was great. Here’s a sample response:
While we know not every experience will be great, it’s still essential to leave a review so the business owners know what they can improve on. Here’s a sample response of an appropriate review to leave if you’ve had a negative experience:
When it comes time for you to leave a review, there are several platforms you can choose from! Facebook and Google are the most popular options, but you can also leave them on the BBB website or the business’s website (if applicable).
2. Follow Their Social Media Channels and Engage With Them
Another thing that you can do is support local businesses on their social media channels! Since most people already utilize many social media apps, take a moment to like and follow your favorite business pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
After you follow these pages, you’ll be able to see updates whenever the business creates posts. However, don’t just follow the pages! Be sure to engage with the content they’re creating.
Whether it’s liking, commenting, sharing or tagging your best friend in the comments, this engagement truly does matter and helps business owners know what content to keep pushing out.
Because social media is mostly used as an awareness tool, business owners don’t always see an ROI, so your support by engaging means more than you realize.
Before we move on, one last thing you can do is use any relevant hashtags the business uses. Let’s take Pelotonia, for example. One of their main hashtags is #OneGoal. In their posts, you’ll see this hashtag used frequently.
If you were to visit the Pelotonia headquarters and post a picture on your social media, we encourage you to use the #OneGoal hashtag in your post. Pelotonia likely follows this hashtag and by using it, they are able to easily find your post.
Make sure to only use hashtags that are relevant to the business you’re highlighting!
3. Subscribe to Content/Emails
Want to stay up to date on everything a local business has to offer? Then you should subscribe to their email content!
Most businesses utilize some sort of email strategy and are always looking to add more consumers to their email list.
Email content can be valuable to you, as the business is able to reach you directly with important updates.
Most times, emails will have a little more content compared to your stereotypically social media post. If you’re really dedicated to a business, subscribing to their emails is one of the best options for you!
You also have the opportunity to forward relevant emails to coworkers, family and friends!
4. Utilize Word of Mouth Recommendations
While we talked a lot about writing online reviews for businesses, word of mouth is still a meaningful option if you want to recommend a business!
Word of mouth recommendations add a personalized element compared to online reviews, so many people still rely on taking suggestions from friends and family.
To make things even easier, Facebook has added a recommendation feature when posting a status update! Your Facebook friends can tag business recommendations in the comment section of your post, allowing several people to give their suggestions.
Supporting local businesses doesn’t have to cost you a single cent! By utilizing the methods mentioned in this blog, you’re making an impact for any business you support.
Of course, it’s still important to shop local to help strengthen your community, but sometimes the small acts you do can end up creating more exposure for businesses in the long run.
If you’re a business owner reading this blog, we haven’t forgotten about you! Check out our blog 8 Free and Easy Ways to Advertise Your Business for some marketing tips.
As always, feel free to message us on our Facebook page with any questions you may have about supporting local businesses or advertising your business.