There are loads of social media posts and blogs about why you should support local businesses. We wanted to write something with practical steps you can take to make a real difference to them too.
But let’s start with why it’s important to support small and local businesses.
It’s simple: behind every local business, is someone who has invested their time, love, and energy into your community.
Someone who cares about where you live.Behind every local business, is someone who has invested their time, love, and energy into your community. Click To Tweet
We’ve worked with enough local business owners to know that they are the lifeblood of the area they serve – I’m pretty sure we can all think of several businesses around you that really lift the area, and improve things for everyone.
But here’s the thing – it can be REALLY tough to be a small business owner. Squeezed marketing budgets, fierce online competition, and a rapidly changing high street; it all adds to the difficulty.
Throw into the mix the whack-a-mole nature of social media, appearing in Google search results, and more – and suddenly trying to get your name established as a local business can be a daunting task.
The good news is, however, that we can all help change that.
We’ve put together a list of a few small things you can do to help out businesses around you – they’re simple, and quick.
Help spread the word – share this post, and let’s support local businesses together.
Ok, on with the list:
1. Support Local Businesses on Social Media
Most small and local businesses invest a fair amount of time into their social media – but the platforms themselves are making it harder and harder to make this worthwhile.
Any business owner will tell you that their social media posts don’t go as far as they used to, and that they’re always being bombarded with pressure to buy ad space.
The average organic reach of a Facebook post tends to drop from month to month (although there are still ways to improve your reach) – and anyone that tries to tell you differently is either (a) lying, or (b) trying to sell you something (usually their awful social media services).
As a small business owner, this can be soul-destroying – especially with so many people claiming that they’ve made a fortune on Facebook without spending a single penny.
So – here are some quick and easy things we can all do to help small and local businesses on social media:
Like or Follow Their Profiles
Spend a few minutes searching for local businesses you know on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Once you’ve found them, Like or Follow their accounts. They’ll get a notification that someone has liked their Page, and it’ll make them feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Awesome.
Accept Invites From Friends to Like Their Pages
Sometimes, Page owners invite their friends to like their page, and – because life is hectic and busy – sometimes, we forget to accept the invite.
To find all those old forgotten invites, open Facebook on your desktop (not the mobile app) and click here – and you’ll see a list of all the Pages you’ve been invited to Like. Go through them and accept all the ones you want to support.
Want that link again?
React and Comment on Their Most Recent Posts
This is a lovely one – it can be heartbreaking for a business owner to put their heart and soul into sharing a social media update, only to see the tumbleweed roll by.
If you really want to show your support, go and have a read of some of their most recent updates – and react to them. Hit the like button, or add a comment of your own. They’ll appreciate it, I promise.
And even better, it helps them reach new people too.
Share Their Page With Your Friends
Here’s a brilliantly direct way to help out a local business – write a post of your own, asking people to follow their Page. (This is probably only applicable if the Page itself is producing good content! Otherwise, your friends might not thank you.)
Write a Post of Your Own Recommending Them
Recommendations and reviews are the lifeblood of online marketing. I’m going to talk about reviews in a second, but personal recommendations on social media can be really powerful too.
Write a post of your own, highlighting a local business and something they do brilliantly, or a problem they helped you solve, or something good they’ve done for a friend, or the community.
Tag the Page in your post if you can – though they might not see it, depending on your Privacy settings, the important thing is that your friends will.
You can also keep an eye on your local Facebook groups too – as well as Marketplace. They tend to be full of people asking for recommendations (and unscrupulous marketers replying to these posts to recommend their clients – a breach of trading standards rules), so look for opportunities to help people out and support a local business!
2. Leave Them an Online Review
Review and recommendations are absolutely VITAL to businesses – and the good news is that it’s quick and easy to leave them.
Where you leave your reviews is important – and it tends to change from business to business.
For example, the two most important places for us are Google (g.page/impactbusinessadvisors/review) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pg/impactbusinessadvisors/reviews/).
(Finding this article helpful? Leave us a review!)
Some trades will have other platforms they prefer – for example, Checkatrade, FindaTrade, RatedPeople, etc. Normally it’ll be obvious where they want to collect reviews – they’ll post about them on their social channels – but you can always reach out to them and ask.
There’s no harm in leaving reviews in as many places as possible too – there’s no such thing as ‘too many good reviews’.
It should go without saying, but: keep your reviews genuine – only review people who you’ve used, and can genuinely recommend. Fake reviews are not only ethically dubious, but they can potentially cause legal implications for the reviewer and the business.
(Don’t be that guy that got their sister to leave a fake review on FreeIndex to try and get to the top of the list.)Keep your reviews genuine - only review people who you’ve used, and can genuinely recommend. Click To Tweet
Want to know how to write a great review in three sentences? Just answer these three questions:
- What problem did you have?
- How did this business help you solve it?
- Would you recommend them to your friends and family?
For example: “I was struggling to make Facebook Ads work for my business, and felt I was wasting money. David and the Impact team took charge, and transformed my results – and my sales shot up as a result! I would definitely recommend them to any business that wants to make the most of their Facebook Ads.”Want to know how to write a great review in three sentences? Just answer these three questions! Click To Tweet
3. Recommend Local Businesses – to Your Friends, Neighbours, and in Local Online Communities
Let’s be honest – “have you looked on Amazon?” is a pretty easy thing to say, but not the most helpful when it comes to supporting local businesses.
If you’ve found a local gem, then let people know about it.
Had great service from someone? Tell people.
Facebook’s recent move towards community groups and Marketplace mean that there are often threads from people looking for recommendations – if you see one, and can help, pitch in and suggest someone local!
Also, check out hyperlocal sites such as NextDoor.co.uk too.
4. Get Out There and Actually Spend Time on Your Local High Street
We’re all a bit guilty of not spending enough time on our local high streets.
It’s a case of “use it or lose it” – quite genuinely. Rents, rates, and staffing costs mean that it’s much harder to run a bricks-and-mortar business than an online store – but they’re absolutely essential. Sometimes you just want to see a product, or talk to an expert in person, or – controversial, I know – just be around other people.
And then there’s the community aspect too – for many towns, the high street is the locus of social activity. Get a busy high street during the day, and it encourages the night-time economy too. And both of these together increases investment in the area – making it a better place all round.
And I’m not just talking about retail here – picking an independent bar, pub, or restaurant over a chain brand is just as important.
(And the food and drink does tend to be better…)
Don’t get stuck in the Netflix and Amazon loop. Get out there and walk the walk. It’s worth it, I promise.
5. Spend Money With Them
The last one is the most obvious, but the most important. If you care about local businesses, then get behind them and actually give them your custom.
And – when you discover a local gem, make sure you shout it from the rooftops.When you discover a local gem, make sure you shout it from the rooftops! Click To Tweet
Let’s get behind local businesses – and make our communities truly great places to live.
Know a small business owner? Let them know about this blog post – hit one of the share buttons below!
(And if you own a business yourself, and want to know more about some of the ways we can help you build up your profile online – through social, Facebook and Google Ads, and appearing higher in Google search results – drop me a message. Everyone is welcome to an initial consultation absolutely free of charge, with actions you can take to build your business! Just call us on 0161 850 5215 or 0203 322 3212, or contact us via our form!)
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