I'm sure most of you are feeling unsettled and a little out of control living through the COVID-19 Corona Virus pandemic that we have been experiencing for the past few weeks. I've felt a variety of emotions every day but am choosing to be hopeful that things will return to normal sooner rather than later. I have been planning on posting this specific blog for over a month and it's very appropriate content these days. Now, more than ever, it's imperative that we all support small businesses in any way possible. I think many people believe that supporting small and local businesses means spending money in those establishments. While all small businesses need financial support of their communities, you can also do many easy, small actions that can have a great impact on those businesses. Here are a few ideas for you start with while we are all staying home. Please comment with some other ideas at the end of the post...I'd love to hear how you support small and local businesses.
1) Follow on Social Media-- If you are reading this blog you probably follow Salt and Branch on some social media platform, whether it's Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest (maybe all 3!). Following small businesses not only grows an audience for those businesses (which is always a good thing), but it also lets you know when new items are coming to their store, when they are running new sales and any pertinent information that they want to share. By following some of your favorite small businesses on social media, you may find some new places in your local community or even e-commerce businesses to try that may just end up on your favorites list soon.
2) Like their posts-- The second suggestion flows nicely from the first one above. It's pretty simple to like your favorite small businesses posts, but surprisingly only a small number of people who follow an account end up liking their posts. I'm not sure how much you know about social media algorithms, but the more "likes" a post has the greater exposure it gets on that platform. The more people who see a post increases the business's brand on social media.
3) Re-post their picture or story--This post is a pretty heavy Facebook and Instagram article since those are our 2 biggest social media platforms. Sharing a business's post or story to your story gives them more exposure. Depending on how many friends or followers you have you could be sharing their business with several hundred or even thousand people. If the business gets a few new followers from your re-post it is huge word-of-mouth marketing for that business. Remember, small businesses do not have large marketing budgets and any exposure for them helps more than you know!
4) Review them-- This is a small act that can have a huge impact on a small business. Whether it's Google, Yelp, Facebook or on their own website, reviewing your recent purchase or the business as a whole goes a long way in supporting small businesses. If you are like most, you look at ratings when you are shopping online. Reviewing products gives credibility to a business (I've also come to learn this is called social proof, who knew?). The more positive ratings a business has, the more likely other people will want to buy from that business.
5) Tell a friend-- How many times have you been chatting with a friend and she shared that she recently had the best dinner at the cutest new restaurant downtown? If you are like me, this happens pretty frequently when I get together with my girlfriends. They often know about the new coffee shops, boutiques, bars and restaurants in the greater Boston area. This is a tried and true method for a small business's growth because you trust your friends opinions. Word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful small way that you can support your favorite small businesses.
There you go. 5 easy to do action steps that you can do in less time than it takes to chose which Netflix movie you want to watch! You can do all of these without spending any money and from the comfort of your own sofa. I'm looking forward to life returning to normal and I'm sure you are too. Stay safe, stay home and be well.