Small business is the heart of our community, but also makes up 44% of our U.S. economy. These businesses are crucial to our local economies and the success of our thriving communities. Undeniably, the current pandemic has been exceedingly difficult on business owners’ mental and financial health. Through all the trials and tribulation, it is not guaranteed every small business owner will be able to keep their doors open through all of this. Fortunately, as consumers, we can pivot our spending habits as well as encourage them by influencing those around us. Ah, there’s that word again… the word of 2020, pivot. Our robust, resilient, ever evolving economy relies heavily on small business and it is our responsibility and joy to support them, ensuring they’ll be around for the long haul.
- Share their Facebook Page, Instagram Page, Linked In, Twitter, Or Other Social Media Outlets
Social media is a powerful way for small businesses to share their brand, to market to potential and existing customers, and has been crucial to keep their customers up to date in our ever-changing environment. It allows businesses to utilize data to shift what they offer and even how it is delivered. Sharing their posts not only help your friends who could be fans of the business find something new but can be a good mental (and revenue!) boost to the business owner!
Challenge: Sharing is caring! Find your favorite small business social media and ask ATLEAST 5 people to either like or visit their business page.
- Interact and Comment on Social Posts
It’s all about that algorithm! As much as we try to ignore it, this is the truth. If you take a moment to like, share, or comment on a small business social posts… you are feeding your algorithm, as well as the page you are interacting with. Like or share something and it is more likely your friends will see the business’s content as well.
Challenge: Comment on or share at least 3 social media posts this week from a small business you follow!
- Write A Review on Google and/or Facebook, Yelp, Etc.
Ah yes, the old-fashioned review… Word of mouth still matters even in the age of the internet! According to this blog posted by Hootsuite, “A UK study from Trinity Mirror Solutions,” found that more than half of adults do not trust a brand until they see “real-world proof” that the brand is keeps its promises. It is important to establish real connection and it’s as easy as one review on any platform.
Challenge: Leave a review (even if you haven’t done business in a while) for one SMALL business on either Google or Facebook. Brownie points if you have a photo to post with it!
- Give A Shout Out/ Post a Photo
It’s so simple to give your favorite business a shoutout, and the best way is to literally SHOW your friends. Share a favorite item you find, favorite service, post a photo of your experience. Visuals are ideal and impactful, as people tend to “like” what they see. The more engagement on the post, with the name of the business attached, the more traction the business receives on their page. Make sure to @tag their business page on whichever platform you’re posting!
Challenge: Post a status or share a post and give kudos to a small business. If you simply bought a piece of jewelry or had a great meal, post a photo and tag them!
- Visit the Store
Whether you visit their website, the storefront, or at a local market it costs $0.00 (OK… maybe gas money…) to just show up. Have you ever heard the phrase, “You don’t know what you don’t know?” Well, it’s absolutely true! You could find your next new favorite item by simply walking in, or the perfect gift to pick up for a friend later.
Challenge: Visit a small local business you have never been to during open hours – check Google for their popular traffic times and try to go in when traffic is low. If you are still social distancing and staying home, visit their website! Bonus points if you recruit a friend to join you!
- Sign up for Email lists or free text messages
Another email list? Yup! Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing yet is still so powerful. Their emails will provide you real time deals, a deeper understanding of the business values, and an opportunity to learn more about the business. Signing up is quick, easy, and free… and highly effective to small businesses! Unlike social media, with email you’ll never miss what they want you to know because it’s delivered straight to your inbox. In fact, you can sign up for the Loveland Business Development Center’s weekly newsletter here: www.lovelandbusiness.com./
Challenge: Sign up for a small business’s e-newsletter. It doesn’t have to be a retailer or restaurant; it can be a service based educational small business or motivational speaker!
- View their Stories (on either IG or Facebook)
Social media stories are a unique form of communication. If you are on social media, it is likely someone has posted a story- just a short snippet of something they have to offer, something they are doing, or just a quick update. What businesses share here could be important to you or someone you know.
Challenge: View and interact with a small business story on IG or Facebook. Send a heart, or smiley face indicating you’re enjoying the content!
- Message, Email, Write A Letter, or Post on Social Media
Social media is supposed to be a conversation – a two-way street. Communicate to the small business how much you appreciate just ONE thing about their business. If you take a moment out of your day to do this, it not only feels good to you, but it gives the business owner an indication that they are, indeed, catering to customers.
Challenge: Communicate your experience, feedback, or ideas to a small business owner via email or ‘snail’ mail. This seems old school, I’m sure, but it’s touching. In the world we are living in now, it’s the small things that matter. Be the person who makes them feel wanted!
Remember to shop safe and shop small this holiday season, and beyond!