1. Follow them on social media
It's easy and doesn't cost you a thing to follow a small business on social media. Many companies are harnessing the power of their social media channels because of its extensive reach. When you follow or like the page of a small business it not only helps them to connect with you better but it allows them to reach a wider audience. Whether it's on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, clicking that follow button really can give them a much-needed boost.
2. Like their posts
By liking their posts it allows them to see which content works best. It also helps them reach the newsfeed of people who may not like or follow the page, so it's a great way to help them gain new followers. Plus, when you like their posts, their content is more likely to pop up in your own newsfeed, meaning you keep up to date with any offers, deals or competitions they may post about.
3. Share their posts
By sharing their posts, you become an advocate for their company and when other people see that you've shared something, it makes the business seem more reputable and legitimate. One quick share really can create new business for a small company, all without spending a penny!
4. Comment on their posts
It doesn't even have to be anything long-winded, just an emoji will do sometimes! When you comment, it allows the algorithm to help show the post in other people's newsfeeds, which means that small business then has a chance to showcase its product or service to many more people. It helps grow their network and get the word out about who they are and what they do, all because you commented. Feels good, doesn't it?
5. Tag friends who would like them
By tagging friends in content created by a small business, you're essentially creating a digital form of word of mouth, which is worth its weight in gold to a small business. By letting your friends know this business exists, it not only helps your friends out who may be interested in whatever products or services they're offering, but it helps the small business get the message out to more people. And all for free!
Share the graphic below on your social media accounts to help support small businesses
6. Post photos of their products
If you've purchased a product from a small business and are genuinely impressed, help them out by photographing it in use and tagging the company. When people see real people using a product, it creates a sense of trust and helps other buyers when deciding if they want to spend their money with that business.
7. Tell friends about their products
Even if its something that's not relevant to you, you'll have a friend who may be interested. A verbal recommendation between friends is invaluable to a small business.
8. Write reviews and give feedback
By writing a review you're allowing possible customers to get a true picture before they purchase. According to recent review statistics, 37% of shoppers rely on product reviews from review sites to make their buying decision. A whopping 87% of consumers place as much trust in a product review as they would a recommendation from a friend. So find the small business you want to support on sites like TripAdvisor, reviews.co.uk or google place reviews and rate them. Lots of small businesses also welcome constructive feedback because they want to improve the service for all customers, so if you find something not up to scratch, let them know (maybe away from the review site so they have a chance to improve!)
9. Sign up to their newsletter
If you're not on social media but still want to support a small business, sign up to their newsletter. This is where businesses will usually let loyal customers in on new deals first. It's a more personal approach that encompasses all that's going on in their business at that time. If you're feeling super generous, forward the email onto friends or family who may be interested too!
10. Send a message telling them you like what they do
Small businesses love hearing from customers. Just a small note, comment, message or email can really make the day of a small business owner. You aren't going to get a faceless reply or lacklustre response as you would from a big company. You're going to make another human being get the warm and fuzzies, and help them realise that's why they get up each morning and do what they do.
Our final thoughts
Small businesses tend to have a tiny marketing budget, most don't even have one at all! So by helping spread the word, you're allowing them to carry on their craft, keep it local and help bring more money into your local economy. So this Christmas, if money is tight but you still want to support, get liking, get sharing and show small businesses that you're rooting for them.