How to support small businesses for free

Right now, our local businesses need us more than ever, but as much as we want to support them, not everyone has the means or finances to purchase something from every single one of them. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t help them out - by being a little bit creative, you can support their business in other ways!

The power of social media and online marketing has transformed the way businesses advertise. Big or small, it allows companies of virtually any size to share content within minutes, give customers a greater understanding of their business, increase their following and most importantly, gain sales. But at a time when our pockets are stretched even more than usual, most of us can’t afford to purchase goods and services from every brilliant small business out there.

To mark Small Business Saturday on 5th December, here are a few easy things you can do to support small businesses, even if you can’t afford to purchase from them.

Write a positive review

If you have ever purchased from a small business and loved their product or service, make sure you let people know about it! Not only will this potentially increase their searchability and Google ranking, but it may also just be the one review someone reads which encourages them to spend money with that business.

Tell your family and friends

For centuries, word of mouth has always been a potent marketing tool, and that power hasn’t diminished even in the digital age. While you’re checking in with your loved ones, spread the love of a local business which has impressed you. Who knows, by the next morning, that company could have quite a few new customers lined up!

Follow them on social media

Have you ever come across a small business but wanted to keep up-to-date with them? Now is the time! By following your favourite local businesses on social media, not only will you be able to be kept up to date with the latest gossip, offers and updates, you are also helping them to organically grow their business online.

Engage with their posts

When you are served content on social media, a simple like or comment goes a long way. Not only does that reach the business, giving them a boost - it’s more than likely that the people you’re connected to will be able to see how you engaged with that post too. So the next time you like, love or comment on a small business’ post, you can pat yourself on the back as it’s increasing their organic reach - yippee!

Give them a shout out

Whether it’s a yummy treat or a brand-new bag, we all like to share a picture of our purchases on social media. If you do buy something from a local business, why not take a picture and tag the company it came from? This not only raises the awareness of the company to all of your followers, no matter how few, it also gives the company great organic content to share as well!

Sign up for their newsletter

By signing up to a company's newsletter, you’re basically saying ‘I’d love to be the first to hear about any new products, services or offers!’. Understandably, if you do this to too many businesses, you could end up with a rather full inbox. However, think about how much you’d kick yourself if you missed out on that new product launch that sells out before you see it! To ensure you don’t miss out on your favourites, sign up.

It’s hard to believe that such small gestures can make such a big difference to a small business, but they really do. So the next time you’re wondering how you can support the small businesses out there, consider our tips above - it costs nothing to engage with them, and it could just rumble up the few extra customers that businesses need to continue during these exceptional times.

To find out more about Small Business Saturday, go to their website here.

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