As someone who spends a lot of time around fellow business owners, it really surprised me when I had a conversation with a good friend who had no idea how easily he could show support for my business. I figured there must be lots of other people out there in the same boat who might like to help their friends or family members but don’t really know how. So here are 5 easy (and free) ways to support your friend or family member’s business. Enjoy!
Follow, like, comment on and share their social media posts
When it comes to social media, engagement is key! But what does that actually mean? Well, as far as social media sites/apps, such as Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok, are concerned, they want to keep you on their platform as long as possible. And to do that, they need to make sure that they’re showing you content that you’re going to enjoy and stick around for. When it comes to a small business and their social media activity, if their content has no likes, comments or shares, then Facebook (and the other platforms) will just assume they’re not very interesting and show their posts to fewer people.
There are loads of factors at play when it comes to a business getting seen by people, but here are some top tips:
- Likes are great, but if you’re on Facebook, try using a different reaction instead. A Love or a Wow, for example, holds more weight than a simple Like. And don’t worry, Angry and Sad reactions won’t have a negative impact.
- Comments are even better than likes. Social media platforms love it when conversations happen on posts and so good quality comments, especially those that get people talking, will help your friend or family member to reach more people with their content.
- Sharing posts is a brilliant way of widening the audience of your friend or family member’s business.
- If you’re not seeing your friend’s posts in your social media feed, then make sure you’re following them, first of all, and then start to engage with some of their posts. The more you do this, the more you’ll see them and be able to pop their posts a bit of love. You can even go into the settings of any page on Facebook, select Follow settings and add them to your favourites, so you’ll see their posts first in your feed.
Tell your friends (and strangers!)
You don’t need to go around shouting about your friend or family member’s business all the time, but when the time comes, be sure to spread the word. If a friend mentions that they’re looking for a great florist, for example, or an awesome photographer (hint, hint ?) then be sure to sing their praises and pass on their details. If you spot your friend’s business post and know someone it might be interesting to, tag them in the comments. Also, a lot of people head to Facebook groups looking for local recommendations, so if you see a relevant request, tag your friend and/or their business. If you’ve used their products or services before, then say that – include a photo if you can as that will grab more attention than a simple comment.
Leave (genuine) reviews
If you’ve used your friend’s products or services before, be sure to leave them a review. You don’t necessarily have to be a paying client to leave a review, as long as you can honestly speak about the quality of the product or how you felt while they did what they did for you. For example, I’ve got loads of friends who have had photographs of their kids taken by me – they could write about the way I made them feel at the time and show off the end results. It all helps to build a picture of me and my business so that others can make a decision when choosing whether to book me or not. Just be sure to keep things honest – the last thing any business owner wants is to be caught out with fake reviews. Here are some top tips:
- Google is one of the best places to leave a review because it helps to boost a business’ search engine rankings, which is really important to being found online – think about it: when was the last time you looked past page one or two on Google? You’ll only be able to leave a Google review if they are registered on Google My Business. You can find out if they are by searching for their business name on the search engine or simply asking them! If they don’t have a Google My Business account, it might be a good idea to suggest they make one! ?
- If you’re leaving reviews on any site, it can be really helpful to share any photographs you might have. People’s buying decisions are far more likely to be impacted by user-generated content than a business’ own content, so if you can share a review or post about their business and show the end product in use, then that can really help.
- People all have different preferences of how they find products and services, so it can be helpful to leave reviews everywhere your friend’s business is listed. Or if you don’t have time for that, maybe ask them where they’d like the review to go? That way they can send you to whichever site they have the least.
Take a look at their website
Following on from above, another key thing to getting found on Google is having a great website that people like and spend time on. The longer a person views a website for, the better that looks to the Google gods. So have a look around their site and see what’s new. If they’ve got videos, watch them, if they’ve got a blog, take a read through some of their articles and maybe share them or leave a comment. You can even help by letting them know (nicely, of course) if you spot any typos or links that don’t work. Or if it just looks great or there’s a specific aspect that you love, then make sure you tell them! Which leads me on to my next point…
Being a business owner can be quite isolating at times. There is sooooo much time and effort that needs to go into running a successful business, and that can be hard for family members and friends to understand when they don’t get to see you as much as they used to. Try not to take offence or cut them out of your plans. It’s still nice to be asked. Check in on them and see if they need any help with anything.
If you haven’t used their products or services yet but would like to, please don’t ask for a discount. It’s not fair on your friend or family member who has priced their offerings in a way that means they can make a living and it can put them in a really awkward position. You never know, they may well offer you a discount or little something extra of their own accord, but by avoiding the topic of conversation altogether, you’ll be showing them the respect they deserve for all the hard work they’ve put in.
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