How to Support Small Businesses Without Spending Money

It’s true… you can do a great deal to support a small business without spending a dime!  I write this post not just with my own small business in mind, but with the many of my friends, family, and acquaintances whom also run small family businesses.  Many small businesses – and I’m really talking about very small businesses like my own – rely solely on word of mouth and free advertising to gain business.  Free advertising often means a social media presence, whether it’s a page on facebook, google plus, instagram, pinterest, or any other social media site out there.  Unfortunately for many small businesses, some of these free ways to advertise are becoming more difficult.

Many of you may have seen the articles flying around the web regarding the facebook changes to “organic reach” – that is, the number of people who can be reached through facebook without a business paying for advertising.  You might think that if you “like” a page on facebook, that you will automatically see their posts in your news feed.  But unfortunately, this is not true.  Facebook has changed their algorithms to greatly reduce the number of posts that are actually seen by people who like a page.  As far as I understand it, this isn’t true for “real people” on facebook, only for pages.  Of course, facebook is a business itself and has the right to do this.  After all, they need to earn money, too, so they want small businesses to pay for advertising spots.  Many people are very upset about this change, and although I can understand why they are upset, I can’t totally blame facebook for what they’re doing either.  Everyone is simply trying to run a profitable business.

Why do I write this post, then?  Because there are many ways that you can support the small businesses that your friends and family run without spending a dime.  Sure, it’s great for you to support them by purchasing their goods, but you can also support them many other ways.  Speaking specifically about facebook, the more you “like” a pages post, or interact with that page, the more others will see and hear about that small business.  If you see a post from a small business that you like come through your news feed, it takes all of two seconds to like the post or make a quick comment.  From the way I understand the super-secret facebook algorithms as they are now, the more interaction a post or page has, the more it is shown to others.

Even on other social media such as pinterest or google plus, it only takes a second to “pin” or “+1” a page or post.  Again, these actions are extremely helpful to small businesses, even if you don’t purchase their goods directly!  Leaving positive reviews if you’ve used their services or spreading the word about a small business to your friends can also lead to increased business.

A little goes a long way, and I’m certainly not asking you to fill your page with advertisements for small businesses, but a quick like or pin here or there won’t bog down your personal page, but could go far to helping business owners such as myself.

children family photograph pittsburgh, bows and headbands for sale
{bow courtesy of Brooke’s Bows and More}
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