How Supporting Small Businesses Can Help Grow Your Own Business

supporting small businesses

Yes, you read that right. Supporting small businesses is extremely important for a number of reasons. Fortunately, as consumers, we have lots of influential ways to help encourage them. Plus, there’s a bonus to all this: By taking the time to help your small business owner friend – you can also get more people talking about your own business – and we’re going to show you exactly how.

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Read the Full Discussion Below


Sarah: Yes. I’m really excited to talk about this because it’s kind of twofold. It’s, well, benefits really everybody. And it’s so important. Because we found so many good tips and I can’t wait to share them. But, so we’re talking about small businesses. We’re talking about ways to support them. And fortunately, on the consumer end, there are so many ways to do it and you don’t even have to make purchases to help support, and encourage, and influence small business owners. So the other thing is there’s a bonus to all of this, which is by taking certain actions through social media and online, just supporting your small business friend, you’re actually can simultaneously get people talking about your own business. So it’s pretty huge and fantastic. And I can’t wait to talk about it today. So let’s get going.

Glyna: Yes. As Sarah said, we’re really excited about today’s topic and we want to welcome everybody to Marketing Mix this Friday morning, very early Friday morning. Every week, Sarah and I will be here to talk about different types of Digital Marketing. We really like to share our tips, things that can help you be a resource and today’s going to be no different. So let’s look where they can find our broadcast, Sarah.

Sarah: You got it. All right. Every week we go live on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, and you can catch the replay on Instagram. And we do a shortened version of this, a 10-minute quick version on LinkedIn. And don’t forget about our podcast Marketing and a Mic, in case you don’t want to look at our beautiful faces, you could still listen to our beautiful voices. So that is something, the beauty is all around. And then of course our YouTube Channel, Fusion One Marketing, we’re pushing out free resources in the form of video every week as well, all in the name of Digital Marketing, as we say.

Glyna: Let’s get started here. This is awesome.

Sarah: Yeah. Again, I’m super excited about this because, you may feel like if you’re buying from a business and that’s your way of supporting them and that’s really all you can do, but it’s not. And when it comes to online and social media especially, businesses need help bringing awareness to their company and building that solid customer base. And it’s so great that you can have a hand in helping it. So, that’s really what we want to talk about. So you want to kind of dive right into it, Glyna?

Glyna: So number one, what’s the number one thing that you can do to help small businesses? Well, you can like, share, and follow their social media outlets and channels. So it’s very easy. The most simple action you can take is to start following people, their pages, and like them, and friend them, and follow just like Sarah put up there. And you could even take it a step further by recommending them to your friends and family or, hey, if you bought something for them and you really liked them, show off what you purchased and tag them, make sure that they know that you were able to support them in that way as well.

Sarah: Yeah, it’s so true. And I think people don’t realize how much just sharing on social media, helps. It’s pretty huge. And it actually does a lot more than liking or following, that’s important. But the whole thing is when you share something, it gives them so much more visibility. And those who receive recommendations are just as happy and as grateful to receive them, as the business owners themselves. So a goal to take away from that, from liking, following, and sharing a small business would be fine. Your favorite top five places, the small businesses and then ask five others to like them or visit their business page. Just kind of twofold, you’ll find your five and think, wow, I do even like, or follow their pages and then actually make that recommendation to five other people. It makes a world of a difference.

Glyna: Make that a goal. You could have goals. Let’s be honest. We’re all out there messing around on social media all the time anyway, so let’s help people out. Number two, what you want to do is make sure that you’re interacting, interact on social media outlets and channels as well. Spread the word, again, like we said, by sharing, following, I mean, following is important, but if you’re interacting with their page in what they’re doing, you’re bringing a whole new level of awareness to their business. It’s all about that algorithm. As much as we want to ignore it, when you do stuff there is meaning behind it. Follow these rules and you’re going to definitely help your buddies out.

Sarah: I think that’s one of the biggest, there are a few messages to take away, but that’s one of the biggest things is that if you take a moment to comment on a small businesses’ social posts, you’re actually not only feeding their algorithm, but you’re feeding your algorithm. And so it’s like, what the heck- algorithm? What’s that mean? Yeah. But it’s essentially how they gauge the relevancy of people’s pages and posts in the newsfeed and how they’re going to prioritize them. They love not only when there are comments, and sharing, and interaction, but they also love it too when you’re sharing user-generated content, it’s great for business and it’s great for them because they look at it as, wow, you have somebody else that’s recommending your own business besides yourself and sharing it. So, it’s a great, great thing to do.

Glyna: Exactly. Yes, engagement is key for that algorithm. The more engagement that you give a business, the more people are going to see the posts. And it’s a lot more likely that people who never even heard of the business are going to be able to see the posts. So again, set a goal, maybe comment or share on at least three social media posts this week for businesses that you follow.

Sarah: It’s good, I mean, it’s those little things and makes a really, really big difference. So here’s the third thing that you can do, we talked about like, following, sharing their social media pages. We talked about interacting, which is commenting and engaging in it. Write them a review. I feel like almost every week we’re talking about reviews.

Glyna: Yeah, I know.

Sarah: And for multiple reasons for this, one, most people don’t trust a brand until they see real-life proof, by review. And, is one of the most effective tools that’s out of a business owner’s reach. If you think about that, that’s such an effective, powerful tool, but it’s something that small business owners can’t do. So when you write them a review, I mean, it’s great. It’s positive proof from legitimate customers. And it’s a deciding factor for many on if they’re going to buy or not.

Glyna: I don’t know about you, but every time I buy something or before I buy it, I check out reviews, I check out comments. The more positive things you see, the more you want to buy that. People think of reviews that are just maybe on Google, there are other places that you can leave reviews, in fact, tons of places. But think about all the social media channels, Google as well. Of course, and even Yelp. Yelp is a great place to get reviews. Take a couple of minutes and really write a unique review. I mean, don’t just give them stars, make sure that you have some words with it and make this part of your activity every week too. Again, let’s talk about a goal. Maybe leave a review. Even if you haven’t done business with that company for a while, just leave one. Maybe every, I don’t know, every week you could set that goal for small businesses, even just Google or Facebook. Those are the easiest ones to get to. So that would mean, they’re like gold, that’s what we tell our customers. I mean, it is, and they’re hard to get, so please help them out.

Sarah: It’s so true, they are gold, they have such an impact. So, all right, let’s talk about the fourth thing that you can do. Sign up for their email list. Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing, but it still is really powerful and makes a huge impact. Their emails, or monthly newsletters, or whatever it is, I mean, it’s going to do multiple things, it’s going to give you some more, maybe direct access to deals and promotions. It’s also going to give you a better understanding of the business and an opportunity to learn a little bit more about the business. And it’s just another way to support a small business owner that has a huge impact.

Glyna: Yeah. Especially if you like what they have. Yeah. I don’t know about you, if I get these email reminders of stuff that I like, I’m more likely to buy it again. It’s like put that credit card away, but it really prompts like, “Hmm. Well, let me see what their special is this week. I might need it.”

Sarah: Yeah, it’s so true. I mean, I’ve used Target as an example. They’re not a small business by any means, but they send stuff so strategically, they’re like, “Oh, it’s patio furniture time.” And I’m like, “It is!” I’m looking at my backyard and I’m like, “I could use some sprucing up.” But, and then I’m glad, because it kind of pushes you to do, as you said, bring out the credit card.

Glyna Yeah. It’s like, “Ah, it’ll push us to buy stuff probably we don’t need to.”, but that’s all right. You’re still supporting small businesses, it’s all in the name of supporting.

Sarah: That’s very true. Yeah.

Glyna: So, talking about email campaigns, again, signing up is quick and easy, and we’re not saying sign up for something you don’t like. I mean, sign up for something that, it’s going to be good for you as well. It doesn’t take very long. Maybe just sign up for one or two every quarter. I mean, that’s not too bad.

Sarah: No, it’s not bad. And you’re right. All of this is kind of coming to businesses that you like and trust. Alright, let’s go onto the fifth point, which is to view and use Instagram stories. Here’s a little tidbit, right now, Instagram stories and Reels are the most viewed form of content. If you can believe it. I do believe it.

Glyna: I believe it.

Sarah: Yeah. So the more views, obviously, the more priority it has in the stories feed. You can Support Small Businesses, this is going to be really cool that I wanted to show. You can Support Small Businesses in a ton of ways, but one cool way is through this thing called, Support Small Business sticker. And I’m going to show you what I mean, but it’s really great. And it’s, you can mention the business directly in the sticker and give followers a preview of the account. So, here’s the cool thing about it. I’m just showing you sort of a snapshot screenshot of your phone. You can, there’s a sticker on there that says Support Small Businesses. The cool thing about that is you can go in there and type in the business owners handle or their business page. And then that’s going to get mentioned in your story feed, and they’re also going to get notified with it. And the cool thing about that too, is when you click on that, you can get a short preview about that business, which is that third rectangle I’m showing you, where you can visit their profile and get a small little description of what that business is about. And it’s really cool.

supporting small businesses on social media

Glyna: Oh my gosh. It’s so cool. I want somebody to leave us a sticker. Somebody who’s watching, go leave us a sticker. I want a sticker.

Sarah: I want a sticker.

Glyna: We haven’t had any yet stickers yet. But anyway, this is the neatest thing. I think it is. It’s so fun. People love adding, all the little extra stuff to their stories and this one just takes it to a new level. When people use a sticker, their story will be added to a shared Instagram story. Their followers can see it. And then other businesses that people follow are also going to be seen and be able to support them. The SSB sticker, all right, the SSB is “Support Small Business” and help businesses reach new customers and stay connected with their surface. And it is so fun.

Sarah: It is really fun. It’s a great way of sharing, and supporting, and increasing that visibility. And yeah, as you said, I want a sticker! So here’s another, all these we’re ending with a little goal, which is why you view and interact with a small business on Instagram stories. And they’re also copied over to Facebook Stories, but send a heart, a smiley face, a comment indicating that you are supporting them. Let’s recap, we’re going to move into another piece of this, but let’s recap how you can support small businesses, okay? Ask five people to like a page of your favorite small business, comment or share at least three social media posts. I feel like I’m giving you a homework assignment. Leave a review for one small business, sign up for one newsletter each quarter, and view and interact with a small business Instagram story. Just don’t forget to do these things. Invite people to like a page, comment, share on their social media posts. It goes a long way. Leave a review today on a small business, leave a review.

how to supporting small businesses

Glyna: Leave a review Friday, go out and leave reviews. We wouldn’t mind if you just wanted to try it out on our Google, that’d be fun. Fusion One Marketing. All right. So Sarah recap, how you can help small businesses, help your friends out, help these businesses. Small businesses need all our help these days. And I would imagine you’re sitting there going, yeah, those small businesses need help, but I could use some help too. The next thing, we’re going to talk about is if you’re out here doing all this, how’s it helping your business?

Sarah: Right. That’s the whole caveat.

Glyna: Yes, exactly. And we know everybody wants to help businesses, but you need a little help too. When you’re out there doing all of these things that we mentioned, it might seem excessive to do all these things and have those little goals and stuff that we talked about. But people are going to be able to see you doing that. There are definitely some benefits that come your way and engaging in activity on social media, it gets more eyes on your business when you’re commenting, sharing all of that kind of stuff. Because everybody that likes the same business that you do, they’re like, “Ooh, who’s that person commenting and sharing?” In a roundabout way, it’s going to come back and help you as well.

Sarah: Yes. That’s a huge message here is, when you start to engage with other brands, businesses, and users, your own visibility increases. So, that’s something that’s really huge. When you think about, why am I doing this? Of course, you want to help support, of course, it’s very important, but it’s not time wasted. And because there are ways that you can help your own business. Why do we say this all the time, it comes down to algorithms. Social media has a way of kind of sorting and prioritizing what posts show up in a user’s feed. So it’s super important to do.

Glyna: Yeah. Especially if you are using it in your business to do all of these things. In other words, represent your business when you’re commenting and tagging, obviously with something we didn’t mention before but interact as your business so that would see you. Commenting, sharing, tagging, are all good activities and get you higher engagement as well as the business that you’re helping out. And again, Sarah mentioned the algorithm. If you have more likelihood of you being seen and it’s going to help you in the ranking factors.

Sarah: Yes, really important. If you are somebody that is out there and engaging, you’re doing a good job. Okay. So, how to make it strategic for your business? So we’ve talked about the ways that you can support small business owners, but how is this going to be strategic for your own business? Well, the first step is to follow other brands and influencers. So when, while you follow, and share, and support other businesses begin to think about kind of how you can strategically incorporate that into your own business. So, that’s something to think about while you’re out there liking other brands.

Glyna: Yeah. And people might think this seems kind of weird. Why would you follow people that are similar to you? Well, there’s always a person or not a person, but a business that has more followers and has, is higher up on the ranking factors than you are. So, it doesn’t hurt to get them to say, “Hey, thanks.” Or mention you, in fact, you just did that, was it last week? You got somebody to do that. Maybe explain that and how you used it and how it got us some engagement?

Sarah: DigitalMarketer, they’re a huge, huge hub still in the digital marketing space, but they do a lot more, they are sort of also a resource hub. They do a lot of things, but one would think maybe on the surface, why would I want to tag or mention another digital marketing type of brand? Well, like I said, they are in a different realm than us. They’re very well-known and because they’re very well known, I wanted to get a little bit of access to them. So what I did is I took one of their posts. I didn’t do anything to it, but left the copy of the same. I shared it on all of our social media pages, but then I also tagged DigitalMarketer in it. And I gave them all the kudos. I said, “Thanks to our friends over at DigitalMarketer, blah, blah, blah.” Well, what was so great about that is that they actually recognized it and they recognized us for doing that. And they said, and they gave us a response in a comment on our page. And it was just that whole beautiful thing coming full circle of how it works.

Glyna: Yeah, exactly right. And LinkedIn is another place. I know people don’t always think of LinkedIn with a lot of engagement, but a lot of times LinkedIn will even send you messages if it’s related topics and ask you to comment, and share, and like, and kind of, so you want to make sure that you’re doing that. They’re basically saying, “Hey, we’re going to give you an opportunity to get your brand out there more.”

Sarah: Yes, exactly. Exactly. So, I’ve got a little tip to share with this. Get local. This is something that’s really cool. If you go, especially on Instagram, you can search a specific place, a neighborhood, a city, whatever it is, whatever you’re trying to target. And by going on that search page, so if you’re on Instagram, go to the places tab, and then you can type in the name of the place and see all kinds of the geotagged posts for that location. It’s just another way to kind of insert yourself in what’s going on locally and figure out what’s going on and how to insert yourself in the conversation.

Glyna: Break down your searches for users into three distinct categories. And this may seem simple or may seem obvious to you, but search for people you know, that’s pretty obvious, but you’re going to be surprised by how many people that you know that you aren’t following, it’s amazing. And LinkedIn is one of those places that it always kills me when I’m like, “Are these people not on LinkedIn?” But anyway, that’s another whole show. People you sort of know because, hey, meeting new people all the time is a good thing. And people probably should know. So those are the three things to keep in mind. Also, use industry-specific hashtags to search and gain relevant findings.

Sarah: That’s really important, too. Go onto Instagram, go on Facebook. Even LinkedIn will tell you some relevant hashtags and go in there and then see what is relevant to your niche industry. Here’s another good point. Most social sites, once you start following, they’ll give you recommendations for other people’s brands that might appeal based on who you follow and your industry. My recommendation is when you get those, follow them. You don’t have to follow all of them, but make it a point to follow some of them.

hastags supporting small businesses

Glyna: Yes, exactly. And make sure you have your notifications turned on because if you don’t, you’re going to miss some of that stuff and you want to be engaged. You want to make sure that you’re interacting regularly and knowing when people are helping you out.

Sarah: Very true, very, very true. There’s a second point to all of this. We’ve talked about the brands and how important it is to kind of like, and follow those types of influencers. And like you said, they’re not necessarily competitors but connect and comment. That’s the second point we want to make. Send a quick message to a few people that you follow. Everyone has some kind of a following, even if your network is small, there are people out there that have a little bit of influence. I mean, we talked about referral marketing and how those connectors out there? Well, they’re out there on social media as well. So, be in and then kind of begin to create some sort of real organic relationship with some influencers in your niche. And you do that by connecting and commenting on their own stuff.

Glyna: Exactly. They sound like a lot, but again, we’re out there. You might as well make it worth your while, while you’re scrolling, interact with some people. So just start commenting and engaging with their content. Make sure you’re responding too, people are commenting and helping you out, respond to them for every post, also use kind of a mix of relevant hashtags. Don’t always stick with the same ones, that way it kind of spreads that out over the search, not in a search engine, I guess, but within the social media channels.

Sarah: Yeah. That’s such a good point because you really did that. That’s how you can participate in popular conversations and know what popular hashtags are. Just start searching for them. And here’s an example, so let’s say you’re a carpentry company, start the search for #woodworking. And then you can start seeing what is the other popular hashtags that are within that niche industry. And it’s your way of sort of feeling out what’s out there and inserting yourself into conversations.

Glyna: Exactly. Now, when you’re thinking about doing all of this stuff, there’s one thing you have to keep in mind, you have to make your brand follow-worthy. If you’re going to all of this trouble to get all of this engagement going, make sure that when people come and land on your page and they’re checking you out, that you have some good content because they’re going to want to support and share your stuff, return the favor because you’ve helped them. But they’re going to feel kind of weird about it. If they come and land on your page and they’re like, “I don’t really want, there’s nothing to share.” Number one, maybe there’s nothing there. And number two, it may just be a bunch of worthless…

Sarah: Yeah, you’re right. You want to make your brand follow it because it’s like, why do all this work? Why try to get, try to engage with others, connect, comment, bring all these people in to get eyes on your page, and then your page is horrible. So sharing content from other businesses is important, but don’t forget that to create your own original content. And it could be a whole another show, which we’re actually going to touch on next week is why that matters so, so, so much? Really do that and follow the analytics to see what people are liking out there.

Glyna: Yes, exactly. I’m want to, got some stats here. So I’m going to read this. I will make sure I don’t get it wrong, but when customers feel connected to a brand, they’re 68% more likely to recommend it to a friend. That’s huge, 76% more likely to buy it over a competitor, this came from Sprout Social. They did a survey, asking people what they thought about these things. So make sure you’re posting consistently with good content. We can’t say that enough because if your stuff is doesn’t deserve to be shared, guess what? They’re not going to share it.

engaging on social media

Sarah: Yeah, they’re not going to share it. You’re not going to be interesting. That’s just two little recaps that we want to touch on here. But here’s your reminder, when you start to engage with other brands, businesses, and users, your own visibility will increase. That’s the whole point of what we’re talking about here about supporting small businesses and then how it can help your own business. So, here’s your takeaway of how to help your own business, post consistently to your stories and news feeds, connect with new accounts within your niche. That’s key, find your niche, something that falls right into the realm of your business space. Like, follow, and share other people’s content and beyond that, engage and comment on other people’s content. That’s really huge and also uses a mix of relevant hashtags. And what we mean by relevant, is hashtags that are industry-specific to your business go a long, long way and make this a consistent goal, not just a one-time thing.

grow your business on social media

Glyna: Yes. Very, very important. We do appreciate you joining us this morning. That’s a wrap! That was a lot of stuff, but it’s all fun stuff. We’re out there having fun on social media. So, help a business out, help a brother out.

Sarah: Help a brother out. Yeah. Yeah. That’s why I’m super excited about this because I’m like, “Gosh, it’s in, it works.” It’s like one of those things where it’s like, again, exercise regimen. It really works if you follow through with it. So, thanks for joining. And next week, we’re actually going to take this a little bit further, right? We’re going to talk about content specifically on social media.

Glyna: We’ll be back next Friday, 8:00 AM, and until then have a great week.

Sarah: Have a good week. All right. Bye