How can you support a business without spending any (more) money? Here is a list of ideas that will work for both eCommerce and brick and mortar businesses.
Ecommerce sellers have different needs than Brick & Mortar sellers, and here are some ideas specific to their needs:
Do They Sell on Amazon?
If they sell their products on Amazon, you can leave a review for those products. Adding an Amazon review is one of the biggest ways you can help, because your review can help to answer questions that other shoppers may have, and you can upload photos and videos to create a better shopping experience for others. Products with reviews get better placement in Amazon searches, so your efforts can really help a seller.
If you have a publicly viewable gift list on Amazon, you can add their products to this list. Now, that isn't much. But let's say you volunteer as a foster parent for adoptable kittens and you work actively in social media to share the kittens with the world, and you sometimes ask your followers for help and refer them to your Wish List. Such exposure could really help a business!
Pin to Pinterest Boards
Pinterest isn't a social media tool. It's a place where users are saving things that they're keeping because they like them, are interested in them, or are inspired by them. People often use Pinterest for planning, and it absolutely does generate sales. Here are some things to consider:Pinterest Benefits for eCommerce Businesses
Pinterest users are more likely to make purchases, and more likely to spend more money on those purchases. Pinterest is a big topic, but that little nugget I just shared is a good enough reason to use this tool to support a business you like!
Here are some ideas on pinning to support a ecommerce business
- Pin product that you like, or that is seasonally relevant, to your relevant boards.
- Make sure that your pins have good text. You may need to rewrite the comment text to improve it, because not all sellers have figured out how to add that text to their images.
- You can also pin blog posts and articles. I subscribe to many newsletters by ecommerce sellers, animal adoption groups, pet bloggers, and social media gurus, and I pay attention to their newsletters for new content, which I pin to my relevant Pinterest boards. It's an easy way for me to add content to my boards and to support the folks who I follow.
- If the business posts YouTube video content, that can also be pinned to Pinterest (and shared on Facebook).
Instagram can be used to help both ecommerce and local brick and mortar business, so I'll get into each type separately.
Ecommerce on Instagram
Many ecommerce sellers now use Instagram. After you've followed the account, help to boost their engagement by leaving comments that are at least three words long. Engaging with the with the account makes a big difference.
Local Brick & Mortar Businesses or ServicesYelp For Local Businesses
Yelp is a great tool because people will use it when they are ready to do something or are looking for something specific. It's a good tool when you're at home, if you've just moved to a new area, or if you are traveling. Find the brick and mortar location on Yelp, and leave your positive review.
NextDoor.com for Local Businesses
NextDoor.com is a site that helps you to connect with other people who live right in your neighborhood, or in areas close to it. People use this site to share safety concerns, construction updates, school closures, lost pets, stuff for sale, etc. If a business does something really specific, like yard work, auto repair, music lessons, pet grooming, the NextDoor site is a great place to connect and share! People also use the site to share info about upcoming events, such as craft fairs.Brick and Mortar on Instagram
Some of the local or B&M businesses I've seen on Instagram have included hair salons and real estate agents. Instagram works well for them because these businesses rely heavily on visual imagery. Restaurants have also used Instagram to their advantage (the Yelp culture probably helped to pave the way for them). If you ever have made posts on Instagram for such businesses, did you remember to "add location" when you posted? This info is searchable on Instagram.
Recommend A Business on Facebook
This is easy to do, and your recommendation will be shared with your Facebook friends. This is a great way to support a brick and mortar business, and is also helpful for an ecommerce seller. Here is what you do:
- Find the business Facebook page
- Under the banner, look for the Recommend"
- Click on that box. When you write the review, you can choose to make it Public, or viewable only to your group of friends. Selecting "public" will hep the business more.
Do you have other ideas that weren't covered here? Leave them in the comments!