• Liz Logan

#GOSupportGaston Mini-Blitz: How to Support Local Business for Free

Note: This article is part of our #GOSupportGaston campaign. In these coming weeks, the campaign features 7 mini-blitzes to support local businesses impacted by COVID-19. Check Gaston Outside for updates on our efforts with supportgaston.com.

Call to Action: Use one of these 6 ways to support your favorite local businesses for free, from online support to telling your friends. Share your support using #GOSupportGaston. What you do now matters.

Our passion is sharing Gaston County’s story. We dive into the past and plan for the future. We give ideas for date nights and ways to think out of the box for dining out. We share ideas on how to get on the water and ideas for family fun. And we look forward to sharing those stories with you again soon but for now, we have to focus on the trials caused by the COVID-19 crisis and what that means for our community. 

We are a few days into April and this month our focus is not where we thought it would be just a month ago.

We have teamed up with SupportGaston.com in an effort to compile a community list of businesses and services you can support during this time. 

This past weekend, we shared how to support your favorite restaurants by buying gift cards and ordering takeout. But what if your support goes beyond your dollar? How can you support these businesses the community depends on without spending a dime?

Use our guide below to see how you can share businesses without spending a dime.

Follow on Social Media

Many small businesses rely on social media as their primary way to drive revenue. Follow and like your favorite businesses across all platforms—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Not only will you be able to stay in the loop with what they’re doing, but you’ll help increase their numbers, potentially helping produce sales (especially with Instagram, which allows sales through their platform at 10k followers). You may just feel like your follow doesn’t matter, but a little goes a long way for small businesses relying on social media.

Like, Share, Comment and Watch 

If one of the businesses you support shares a post, like it, comment on it and share it. Not only will this get the words out to those in your social network, but it will assist with the algorithms that bring businesses to the front page of everyone’s social media. With each like and share, small businesses get a big boost in visibility. 

Show up online for their live content. Ask questions in the comment section, comment with emojis, engage with users. Show your small businesses you care by hearing what they’re selling and what they have going on.

Leave a Review

Many businesses rely on reviews to nudge potential buyers to purchase from them. If potential buyers see a positive review, they are more likely to purchase from them. 

You can leave these reviews on individual sites or on more broad platforms like Yelp, Google and Yahoo. While you’re on their sites, make sure to click around, read their blogs and engage. This helps with search engine optimization, meaning your favorite businesses have a higher likelihood of showing up on the first page of search results.

Subscribe to Newsletters

When visiting websites, there is often a pop-up box to enter your email (sometimes with exclusive offers) or subscription text boxes at the bottom of the page. Show your love for small business by staying in touch and helping increase their number of active users. Business owners love when you engage (plus it will give you more information to share).

Tell Your Friends

Word of mouth advertising is incredibly effective. People are 90% more likely to purchase items recommended by friends (who put their own credibility on the line by recommending a product or service!), so your words matter! When we love something, we are more likely to talk about it. Have you had a great experience in a restaurant? Tell your friends! Did you recently get the best haircut of your life? Let your friends know.

Leave a Note

Whether you have a personal relationship with a business owner or not, reach out to them (or head to their website's contact page) and let them know you appreciate them. This is a trying time for business owners and the public alike and we could all benefit from some encouragement. Do you have a favorite product? Love their branding? Let them know what you love and leave it at that.

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