Last week we talked about shopping local. We discussed how money spent locally circles around the local economy several times, and every dollar going in could have a bigger impact than the dollar itself. As I mentioned, preparing ourselves to be mindful of our spending now could help us make decisions that will support our local businesses and community as a whole. If you have not done so, and have 4 minutes, check out last weeks blog or podcast, Spread the Local love Part 1 – Shop local. We share some very compelling reasons to shop locally.
Let’s chat about other valuable ways you can support your local businesses. The reality is, we live in a digital world. The customer experience is ever-changing due to technology. In today’s world, the consumer has so many sources to research a new product and service. In fact, according to an article published by Forbes.com, “Consumers are obsessed with digital research and are reshaping customer journeys as a result.” They also stated, “Research is now starting to show how smartphones are empowering customers to seek and discover richer, more personalized information.”
What does that have to do with me spreading the word? Part of the customer journey is building trust. You can be a trusted source, especially to those within your network. Sometimes it can be as simple as picking up on conversational cues. For example, my husband and I decided to visit a town about 30 miles away from where we live. While visiting, a gentleman started to chat with us. Once we told him where we were from, he mentioned that he had heard from a couple people how good one particular restaurant in our hometown was. We then confirmed the rumors and also told him about a couple other great options in our community. Having multiple destinations helps make that 30-mile trip even more attractive.
While you’re enjoying a conversation with someone you know or someone new, look for conversational cues and opportunities to chat about what local businesses have to offer. You might be surprised at how many opportunities you have to make a difference. Think about how you could be a brand ambassador for local businesses and for your community.
It’s a Social Kind of Thing
If there is a local business you frequent, connect with them on social media! For many businesses, especially startups, getting the word out can be challenging – especially with limited marketing budgets. So what can you do? Share, like, comment, tag, and/or Check-in. Social media has changed the way we communicate and has become a major form of communication. The wonderful thing about it is that it gives you the option to communicate within your comfort level. If you don’t feel comfortable creating your own post praising a business’s products or services, you can give them a simple like. The point is, many businesses put time and effort into creating posts in hopes you’ll engage with them. They also work hard to create an online presence and would love for you to check-in when you stop by or like and follow their page. By following them, you’ll also be able to stay up-to-date with the latest news, promotions, and events. You stay connected.
Shoot for the Stars
Google is the largest search engine in the world and happens to own the second largest search engine, YouTube. The name Google is so popular it has become something you do, not just a name of a company. How many times have you heard someone say “Google it?”
6 in 10 consumers now look to Google for reviews. According to the 2018 ReviewTrackers Online Reviews Survey, 63.6 percent of consumers say they are likely to check online reviews on Google before visiting a business — more than any other review site. There are many other sites that you can rate or review businesses. If you are looking to pick just one or two, ReviewTrackers survey indicated that Google and Facebook have become number one and two for online reviews; and reviewers are writing simple reviews that get to the point fast.
Spreading the word will cost you time, but can earn a business new and valuable opportunities. Don’t underestimate the difference you can make with some of the simplest actions.