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5 Ways Clients and Customers Can Support Your Local Business for FREE

To say 2020 has been a challenging year might be an understatement. These past few months have put many businesses to the test, and it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re setting yourself apart from your competition online. Clients and customers are relying on reviews, website information, and what their friends are saying on social media to navigate new ways of doing business.

The good news is that businesses with social leverage — meaning folks are talking about them online — have the upper hand in a socially distanced economy. People are already making plans for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping as we’re gearing up for the holiday season, and no doubt businesses with stellar reviews, easy-to-use websites, and mentions on social media are already being added to potential customers’ shortlists.

Even though the absolute best way clients and customers can support your local business is to buy your products and book your services, folks can still give you a boost in Google search and social media by doing these five things.

The best part? These five simple things are completely and totally free for your clients and customers. However, they make a big difference when it comes to search results, referrals, and showing up in social media feeds.

#1: They can leave a heartfelt review

Reviews are one of the most critical components of online marketing. Statistics show that 97% of people say that they read reviews for local businesses and 89% of people say that they read businesses' responses to reviews. Reviews help you rank higher in search results, they provide proof that people like doing business with you, and they give potential clients and customers an idea of what to expect from your business. We suggest getting reviews on Google (through your Google My Business profile) and Facebook, but you can also send folks to Yelp, Tripadvisor, and your own website to boost your ranking even more.

And get this — 68% of people say they would leave a review if asked. So what are you waiting for? If you’re ready to get more reviews, join us for FREE on Tuesday, October 13 at 11:00 a.m. (EST) for a business workshop co-hosted by the Chamber! We’re going live on our Facebook page to share our best tips and tricks, and we’ll also show you how to set up your Google My Business profile. To get the link to join us, make sure you tap “Going” on our Facebook event page

#2: They can save your Facebook and Instagram posts

Saving posts was initially introduced by Facebook and Instagram a few years ago so people could keep track of posts they wanted to refer back to. Since 2019, though, saves have taken precedence as an engagement metric (which means that Facebook and Instagram prioritizes posts that have been saved). Now users can create collections and organize posts they’ve saved based on different categories.

With the removal of likes being tested in some geographic areas, Instagram’s goal (and Facebook’s, as an extension) is to drive higher quality, authentic engagement. The algorithm views saving a post as an indication that you really value that post. Think of it like a “super like”.

The best way to make sure folks save your posts (which they can do by tapping the bookmark icon on Instagram or the three dot icon in the top right corner on Facebook) is to make valuable content that they can come back to. One of the reasons Reels, a new feature from Instagram similar to TikTok, is so explosive right now is because people are creating content that is relevant, useful, and engaging.

And that’s the type of content people want to save and come back to.

As an example, let’s say you’ve got a new product coming out. How can you make the product more relevant to your follower’s lives? Can you share a video of someone using it? How can you make it useful? What does life look like without the product, then what does it look like with it? How can you make your sales pitch more engaging? Can you do a quirky video post or go live and show your followers a behind-the-scenes sneak peek?

#3: They can share your Facebook and Instagram posts with their friends

Sharing is on par with saving. It tells the algorithm that you liked someone’s post enough to tell your friends and family (and followers!) about it.

You can share posts in Facebook to your personal profile, your business page, or a Facebook group. You can also share posts on Instagram by tapping the paper airplane icon; that will open up a screen where Instagram asks if you want to send someone a direct message or add it to your Story. You can also share posts on Instagram by using an external reposting app.

Don’t forget to remind your followers to share your posts by tagging their friends or sending it to someone that might be interested! Not only will this boost how much your posts are seen in people’s social media feeds, it will also put you in front of more potential clients and customers.

#4: They can leave a comment on your Facebook and Instagram posts

Commenting still ranks relatively high on the algorithm’s priority list. Why? Because comments drive conversations. I mentioned in our workshop on leveraging your social media a few weeks ago that posting a few emojis doesn’t really count as a genuine comment, but a few words plus emojis does!

The best way to get comments on your posts is to spark the conversation. Use your caption to ask a question, such as bringing up a pain point for your clients or customers, then discuss how your business provides the solution they’re looking for. Remind them to answer the question at the end of your caption and make sure to respond when they do!

#5: They can like your Facebook and Instagram posts

Liking posts is still a metric for engagement, but it ranks much lower than saving, sharing, and commenting. Sometimes, though, saving and sharing might not be applicable to your followers so liking is a great way they can still support you.

You can ask folks to double tap a post on Instagram or tap the “Like” button on Facebook to encourage engagement. Oftentimes, people are scrolling through lots of posts (so they’re seeing your content) but they forget to let you know that they saw it.

While social media engagement is certainly an important part of your marketing strategy, reviews are still king when it comes to social leverage.

We’re encouraging folks to like, share, and review fellow Chamber members during the entire month of October. We’d love for you to join us and reach out to your fellow business members to see where you can leave a review, and ask where they can leave one for you in return. It’s also the perfect time to catch up with past clients and customers to see if they’re open to saying some kind words on Google, Facebook, Yelp, or another review website.

This event is entirely online, and it’s something you can do as you have time this month. To find out more, head to our Facebook event page and tap “Going” to get updates. And, if you want to be entered to win a PRIZE BASKET (worth over $150!), make sure to screenshot your reviews at the end of the month and send them to the Chamber.

And don’t miss our FREE business workshop co-hosted by the Chamber on boosting your rankings with reviews on Tuesday, October 13 at 11:00 a.m. We’re going live on our Facebook page to spill the beans on our best tips for getting reviews and how to set up your Google My Business Profile! To get the link to join us, make sure to tap “Going” on our Facebook event page.

This article is written by Cassandra Hendrix, Founder and Creative Director of Base Note Labs. She works with her partner, David, to help businesses launch and grow online with stunning websites and easy tech solutions. Born and raised in Cherokee County, Cassandra and David are passionate about partnering with local organizations to help local businesses thrive. Base Note Labs works with Kathryn Jenkins at Tri-County Community College’s SBC, providing consulting services and free business workshops. For more information, get in touch with Kathryn at (828) 835-9564 or give Cassandra a call at (323) 400-5320.


Lunch & Learn (at Home!) Boost Your Rankings with Reviews

Tune in October 13 for Base Note Labs, virtual Lunch & Learn where they'll will discuss how you can leverage social reviews from networks like Yelp and Trip Advisor to help boost your rankings.

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