For anyone who has any doubt to the power of social media should just take a quick look at big, multi-million dollar accounts, and the how they have adapted to the current crisis. Publications such as Vogue etc, best known for the editorials and state-of-the-art photography have succumbed to the virus, and have started to post exercise workouts and recipes.. just like your local small businesses. I find it almost comical that large editorial accounts are doing the work of bloggers, in the hope of keeping their followers.
The problem with this is that it takes attention away from those hardworking small businesses that have been sharing this sort of content for years… The fact that the big guns have come out to play does not bode well for the smaller accounts, unless you as viewers make a conscious choice to support local or small business.
This came to me yesterday evening as the likes of Goop and even British Vogue started posting home workouts.. they are probably trying to stay current at times like these, and good for them. It will however come at a cost to small businesses whose survival depends on your clicks, likes and comments.
Before I start with my list of things you can do to support your local businesses, I just want to clarify how IG works and why it is so important to companies. The easiest way to describe it is to imagine a school playground.. If there are a few kids in a corner creating some really great content, then the word will spread and more and more people will come closer to see what these kids are up to.. Through word of mouth, the crowd surrounding them will become wider and wider. Even when the experiment or whatever it is they were doing is over, they still have their credibility. So the next time they huddle together, people will flock.
The social media algorithms respect this natural process, and will make popular posts more visible to more people. If the post is popular, it will make it even more so (in their quest to provide you with great content). So, how you choose to react to any post, will inadvertently affect the reputation and credibility of an account…
So, without further ado.. this is how you can support your local community, and small businesses (even if they are geographically far).
1 || Go Small.. Because It’s Big
What you choose to support on social media matters. If you choose the Vogue home workout, in place of your loyal gym trainer at the local gym, then you are not just ignoring your friend, but also, harming them. Loyalty is key during these trying times, show your love and respect for the people you have been following all along.. If you have always followed Deema Hajjawi or Yasmine Abu Hassan, stick with them during this difficult time. This is really not the time to discover Nigella Lawson’s state-of-the-art cooking tutorials on IG, but then again if you have time..I guess you can do both..
2 || Comment / Like / Share
This is not the time to hold back with your love and admiration of your small accounts. She them some love with comments, likes and shares. These actions go a long way in boosting their accounts and increasing their visibility to others. It is through you they will be able to reach more people, hopefully strengthen their accounts and gaining new customers.
3 || Don’t Be Lured in by the Fancy Footage
Yes, for sure.. Larger pages have plenty more funds and will attempt to lure you with beautiful videos, providing pretty much the same content. I mean seriously how many ways are there to meditation, or do a push up or spaghetti al olio…. Appreciate the time and effort it took for your smaller accounts to create their videos on their iPhones, and trust me a lot of times what they can’t provide in fancy production they make up for in creativity.. Have you seen OneIIOne’s Rawan Abu Jerise and her toilet paper workout, it’s epic!
4 || When They Say ‘Link in Bio” They Mean it
Nine times out of ten, you will read the words ‘link in bio’ and dismiss it.. Perhaps you don’t know what that is.. Well, just to be clear, it is the link in the business profile of the account. This is basically the description of the account which is below the brand’s logo icon on the top left of the page. If you click on the ‘link in bio’, you will see that it takes you to the actual article that the post is referring to. That click means the world to a small website. You may not know that a website’s strength, and power to attract business boils down to how many people visit the site daily. So please, click ‘link in bio’ away.. It’s powerful!
5 || Share Talent
Spread the good word! If you love your Arabic story teller, local soap or candle maker, or even your yoga instructor. Now is the time to profess your love to others. Repost from their pages onto your page, share older posts of you and them in a throwback, or simply screenshot their page and encourage people to follow their account.
6 || Cross Pollination
Now is a good time to introduce great accounts to one another, in the hope of them creating something amazing together. If it very likely that there are a number of accounts that you follow that would make a perfect match. Make sure you introduce them to each other. Now is not the time to be shy, be proactive, share and be the good you want to see in others.
7 || Apps are Really Expensive But Bookmarks Will Do
For a business to create an App they need to spend literally thousands of dollars, obviously not an option to smaller companies. Apps work to keep businesses front of mind in your mind. If you see the app for Wholefoods on your phone all the time, chances of you buying from them increases exponentially. So, how can you help? Go to safari on your iPhone, open onto the website of your favorite small company, and bookmark it on your homepage. It will look just the same as an app and it will encourage you to visit them more often. As mentioned above, traffic to their websites matter.
8 || You Will Eventually Need It
If any of your local businesses are offering gift certificates, and you have a few dollars to spare, then buy! They make great birthday gifts etc. Not only does this provide them with much needed cash, but more importantly perhaps it keeps them in mind. Once this is all over, small businesses will need to attract customers all over again, if you can help them now..please do!