Why I Support Local Businesses On Instagram
A Social Existence
As we negotiate social media, which is just a framework for how we communicate with one another in clusters, it’s become normal to accept brands as a commercial entity within our social/personal space. I feel the whole process isn’t really that much different than the word-of-mouth grapevine close neighborhoods have had forever— popular social platforms are just closer and more direct with the ability to tag, mention, and bring specific entities directly into your conversation.
For areas with a high density of notable small businesses, restaurants, brands, etc (like the one I grew up in) these establishments need to work hard to maintain popularity. Part of their machine is to stay within the topics of conversation; even within conversations outside of their service area. That’s probably why SMB owners, operators, and workers strive hard for excellence in their niched crafts, and are so eager to showcase their skills in formal media outlets like magazines, television competitions, and other pubic facing endeavors.
Sometimes I stop and think how can a single resturant survive and keep operating at such a high tolerance level by servicing the community of our small town?. It can’t, not really— unless everyone in the neighborhood eats there a couple times a week. Depending on outside interest and patronage is what links SMBs; particularly small operations in the service industry lead by founding owner/operators, so heavily with micro-tourism and the requirement of top-notch marketing.
Where larger versions of your local brand that grow towards the franchise, chain, and household recognition level of presence will undoubtedly have Goliath marketing and advertising practices, the impact those efforts have on their per-location aren’t as prominent.
Your Local Shop Is David
Regular critical hits that saved David’s hide when going up against the Goliath can be game-changers for small businesses. Unfortunately, those types of operators already wear too many hats, and don’t have the time or effort to dedicate to their own marketing.
User generated content kicks ass, it's fun, and tends to brighten the day of both customers and businesses. I’m sure you already have a handful of shops or eateries near you that are thought of as local mascots for your regions, town, or neighborhoods… who better to speak for them than you?
It’s a win/win here for everyone involved. Go walk into one of your favorite places, start a conversation, learn what they do, and share something cool. Taking the next step by tagging their accounts to the local geographic area and trending local hashtags will help others discover it when they’re in town.
Make every Saturday a #SmallBusinessSaturday