The internet is a wonderful place full of opportunities, so it’s no wonder that more people are inspired to try and make their own money outside traditional employment opportunities.
Maybe it’s selling artwork or crafted items or maybe your friend has some kind of service that they offer. What they’re offering, however, might not be a product or service that you’d use or maybe your budget is super tight and you can’t afford to support them in the way you’d like. Fear not, there actually ways you can support them on social media without ever having to open your wallet! (of course if you’re ever in a position to support their business financially then that’s always great, because unfortunately moral support doesn’t pay the bills yet!)
A lot of these are aimed at overcoming the algorithms imposed by the various social media companies which you as an ordinary user may not be aware of. Anybody who battles against them, however, will know what a difference these simple little things can make. One of my blog posts on Facebook reached 16 people in 24 hours, out of more than 1100 people who follow my page. So the next time that your friend moans about The Algorithm, don’t roll your eyes. It’s a real battle.
[P.S. this post extends to helping your aspiring influencer friends, hint hint, because that can be a business too!]
Like their stuff.
When they post something on Facebook or Instagram, make sure to like it. In fact, don’t just like it if it’s on Facebook – what about a WOW or a LOVE? While none of us want to admit it, unfortunately the number of likes on posts nowadays is actually super important. A like doesn’t even take effort, so if you can’t even bring yourself to tap the like button then you maybe need to re-evaluate your friendship.
Similarly, if it’s a post that requires interaction like a poll, then vote!
Share it with your friends.
Just because you can’t support your friend how you’d like, doesn’t mean that you don’t actually know somebody who might be able to. Their art might not be your style, but maybe you know somebody who REALLY digs it. You might not even realise that you know somebody who’d like what your friend is selling. Or maybe you know somebody who knows somebody. It’s a chain reaction.
In algorithm terms, even one share can make a huge difference to the number of people who see a post. Don’t be ashamed to share their posts from time to time to help them reach as wide an audience.
Leave a comment.
Meaningful comments are so much more effective in helping to beat algorithms than likes are. What do I mean by meaningful? I think the guidelines say more than 3 words. Don’t just write ‘cool’ – that’s what bots do and bots are THE WORST. Admittedly a short comment is still better than no comment, but this is your friend we’re speaking about. Put a little effort in. Even a ‘this looks really cool!’ is better than ‘cool’.
Shout their praises.
Both on social media and in person too. Tell people how proud or excited you are that they’ve set up a business. You don’t even have to go OTT gushing about how great your friend is, just a simple ‘hey look, my friend is doing this thing’. See somebody holding a craft fair or other event and looking for stall holders? See somebody looking for a new dogsitter because their old one has converted to cat life? Recommend your friend, suggest that they take a stall! Also, speaking of word of mouth…don’t forget to ask your friend how they’re getting on from time to time. Even just the fact you’re thinking about them and all the hard work they’re putting in can mean the world. Sharing a photo or story that features them or their business? Tag it, let people know! Do they only have a Facebook or Instgram for their business? Write about them on Twitter.
Offer them your time.
Time is money, right? Let them know that you support them by offering to help them if they ever need it. Some ideas of ways you might offer to support them with nothing more than your time include:
- helping them get that perfect pic (selfies only go so far!).
- offering to look after the kids while they man a stall at an event.
- offering to be a spare pair of hands at an event.
- offering to take the dog for a walk so that they can attend an event without worrying.
- giving them first dibs of any cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, glass jars, etc you have that could help their business.
- Invite them over for a cuppa/wine night to make sure they take a break and so you have the chance to ask them how things are going!
Do you have any more suggestions? Share them in the comments below!