Supporting the Black Lives Matter movement means so much more than just posting to social media or attending protests. In the current economy, the best way to vote is with the dollar. The same is true for sending a message.
For these reasons, one of the best ways you can support your fellow human is to support black-owned businesses. That means more than just shopping at black-owned businesses more often or making purchases more frequently.
If you’re looking to lend some extra support, here are the 7 best things you can do to support black-owned businesses.
1. Do Some Research
The first and most important step of supporting black-owned businesses is to do your research. In a world where false information abounds, it’s vital that you fact check everything. That includes checking whether or not the company you’re looking at really is black-owned and operated.
If you don’t know of any black-owned businesses, you can also do some research to find them. You don’t have to rely on search engines alone, either. There are several apps and websites specially designed to help you hunt down the best black-owned business to meet your shopping needs.
2. Buy, Buy, Buy!
Supporting black-owned businesses is more than just buying from them, but that doesn’t mean buying isn’t important. Like we said, the best way to vote in a capitalist society is with your money. Giving a significant portion of that money to black-owned businesses sends a clear message.
With the economy being what it is, we don’t advocate spending above your means. Just try to reallocate your purchases. Instead of buying your groceries at a supermarket, buy from the local market owned by a black family.
3. Rep Your Peeps
Most companies, regardless of how big they are, sell merchandise with their logo or some other proprietary info stamped on it. Buying this merchandise is an excellent way to both support that company and garner interest from others.
Someone on the bus may ask where you got that cool jacket. A coworker may wonder where you got your coffee cup. No matter what kind of merchandise it is, buying something with a black-owned company’s logo on it is a great way to represent them.
4. Head to Social Media
Another way to represent is to share a purchase, shopping experience, or personal story about a black-owned business. Doing this verbally is fine, but, as we all know, the best way to reach the largest number of people is social media.
Make a post on Facebook. Include the owners or other employees in a TikTok. Use Instagram to advertise some of the company’s coolest products and services. Just be sure to tag the company or add a link to their website.
Before you make any kind of social media post, though, make sure to get the owners’ permission. If they don’t approve, what you intended as support may actually hurt the company.
5. Leave Positive Reviews
Social media isn’t the only place where you can brag about how brilliant a black-owned company is. You should also leave the company a positive review on a public site.
For years, marketing studies have proven that positive reviews increase a company’s traffic and profitability. In other words, the more positive reviews a company has, the more likely that company will be to succeed financially and gain a larger customer base. Google is one of the best places to leave company reviews because anyone can read them. Other shoppers don’t need to be following you or even signed up with an account to see what you wrote.
Other good places to leave reviews include Yelp (especially for black-owned restaurants) and the business’s own website. You should encourage your friends and other shoppers to leave positive reviews, too. Like we said—the more positive reviews a company has, the better its chances of success will be.
6. Think Globally and Locally
Too often, we tend to limit ourselves to one strategy when we commit to doing something. Supporting the black community, especially black-owned businesses, is no different. Instead of thinking about what we can do in our own communities, we only think about things that exist on a global scale. Sometimes, the opposite is true, and we fail to branch out beyond what we can see right in front of us.
If you really want to support the black community, make sure you’re offering your support at all levels. Buy from local black-owned businesses and big-name corporations. Look beyond the storefront. Even companies that aren’t owned by black people likely stock products that are.
7. Ask Black-Owned Businesses
Finally, and most importantly, the best way to help your black-owned business of choice is to ask the business owners themselves. They know exactly what kind of support they need.
Maybe they want a larger community presence. Maybe they’re lagging in sales. Either way, the owners themselves are always the best resource for discovering the company’s needs.
If they ask you for ideas or advice, point them toward a reputation management software or agency. Reputation management is both a marketing concept and a better way of gauging customer reactions. This makes it the perfect tool for small businesses that want to stay ahead of the game.
More Tips on Business Success
Do you need help using search engine optimization (SEO) to its full capacity? Do you want to branch out and keep remote work an option even after the pandemic slows down?
If you live in Ontario, we’re here to help. Bersona is here to help businesses of all sizes up their strategy game and improve their branding. Contact us today for more information.