They were always there for you. They were there to serve your favourite meals, groom your pets, repair your heating, clean your carpets, deliver your flowers, make that cup of piping hot mocha, and style your hair. Your local business, the backbone of your community, now needs you.
They have been among the worst-hit during the pandemic. As UK businesses prepare to reopen this April, they could do with a boost to help them get back on their feet. By reviewing your favourite local business on Facebook, you can help them survive. Here’s everything you need to know about why — and how — you should write a Facebook review for a local business you adore.
Before we get to how to write a great Facebook review, let’s pause and understand why you have to do this. Beyond “it’s good karma,” there are objective reasons to be a good community player and support your local business now. (And these reasons hold their weight no matter which review platform you use; Facebook, Google, Trustpilot, Tripadvisor or Yelp).
Local businesses are independent entities without corporate support and buffer funds. This makes them highly vulnerable to an economic downturn as their losses cannot be absorbed by a spread-out system.
They are out there, all alone.
A local business customises its products and services to the neighbourhood it serves. So, a Chinese restaurant or a hair salon in your vicinity will be different from the ones in the next town. Big corporations offer standardised offerings without localisation.
When a local business in your area closes, you lose a one-of-a-kind gem that was designed just for your community.
You’re not anonymously picking up stuff from an aisle. You’re buying from a butcher, baker, or barista who knows you. Over the years, they would have known your — and your family’s — unique preferences.
When a salon shuts shop, you’re losing your stylist, and also someone who was your listener-in-chief.
A couple of leaflets, a time-worn signboard, and a poster on the window. That’s how most local businesses advertise. They don’t have either the budgets of the big boys or their crafty marketing algorithms.
You are the social influencer they need right now.
Now you know why you have to do it, let’s figure out how to do it right. Big businesses have always known the power of Facebook reviews and how to use them. It’s time to use that might for local businesses.
If you want to write a glowing review for your favourite local business, keep the following tips in mind.
It will help a small business exponentially if you can be specific about what you liked. That’s because a generic review, although helpful, doesn’t give pointers to others.
So, if you’re reviewing a pet grooming service, instead of saying “These folks were amazing,” write something like “Love how they were gentle with my poodle, giving him treats after the shampoo.”
A glowing Facebook review doesn’t mean it should sound incredible. Others should be able to relate to what you write. In other words, don’t go over the top — just be honest about what you liked.
While others may love the espresso-doughnut combo, perhaps you simply enjoy the afternoon quiet and a comfy spot to read. If you like it, other people in your community will too.
This may sound unnecessary but make sure that you’re reviewing the right business. If you’re talking about a particular location, check that the address is correct. If you’re confused, take a look at the “About” section before you comment.
It’s best to steer clear of capital letters or too much punctuation. Keep it short and sweet, between 40-60 words. If it’s too chunky or hyperactive, people won’t be interested in reading.
A local business isn’t a faceless corporation. It’s run by people you would’ve interacted with. So, one of the best things you can do for your neighbourhood independent business is to compliment the individuals behind it.
A mere statement like, “Jerry always comes to our table to ask us about the food” can do wonders for the restaurant.
The pandemic has forced many small businesses to change their operations. So, if you’ve ordered from a pastry shop or a neighbourhood florist, you could talk about how prompt the delivery was or how they had hygienically packaged your order. If you visit them and they've changed things up, mention what's new and good in your review.
Local businesses bring character and energy to communities. And right now, they need your help. Just a couple of Facebook reviews can boost their business, offering a lifeline when it’s needed most.