As people around the world continue to protest the flagrant racial injustices Black people experience every day, it's crucial to find ways to voice your support for Black communities. While protesting and making donations and financially supporting Black-owned businesses and Black-focused organizations are extremely important ways to support these institutions, they aren't the only ways. For whatever reason, if you can't purchase from a Black-owned brand right now, there are several meaningful ways you can help get more eyes on a business and ensure everyone knows how epic it is.
Although directly purchasing from a Black-owned brand is the most effective means of providing a financial benefit, tons of brands, particularly small businesses, rely on word-of-mouth marketing and social media to increase their visibility when it comes to new customers. When more people have awareness of a brand and the products it creates, it results in more people supporting and purchasing from that brand. (Obviously, positive reviews and shopping experiences from people who have tried the products or services have a similar effect.) As that cycle of support continues, a business can easily transform from a new startup to a staple in people's shopping carts.
Even if you don't have the means to buy from a Black-owned brand at the moment, you do, however, have a perfectly good, impactful voice that can easily support Black-owned brands, creatives, and more. Read on for concrete ways to support Black-owned brands beyond purchasing from them.
Follow and engage with Black-owned brands on social media.
Though a brand doesn't necessarily need a lot of likes or followers to create amazing products, numbers can really help a brand flourish. When a business has a sizable social media following and engagement on its posts, this can positively impact brand loyalty, referrals, and other vital factors in a business' growth. Particularly for brands just beginning to build a following, your support on all of their social media platforms holds tons of weight. Click the follow button on the Black-owned businesses you know (and perhaps some you don't, listed here), like their posts, share them, and flood the comments with praise and positivity.
Share those brands' posts and information with your followers.
Once you've followed Black-owned brands, share those posts on your own social media channels (and be sure to tag and credit the brand). Whether you have one follower or 10,000, you have a platform and an audience. Sharing a brand's posts with your own network of followers is an easy way to drive more visibility, and potential followers, to a brand.
Share your experience using a Black-owned brand on social media.
As you share a Black-owned brand's posts with your followers, consider documenting your own positive experience there as well. You could also post a video of yourself trying out a few different products and letting your followers know your thoughts. Reading your own experience or seeing you try products in real time might further influence others to see what the brand is all about and give them a starting point for products to try.
Recommend the brand personally to your friends and family.
You know how hearing that your best friend tried and loved a certain product instantly makes you want to try it? Word-of-mouth marketing works, even when it's not just your best friend you're talking to. Your family and friends trust your opinion, and recommending a Black-owned brand you love can result in them passing on that love to a group of other people and so on.
Leave a positive Yelp or Google review.
How many times have you turned to Google reviews or Yelp to check other people's experiences with a brand's service before you take the plunge yourself? Knowing other people have had positive experiences with a brand makes people much more likely to support a business over doing so blindly. If you've had a positive experience at a Black-owned shop or business with a Yelp page or a Google "My Business" page, leave a glowing review. Your experience can, and likely will, influence others to support the brand.
Leave a positive product review on the brand's website and on other online retailers where the product is sold.
While you're at it, don't forget to leave positive product reviews on a brand's website or on another online retailer like Sephora if you've tried and loved a product. A greater number of positive reviews increases the possibility of new shoppers purchasing from a brand. Not to mention, a flood of glowing reviews can push a brand's product onto larger retailers' best-seller lists and into featured spots on the page.
Purchase a gift card.
If a certain business doesn't necessarily have something for you, but you'd still like to support it, purchase a gift card to give to someone else. Particularly during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, gift card purchases have become a crucial way to keep some businesses alive.
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