Likes, comments, and shares make a difference in boosting visibility

Nick-KossovanMost people use social media to serve their self-interests. What could be more self-serving than evangelizing your local businesses, the heartbeats of your community’s economy? Thriving local businesses create local jobs, support local charities, and often offer a broad range of goods and services not found elsewhere.

A community is defined by its eclectic mix of independent coffee shops, restaurants, specialty shops, mom-and-pops, and service providers. Without them, the community lacks soul. Additionally, supporting local businesses keeps storefronts alive rather than vacant and depressing.

Shopping locally keeps most of your money in your community instead of going to large corporations. Additionally, considering climate change’s detrimental effects, shopping locally – walking or driving shorter distances – reduces your carbon footprint. With summer upon us, we’ll be spending more time ‘out and about’; hence, stroll to your local pub with your neighbours or explore local shops. In addition to supporting your local businesses with your consumerism, consider supporting them on social media.

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Follow your favourite restaurants and stores’ Facebook Page, Instagram, and X/Twitter account. The more followers a business has, the more visible its posts are. Go one step further and invite your friends to follow them as well.

Engage, engage, engage

Don’t underestimate the power of your social media engagement. Every like and comment you make on a local business’s post influences the platform’s algorithm, potentially making a difference between a business reaching new customers or getting lost in the digital noise. Your likes and/or comments activity can be a game-changer for a local business.

Remember that your local business is competing on social media against big-box retailers and restaurant chains, who have much deeper pockets for their marketing, advertising, and social media initiatives.


Sharing a local business’s posts, especially their advertisements, takes a few seconds and can significantly boost the post’s visibility more than liking and commenting. By sharing a post, you’re telling your followers, “Look at this!”

Write a Review

In 2022, 87 percent of consumers used Google to evaluate local businesses, up from 81 percent in 2021. The impact online reviews have on a business’s reputation and success can’t be overestimated.

Online reviews are more than just feedback; they’re trust currency. When you share your positive experience with a local business, you’re not only promoting them; you’re also helping them build trust within and beyond your community. Your review, ideally with pictures, will go a long way in shaping a local business’s reputation.

Reviews are mostly left on Google; however, you can and should consider leaving reviews, including pictures, on other sites such as:

  • Better Business Bureau
  • Facebook
  • Foursquare
  • Nextdoor
  • Tripadvisor
  • Yelp

Small businesses usually have only a few reviews; therefore, a negative review can ruin their reputation. Before leaving a negative review, try resolving your complaint with the business, just as you’d want if it were your business.


Consider how often you went to a restaurant based on a friend’s recommendation. Sharing your positive experiences with local businesses on social media is the equivalent of making a recommendation, a digital “word of mouth.” Tell your followers the story of your positive experience with a local business’s service or product, highlight your favourite product, and post pictures of yourself using and enjoying the product. Be sure to tag the business so they’re notified of your post. Most importantly, use relevant hashtags such as #[province], #[city, town], #foodie, and #[business name] so your posts are more likely to be discovered, leading to greater engagement.

Join the mailing list of local businesses

Subscribing to local businesses’ newsletters not only keeps you in touch with their happenings, such as sales, specials, events, and the arrival of new stock, but often, subscribers are offered exclusive discounts in addition to receiving news and updates ahead of the public. To maximize helping a business, share their newsletters on social media.

Take pictures, tag, and use hashtags

Whether you found the perfect wardrobe addition at a neighbourhood boutique or enjoyed a satisfying meal with friends at a local pub, take pictures – yes, selfies count – and post them on social media to share your experience with your followers. As I mentioned earlier, tag the business and add relevant hashtags.

In addition to reaching more people, businesses with more user-generated content project a more authentic (read: credible) image. It’s one thing for a business to boast about how great it is, but when customers rave about their business, people notice.

Supporting local businesses on social media has a profound ripple effect. When you actively engage with your local business on social media and spread the word about their existence and how much you enjoy their offerings, you’re not just a passive consumer but an influential advocate. Your support on social media will inevitably boost their sales, enabling them to invest in the community, create local jobs, support local events, and contribute to the local economy.

Ultimately, engaging with local businesses amplifies your influence to promote your community’s prosperity, thus promoting a self-serving interest we should all have: to live in a thriving community.

Nick Kossovan, a self-described connoisseur of human psychology, writes about what’s on his mind from Toronto.

For interview requests, click here.

The opinions expressed by our columnists and contributors are theirs alone and do not inherently or expressly reflect the views of our publication.

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