Living and working in a small town, I’m surrounded by independent businesses. Retailers, service providers, food services, etc. I help them create and update content for web listings, social media, and web sites.But I’m handcuffed on one frustrating front: I can’t write reviews for the businesses I work for!

It’s clear that Facebook is the most popular way to connect with neighborhood businesses. It’s a personal approach. You know that the owner or manager will see your name when you like, comment, or share. You feel good when you contribute to a Facebook news feed.

Would you like to make an even bigger contribution? One that supports your favorite businesses, the ones that you rely on week after week, year after year?

When it comes to online feedback, consider taking an extra few seconds to write a review. To make the most impact, post where more potential customers  will look for information, like on Google, TripAdvisor, and Yelp. These reviews will boost the business’s online profile and be seen by viewers who need help deciding where to shop, where to eat, and where to do business.

I see a big feedback gap at these other locations. Businesses that have hundreds and even thousands of Facebook supporters often have only a handful of reviews at the online places where you probably look for reviews yourself.

Keep in mind that businesses can’t ask for reviews! They may post a sign saying “Find us on Facebook” or “Check us out on Google,” but soliciting reviews is a serious no-no.

Did you have a great customer experience this week? Here are some places you can write reviews and support local businesses:

Facebook

Google

TripAdvisor

Yelp

So if you’d like to make a real–and free–contribution to an independent business’s online presence, consider writing a review or two!  These online “tip jars” need filling up!

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