We have all faced changes, challenges and uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local business owners did not hesitate to quickly adapt to the changes in order to continue to meet our needs. These small business owners are our neighbours, friends, people you can count on to support charity events and fundraisers, and an integral part of our community. Supporting local businesses any way you can is more important now than ever, consider it an investment in the future as you are helping to ensure your favourite local spot is able to remain open when life returns to normal.

There are more ways to support local businesses than just shopping. Writing an amazing online review is a great way to show support and spread the love. Reviews are the online version of word of mouth: you would often trust your friend’s opinion of a place and 84% of people trust reviews as much as they would trust a friend! Leaving positive reviews helps to draw in new customers and helps the business appear credible and trustworthy. It’s not enough to just write a good review, it needs to be a useful review.

How to Write a Great Review

When it comes to writing a great review, it’s all in the details. More details means more engagement and makes your review more valuable for the business because it helps them to learn more about their customer’s happiness.

Be sure to cover a range of elements like customer service, overall experience, quality and selection. Be insightful and descriptive and make sure you are honest: honesty is the best policy and are what quality reviews rely on! Including photos of your experience is a great way to provide an in depth and authentic feel to any review.

The best reviews answer questions people may have so don’t be shy about giving advice. Think about what you wish you would have known on your first visit; this can be anything from “the stairs are a little steep” to “get there early to make sure you have the best selection”. Another great way to give advice is to give recommendations on what new customers must try or items that are not to be missed!

When it comes to the length of your review, there’s no one way to do it. Don’t hold back: if your post is too short, you won’t cover very many details. If you want to give a really great review, though, consider the reader’s attention span. The best reviews are detailed but concise.

Before you submit your review, it’s always a good idea to proofread. Your review is not expected to be written like an award-winning novel, but a little proofreading goes a long way in making sure your review is easy to read and understand. Keeping a semi-professional tone, as if you are writing a letter, is a good thing to keep in mind.

Knowing Where to Share Your Review

There are so many options of where to post a review, it can be hard to know where to start. Google Reviews, Yelp and Facebook are three of the most credible places to leave a review and they will all ensure your review is widely seen.

Google Reviews is a great option because it will show up when someone searches the business making any reviews posted super visible and useful for new customers. Check out this great article for more information on how to post a Google Review.

Yelp is well recognized as a trusted source of information. With 145 million users monthly, people often check Yelp before trying out a new spot. Yelp is especially great for leaving a review about a restaurant, though it features many other business types as well.

Facebook is one of the most widely used social channels, many people head directly to the business’ page before checking out the place in person. A review left on the business’ page is a great resource for those customers who love social media.

Easy Ways to Use Social Media to Spread the Love

Writing a review often ends up being a one-time thing or something that happens on occasion. There are a few quick ways to support your local businesses and spread the love you can do every day.

When you see your favourite businesses post on social media, be sure to give their post a like, comment, share or tag a friend. This will help the post be more visible and will share it with people who may not be following the business.

Giving the business a shout out on your social media is another great way to spread the love.

Try sharing photos of your great experience on your Instagram feed or story, Facebook, or twitter. Make sure to take the brand so they have the option of resharing your feedback!