So this week I got a teeny bit ranty on social media mainly on my Facebook and Instagram Feeds about their new algorithms that are screwing with small business...read all about it.
When I post on Facebook and Instagram I often refer to The Simply Small Co as ‘We’ (not sure why, I’ve chatted about this with some of my fellow sole traders and they do it too) what I really mean is ME. Because this business is run by me. Natalie. A 38 year old girl (yep I still consider myself a girl, woman sounds a bit grown up) from Newcastle sometimes my sister helps me out in the shop and my husband does the accounts but apart from that it’s just me. Running a small independent business is tough. And right now it’s even tougher than ever. If you follow a lot of small businesses on social media you will have seen some of them mention algorithm recently. Put simply, an algorithm is the code that the developers use to programme what we see in our news feeds. Instagram and Facebook have changed theirs recently so that businesses are now only reaching less than 10% of their followers with their posts. This is nonsense! People follow and like pages because they like and are interested in them.
This small change has actually caused two small online businesses I know to close or significantly lay off staff in the last month alone. In some respects, I’m lucky. I’m online but I also I have a shop so I benefit from having a fixed shop front and passing trade but I still hugely rely on social media to generate traffic to my website and help people to find and visit my shop. Most small businesses rely on social media greatly because they can engage with their customers for free. None of us are millionaires. We don’t have huge budgets to advertise and run expensive digital marketing campaigns we have to be creative and clever with our low cost marketing. Even when I have paid for sponsored posts they have little impact and I prefer my followers and customers to follow me because they like and comment on what they see, have conversations rather than because they’re seeing a post because I’ve paid for it to be there! I also try not to make my posts all about selling. They’re often about my daily musings, the ‘person’ behind the business rather than a nameless, faceless mass producing brand.
CAN YOU HELP? Yes you can. Simply by TELLING YOUR FRIENDS, either mention it to them IN PERSON about this great little shop you saw online or in xxxxx. Comment, tag people who you think might like something or share posts that interest you from the small business accounts that you follow. Why? Because that way the algorithms show more people our posts. IN RETURN I WILL DO SOMETHING FOR YOU. Every month I will choose a person who comments or shares something from my feeds to receive a random free gift. Either a gift voucher, product or super duper discount code. Sometimes I will message ALL of my followers with an exclusive discount or gift direct into their in-boxes.
HELP KEEP SMALL BUSINESS ALIVE. Thanks for reading. On you scroll (but comment first 😝😘) Nat xxxx