It is no secret that social media can often cause more harm than good. Yes, it is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, share adorable photos of your children and pets, or stay up to date on the latest trends and news. But we also know all too well the dark side of it – the comparison traps, the misinformation, the filters … oh so many filters.
One aspect of social media that has proven to be incredibly positive for me, however, is how, when, and where, I shop. I love Target and Amazon as much as the next person, but social media platforms have opened up an entire market of entrepreneurs and small businesses that I most likely would have never otherwise known existed. And while so much of what we do on Instagram and Facebook is incredibly passive (mindless scrolling on repeat), there is an entire community of “mompreneuers” and small shops that have successfully evolved their brands through these platforms.
The individuals managing these companies often bring a certain charm and level of customer service to online shopping that was previously reserved for standard brick and mortar businesses, and I think it’s partially why many are so successful. I love that I know the first names of the women behind my favorite shops, that they personally answer questions through Instagram DMs and Facebook VIP groups, and that I get to see the expressions on their family member’s faces as they celebrate a successful sale or season.
I now find myself strategizing within my budget more and more in order to support fellow women and mothers as they work to grow their businesses online. Yes, you can sometimes anticipate longer shipping times or higher costs, but there is the payoff of enhanced quality, a personal touch, and, oftentimes, American-made products and companies with a mission to give back. As a mom who has recently moved away from a more “traditional” career, it truly fills my cup to be able to provide any level of support to other women working to do the same.
Supporting small businesses has never been more important than it is now. During this holiday season, I have really leaned into my desire to provide family and friends with quality gifts they’ll love, while also feeling good about where each dollar is going. I still admittedly couldn’t live without Amazon Prime, but I cannot recommend enough expanding who you follow on social media into the realm of small shops, especially those that are female-owned and operated.
The true beauty of social media is that supporting these businesses costs you $0 if purchasing isn’t in the budget right now. Likes, shares, and comments are how so many have grown the foundation of their businesses, and this level of active engagement costs you nothing except a few minutes of intentional time.