Don’t feel like fighting the masses on Black Friday? Wait until Saturday and keep your money local for Small Business Saturday!
Saturday, November 30 is a day to celebrate small businesses and their role in your community. What started in 2010 as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday has exploded into a nationwide movement to support shopping locally. The idea was started by American Express to help small businesses gain more exposure during one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. According to a survey, 47% of those aware of Small Business Saturday shopped at a small business on that day in 2012, and they spent a total of $5.5 billion.
Small businesses are a key to economic growth and job creation. There are approximately 23 million small businesses across the United States, and 7.8 million of those are owned by women. These 23 million small businesses account for about 54% of all US retail sales, according to the US Small Business Administration. Keep in mind that when you spend money locally, more of your money stays local. For example, if you buy a $5 cup of coffee at a locally-owned shop, $3.40 of it goes back to your local community. If you buy a $5 cup of coffee at a national coffee brand, only $2.15 goes back to your community.
So how can you make the most of Small Business Saturday? Here are some pieces of advice we have for you:
- Use hashtags. Potential customers can find you if you use relevant hashtags, such as #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat.
- Keep things interesting. Capture you audience’s attention with new and different marketing material. This week, post pictures on Instagram showcasing holiday gift ideas that are available for purchase on Small Business Saturday. Create a Vine video to share with your followers why they should shop locally. Give an inside look at your store preparations for Saturday.
- Utilize email. Import your email contact list to your social media networks to discover which of your current customers are already online. This way, you can stay connected through more than one marketing medium.
- Show that you’re social. Embed your Twitter feed onto your website so that people can see in real time the conversations going on about your business. This is a great way to promote yourself year-round.
- Offer incentives. Give a discount to your social media fans and followers to use on their purchase. For example, send out a tweet that says “show this tweet at the counter for 10% off your purchase.” This will give customers an incentive to stay connected to you on social media year round and also will give you some insight on how well your social media efforts are working.
- Focus on mobile. 20% of small business owners expect to see more mobile transactions this year. When advertising via mobile, you get a unique marketing opportunity to reach your customers while they’re out, possibly right down the street from your store. Let your customers know in the days leading up to Small Business Saturday and on the day of about promotions.
Need some help getting started? Here are a few sample tweets:
#ShopSmall with us on November 30 to take care of your holiday shopping!
‘Tis the season to #ShopSmall! Participate in #SmallBizSat and get 10% off your total purchase on November 30.
RT: I choose to #ShopSmall this holiday season to support my local small business
Where will you be shopping on Small Business Saturday?