Thanksgiving is looming, but forget about Black Friday unless you really enjoy waiting in line in front of big box stores. The big story: Small Business Saturday is coming November 28, 2015! According to its founder, American Express, 88 million people participated in 2014. Mayors, governors, and even the President all support Small Business Saturday as a new tradition to boost small businesses around the country.
It’s not too late for your small business to get in on the action and spread the word. Here are ten things you can do right now to help your small business prepare.
- Make it official. Register at Shop Small right now. Customers searching for local businesses can find you easily and work you into their Small Business Saturday shopping plans.
- Download freebies and logos. While you’re there, download free promotional goodies including logos, email templates, printable signs, and more. Use them for your email blasts this week, your website, and your social media posts. Update your Twitter banner or Facebook cover photo to get everyone in the mood.
- Hashtag it up. Use the correct hashtags in your posts: #SmallBizSat #ShopSmall and #SmallBusinessSaturday.
- Give an incentive for check-ins. Motivate your customers to share the news that they stopped by your business this coming Small Business Saturday. When they check in with Yelp or Facebook, offer special promotion or discounts.
- Give your customers some big ideas. We’re not all gifted with the gift for gift-giving. In social media and emails, make some helpful lists and suggestions for specific people, age groups, and budgets. Your gift-challenged customers will appreciate it.
- Fine tune your keywords. If you use AdWords, now is the time to optimize or add keywords to match your big sales this all-important week.
- Connect with your community. How is your town or community supporting Small Business Saturday? For example, the City of Alexandria, Virginia, has a Small Business Saturday website with a directory of participating shops. Be part of the bigger picture in your community, whether connecting with your town’s social media or making sure you’re listed on relevant websites.
- Boost other small businesses. When it comes to Small Business Saturday, you’re not necessarily in competition with your neighbors. A rising tide actually does raise all boats. Follow, retweet, like, or promote other local businesses. You’ll get exposure to an entirely new set of followers and potential customers—and your fellow small businesses will probably return the favor.
- Collect emails. We can’t stress this enough. Collect email addresses from your customers so you can follow-up with your customers during the holiday shopping season and into the New Year.
- Don’t forget about Cyber Monday. Piggybank on the Saturday excitement with social media and email buzz about your Cyber Monday sales.
Small Business Saturday goes beyond sales: it’s a way to be part your community, generate positive buzz, and build relationships. With a few marketing tips, you can connect with new customers and new followers this holiday seasons.
At BlueTreeDigital we love to see other small businesses succeed. We’re thankful for our amazing team and our clients and friends for helping us with our vision: a new kind of marketing company for a new era. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us…and have a successful Small Business Saturday!