Making Small Business Saturday Awesome
By Anita Campbell
With Small Business Saturday just around the corner, it’s time to use the occasion to promote your business. While sales and discounts can be great, there are actually plenty of other ways small businesses can promote their products and services on Small Business Saturday. Here are fifteen unique ideas.
Build up Small Business Saturday on social media
If you want anyone to show up and shop, promote it several days ahead on social media. Twitter, Facebook, and other venues are a great place for you to spread the word about your sales, events, or special offers, and drive last minute traffic.
People love supporting local businesses because their purchases can actually benefit the local economy instead of going right to large corporations. And you can highlight that local aspect even more by supporting local charities or causes as part of your Small Business Saturday promotion. You can donate a portion of your proceeds or even invite members of a local group to spread the word about a cause at your location.
Cross-promote with other local businesses
If your business is located near other small businesses, you could partner with some of those other businesses to increase your reach. You might include some signage in your store that promotes other stores or restaurants in your area. Or you could partner up to create a gift guide or host a series of complementary events or promotions around town.
Offer in-store entertainment
Shopping on Small Business Saturday can be a fun experience for customers. So they could be looking to visit stores or local businesses that offer more than just good deals. If you offer live music or other types of entertainment at your location, it could entice more customers to stop by and convince them to stick around for even longer.
Have refreshments for customers
Another way to make customers have a positive experience at your business is to offer some refreshments. Even just some coffee or hot chocolate and cookies can give them a positive sense, which can then encourage them to stick around and shop longer, increasing the odds that they’ll actually purchase something.
Create a unique hashtag
There are some dedicated Small Business Saturday hashtags already, which you can use to promote your sales or events. But you can also create your own hashtag to encourage customers to share their experiences visiting your business. This can help you keep track of what people are saying about your business and increase your reach on social media.
Host a contest or giveaway
You can encourage people to share information about your business on social media or online even more by hosting some kind of contest or giveaway. For example, you could ask customers to post a photo on Instagram or Facebook of their purchase or experience at your business and then offer a free gift or money off a purchase to the person with the most creative photo.
Collect email addresses
You could also host an in-person giveaway by asking shoppers to sign up for your email list while shopping. Then you can choose a winner from the list and contact them to give them their prize. Then you can also contact everyone who signed up via email with relevant deals or offers throughout the holiday season.
Offer photo opportunities
If you want customers to share their experience with your business online, it can be a good idea to offer some kind of photo opportunity. If you have a photobooth or appearances by Santa or other popular characters who shoppers might want photos with, then they could be likely to post those photos and talk about their experience online.
Create a gift guide
For stores that sell holiday gift items, either in a retail setting or online, gift guides can be a great way to appeal to shoppers. You can create a gift guide that includes some of your products and include it in a blog post, email newsletter, or even direct mail to give your customers ideas about how they can use some of your products throughout the holiday season.
Reach out to local media
You can also increase your reach by reaching out to local media or online publications if your shop has an online presence. You can suggest some of your products to include in a gift guide or even just promote your sales or events.
Invite influencers to shop
Influencers can also help you reach out to relevant consumers, especially if you have an online shop. You can work with influencers and have them use or test out some of your products so they can then share their experience with their followers or fans.
Offer free gifts or wrapping
For retail stores, offering free gift wrapping services can be a great way to ensure that shoppers have a good experience at your store. Or you could also offer a small gift for each person who comes in or makes a purchase.
Share a behind-the-scenes video
Many of the people who shop at small businesses like the idea that they are supporting real people in their community. And you can remind them of that and encourage them to support your small business by creating a short behind-the-scenes video or series of photos showing your team in action.
Live stream throughout the day
You can also give people a behind the scenes look at your company and show off all the fun things happening at your small business by live streaming at select times throughout Small Business Saturday. Periscope and Facebook Live offer you a really way to reach out to your audience and share information in real time.
Small Business Administration Guest Blogger
My name is Anita Campbell. I run online communities and information websites reaching over 6 million small business owners, stakeholders, and entrepreneurs annually, including Small Business Trends, a daily publication about small business issues, and BizSugar.com, a small business social media site.
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