According to American Express, more than one-third of U.S. shoppers have begun their holiday purchases by Halloween. (Wow, now those people are definitely ahead of the game!) But what about the other two-thirds of shoppers? Our guess…they’re most likely waiting to see what kind of deals they can score during the busiest shopping weekend of the year: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.
Black Friday started as a way to draw shoppers into big-box retailers. Cyber Monday started to support eCommerce business. Both hold true to the promise of major savings and the best deals of the holiday season, but what does that mean for you as a small business owner?
On Small Business Saturday in 2016, 112 million shoppers showed their love for their favorite spots and spent a reported $15.4 billion at small businesses, like yours, across the country. These numbers just keep growing year over year since American Express started Small Business Saturday back in 2010. This movement helps bring attention to the importance of supporting small businesses in communities across America. When your community is thriving, you can thrive too!
Here are a few ways you can stand out this Small Business Saturday:
Tell your story on social.
Social media is the place to go to tell the story behind your business. Whether the business is family-owned and operated or was started on a single idea, there’s always a reason behind it. Small business owners truly believe that they can provide something a big-box store can’t so let people know that!
Use video to tell the story. Video gets more engagement and exposure across the board, so utilize this tool to get the word out there. Tools like Animoto and Storeo are great to post on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Remind your community to Shop Small with you.
If you aren’t already doing this I challenge you to START NOW. Create a Facebook Event page and advertise it, announce it on social, and make sure to use Shop Small signage in-store to help spread the word. You can find tons of free Small Business Saturday marketing materials directly in the American Express shop small studio.
If you’re leveraging social media use hashtags like #shoplocal and #shopsmall to join the conversation especially on Instagram. When you use these hashtags as well as location-specific hashtags i.e #oceansideca #carlsbadca #sandiegoca you can be seen by more people in your area who may not already be following you.
Make it a community-wide event.
The holidays are a busy time for everyone across many industries. Partner with other local businesses outside of retail like restaurants and coffee shops to get in on the action. Community events can be hugely successful for everyone involved, so use Small Business Saturday to be the kick off a strong holiday season.
Some event ideas include holding a Rise and Shine Community Breakfast for anyone who wants to shop early Saturday morning. You can also utilize the American Express Passport that includes a list of all the businesses in your area participating and shoppers can go to each place and get their passport stamped. You can also use this as a coupon book and include everyone’s special offers and promotions.
Remember, Small Business Saturday was started with small businesses in mind. Have fun, work hard, and be proud of what you’ve accomplished!
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