This year, Small Business Saturday is going to look a little bit different.
Launched by American Express, Small Business Saturday is sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Local businesses host open house events, decorate their storefronts with customized marketing materials and engage with shoppers via social media to encourage their biggest shopping day of the year. But with COVID-19 cases on the rise again, what can startup and small business owners do to encourage safe shopping this year?
Encourage shoppers to check in to your store online
There are several social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, that provide the ability to add your location and “check in.” You can do this in the body of the post, and in Instagram Stories by tagging a brick-and-mortar store’s location. If you’re a local business that allows its customers to check in via social media, encourage shoppers to do so on Small Business Saturday.
When a shopper checks in to your storefront, they expose your business to a much wider audience. Their friends and followers take notice, and may be curious to learn more about your business. Once they tap on your company name, they’ll be redirected to a page filled with tagged check-ins from other customers. This allows potential shoppers to learn more about your business and its location.
Now that these curious potential customers know what you offer and that you’re participating in Small Business Saturday, they may be curious about your store — so make sure your website is up-to-date with your latest offerings.
You might also offer customers an added incentive to check in to your store online, like $1 off their in-store purchase.
Create your own business-specific hashtag for Small Business Saturday
The Shop Small Studio is a tool provided by AmEx’s Small Business Resource Center that offers a wide variety of custom marketing materials. You can use it to create custom posters, social media posts and more in just a few minutes.
While utilizing the tools provided by the Shop Small Studio, add your own hashtag to the marketing materials you create, in addition to using the #ShopSmall hashtag.
Let’s say you run a local bakery called The Sweet Spot. Include #TheSweetSpotBakery on your marketing materials, from mail flyers to email newsletters, encouraging shoppers to use it in their social media posts. This way, you can find their posts faster and be able to regram, retweet or reshare them on your company’s social accounts, creating engagement and word-of-mouth marketing.
Reinforce a #ShopSmall mentality year-round
While it’s true the Small Business Saturday mentality receives peak awareness in November, that doesn’t mean its core ideas should only be promoted this month.
Keep the conversation going about the power of the Shop Small movement year-round on your social channels by doing the following:
- Highlight new customers you gained because of Small Business Saturday: Ask customers if they’d like to be featured on your social media accounts. Ask how they found out about your business and why they’ll continue to shop there. Share their answers on your social media accounts. This gives your audience a glimpse into the real people that shop at your business, on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year.
- Play up new and existing offerings: Talk about new items being added to your inventory, as well as new services you’re providing to customers. Shine a spotlight on old favorites, too. This provides a gentle reminder of your offerings and gets customers excited about shopping at your business no matter what time of year it is.
Countdown to Small Business Saturday
Create excitement around Small Business Saturday by counting down to the event across all of your social media handles. Spice up your countdown by including a fun reason why shoppers should look forward to shopping small at your business in particular.
Will you have a surprise offering unveiled the day of? Tease this as you count down to November 28!
To learn how to have a successful (and profitable) Small Business Saturday with extra holiday financing for your business, click here.