Small Business Saturday

7 Marketing Ideas for Small Business Saturday

  • Written By: Kelly Bedrich

  • For major retailers, there’s Black Friday. But for small business owners, Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) is where the action is. Here are tips on developing your marketing plan to make the most of this holiday spending opportunity.

    What is Small Business Saturday?

    Originally developed by American Express, Small Business Saturday is now a nationwide celebration of the cornerstone of the U.S. economy, the small business. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses employ about half of U.S. workers and make up 46% of the Gross Domestic Product.

    Small business marketing plan

    Small Business Saturday is one of the so-called Cyber-5, referring to the amount of online shopping done in the 5 days following Thanksgiving.

    7 Ways to Market Your Business for Small Business Saturday

    Now that you know what Small Business Saturday is, here are 7 ideas for promoting your company for Small Business Saturday.

    1. Use Social Media to Promote Your Small Business

    Online is where it’s at. (It’s where you are now, right?) Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok are part of life. In fact, 79% of Americans have some sort of social media presence.

    Consistency in posting is key. Create a schedule for your planned posts, using themes to get started, like ThrowbackThursday, FunFriday, etc.

    Here are some additional ideas:

    • Start or join conversations in community groups in your area
    • Utilize sponsored posts or paid advertisements. Make sure to set geographic and demographic targets to only reach people who are your target market.
    • Post more frequently
    • Have an online contest (e.g., share for a chance to win X)
    • Keep your customers in the loop with store updates
    • Promote special or limited-time offerings 

    For your posts leading up to Small Business Saturday, use the official hashtag, #ShopSmall. Other hashtags to use include #SmallBizSat, #ShopSmall, #DineSmall and #SmallBusinessSaturday. People who are searching for the hashtag will be able to find your business.

    2. Build and Use Email Database

    Businesses that have an email database have an advantage. Even if you don’t have customers walking into your store, you can keep in touch by emailing customers directly.

    If you don’t have an email database, you can start creating one. Work with your web manager to add ActiveCampaign or MailChimp to your web site. Both tools have pop-up features to capture email. Offer a free informational download or a coupon in exchange for getting the customer’s email address.

    3. Offer Shopping Services and Shopping Lists

    For customers that prefer not to come out to your store, think of creative ways you can still get the business. What about shopping for your customer? Create a simple order form through Google Docs and add it to your Facebook page or website. Once you’ve completed the order, you can message your customer for them to pick up via curb-side service. Often, it’s the personal touch that makes a difference for small businesses.

    Consumers are also looking for help with their shopping. Create shopping lists for different interests, hobbies or age groups to help generate ideas for gift-giving.

    4. Connect with Community Newspapers and Social Pages

    Make a list of local online and paper publications that promote your neighborhood. Find out what they are doing to promote Small Business Saturday and jump on board. Get in touch in the early part of October, so you can be part of any special editions.

    Join Facebook groups and NextDoor pages related to the area that you serve, joining as both your business and as an individual. Monitor the pages and offer helpful tips. Someone looking for an item you buy? Pop in the comments section. Make sure to support others, and don’t just push products all the time.

    5. Partner with a Charity

    Customers love knowing where their money’s going, especially if it’s for a good cause.

    Partner with a charity group that means something to you. Offer a percentage of sales to them, based on selling a specific item. Have the charity group promote the program to their social media followers. Even better if people can order with a simple click on your Facebook store or website.

    For example: A new bakery knows that a dog rescue group is based in their neighborhood. They work with the rescue group to promote “Charity Macaron of the Month.” Every sale of the special confection goes to the dog rescue. The bakery gets new word-of-mouth customers and new business, and the charity helps to promote the offer!

    6. Offer Deals

    Most consumers comparison shop online. You’ll likely need to differentiate your offers or be prepared to provide discounts if you sell items that can be found at major retailers.

    7. Tell Your Story to Customers and Prospects

    Consumers buy from businesses that offer them a connection or a unique experience. Tell your story on social media to build interest. Why do you own a hardware store? Why do you offer handmade wood-carvings? Why do you only source local honey? Facts tell… stories sell.

    About Kelly Bedrich

    Kelly Bedrich co-founded ElectricityPlans in 2016 with the goal of simplifying the complicated process of buying energy. As president and chief technology officer, Kelly keeps our development team focused on providing a user-friendly website. When not reading the latest on technology and finance, Kelly enjoys celebrating Taco Tuesday, listening to live music at local venues, and hiking.

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