For major retailers, there’s Black Friday. But for small business owners, Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) is where the action is. You’ll want to develop a marketing plan to take advantage of this great sales weekend. In this article, you’ll get tips on developing your Small Business Saturday Marketing Plan.
This year, Small Business Saturday is November 28, 2020. With the coronavirus disrupting shopping patterns across the country, more of that traffic will move to online, rather than store-front. That means small business owners need to maximize their return on marketing spend, and start promoting early!
A Special Day — 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 Saturday lets you showcase your business.
American Express is still the de facto expert at Small Business Saturday, and publishes a wealth of marketing materials and advice. They offer free signs, email templates, web badges, posters and other marketing materials to get your business’ name out there. You can also follow them on Facebook to get great ideas of what other small businesses are doing.
Now that you know what Small Business Saturday is, here are some tips for how to market your business for this event.
Use Social Media to Promote Your Small Business
Online is where it’s at. (It’s where you are now, right?) Facebook is part of life, and Instagram offers a growing audience that’s perfect if you have a visual product. 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. Get followers by running contests that build audience participation.
Here are some additional ideas from Forbes:
- Start or join conversations
- Utilize sponsored posts or paid advertisements
- 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.
Build an Email Database
Businesses that have an email database have an advantage in this new economy. 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. Offer a free informational download or a coupon in exchange for getting the customer’s email address.
Or go the lower tech route. Post on Facebook offering a coupon in return for emails. Have customers send you a message via Facebook Messenger with their email address. Follow up promptly by emailing them the coupon directly.
Offer Shopping Services
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.
Reach out to 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.
Partner with a Charity
Customers love knowing where their money’s going — especially if it is 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!
How to have Small Business Saturday for Your Business Service
Even if you have a product or service that doesn’t necessarily fall under the “holiday shopping” category, don’t hold back. By associating with the shopping event, companies can benefit from some of the free marketing happening online and in local media. Have a professional service? Schedule a free online seminar offering for the day.
Electricity for Small Business
So what’s electricity got to do with it? Well, you need power for your business, to keep the lights on, right? Otherwise, how would you be online on Small Business Saturday?
ElectricityPlans.com makes it easy to shop for small business electricity. We work with trusted retail energy providers and present their plans in an easy to understand format. If you need help understanding how to shop for electricity, we have articles for that.
From one small business to another… let’s do this!