This post is by Patrick Hazel who is one of the writers on our marketing team.
Two of the biggest shopping days of the year are right around the corner: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These two days make it easy for Americans to focus on the big box retail and online super stores. But, what most Americans are unaware of is that there is another day growing in popularity amongst the famous Thanksgiving weekend days better known as Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in November 2010 with the vision of “shopping small is shopping big.” On November 24th, squeezed between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, businesses across the country will push to drive shoppers and customers to shop at the local, smaller stores- also known as the mom and pop shops. You may not be able to find a 42” flat screen HDTV for 70% off, but you might find that slice of apple pie you dreamed about last night, or a unique set of household items you just can’t resist or find anywhere else!
Small Business Saturday is important to us at Signpost because it is dedicated to what drives us: supporting small businesses nationwide. We celebrate this important day for small businesses and help our customers with simple and effective marketing campaigns to get even more local exposure and new customers throughout this period.
For you as a business owner it’s time to take advantage of the limitless opportunities this day will bring. Customers will be out shopping at small businesses at full force. Here are a few tips that will maximize your potential for Small Business Saturday:
1. Know Your Target Well
Many people will be shopping on Small Business Saturday, but there are people searching for specific things as well. Know what your customers want, and strategize to make sure you are aware of what a new wave of customers may want to see. This day is a great way to grow your customer base and get an added boost to your sales, so execute your game plan well.
This is also a big day to make sure your store looks great. Motivate your staff and encourage them to keep the windows and sales floor presentable and up to date. Remember, there will be many people getting a first look at your place, so make it a memorable first impression.
3. Different Kind of Shopping
Make sure you tell people that different is better. Small Business Saturday is a different kind of shopping experience. The day encourages people to get up, get out, explore, shop and eat in a comfortable, relaxing neighborhood setting. This day offers unique items that will not be seen anywhere else in the larger markets, which is what makes the experience that much more rewarding.
4. Promote…. Then Promote Some More!
Americans love small businesses. Entrepreneurship and self-sufficiency are held high and sought after. Now is the perfect opportunity for your business to get a new wave of customers. We know you are already promoting your business, but this week up until Small Business Saturday, it’s time to put yourselves out there like never before! Use local papers, social media outlets, and word of mouth to let people know your Saturday plans.
5. Hit Twitter Hard
With almost a week until the big day, now is the time to take to Twitter. Use the hashtag #smallbusinesssaturday to jump into the conversations. Remind your followers about any special plans you have for the big Saturday. Then inform those who don’t follow your business about the exciting sales and promotions for the day.
6. Don’t Forget About the Other Social Networks
Facebook and Foursquare are important. Post a couple of statuses, photos, and even videos on Facebook and encourage friends and colleagues to share and like. With Foursquare, it’s time to encourage people to come visit. Offer extra points and surprise discounts for checking in at your location, make people aware of your promotions- and most importantly, make your promotions worth sharing!