Small Business Saturday rolls around in the midst of the holiday season every year to celebrate small local businesses everywhere.
On the fourth Saturday in November, Americans are encouraged to shop small and buy local, even if they could find what they need somewhere else.
If you’re a small business owner, this is your day to reach more customers than almost any other time of year. Let’s take a look at how Small Business Saturday got its start and how you can use it to your advantage.
“Support small businesses in a big way”
Small Business Saturday got its start on November 27, 2010, and was sponsored by American Express.
In 2011, the Senate agreed that SBS should be official, and the government has supported it ever since.
With that kind of support, a day that originally started in Massachusetts became a nationwide celebration of small businesses everywhere. By 2013, even local neighborhoods celebrated it.
In 2014, American Express, which trademarked SBS, promoted it across social media and encouraged participation everywhere.
By 2015, SBS had become a tradition for both businesses and shoppers. Small businesses got their own special holiday and shoppers gained a sense of hometown pride when they visited local businesses in their community. 2015 was also the most successful yet with 16.2 billion dollars spent.
So how do I reach customers on Small Business Saturday?
You can reach your customers on SBS in dozens of ways, but these are the most effective:
1. Show your similarities with the local community
Small businesses typically have strong community ties.
In order to promote your small business in a way that shows those ties, outline the ways that you do so. Share your story with customers both on your website and in your storefront that outlines the ways you participate in the community.
You could share anything from how your support local school sports to how you partner with other local business or donate to local charities.
When you appeal to emotion and show that you’re in business for your customers, your community will support you.
2. Promote a special
There’s no better time to have a promotion than Small Business Saturday!
The community wants to celebrate you, so you should celebrate them in the form of a special sale. Not only will it show appreciation for your customers, but it will also attract new customers.
Be sure to advertise your promotion outside your storefront or on social media to ensure everyone knows about your offer.
3. Use multiple marketing strategies
You’re probably already marketing your small business. But in the week leading up to SBS, market even more to make sure you reach as many people as possible.
Post more on social media to encourage people to come to your storefront to celebrate your small business and send emails to your subscriber list. Signage is another marketing strategy that can help you to attract more customers.
Always include essential information like dates, your address, and any special offers.
4. Hold a contest
Contests are one of the best ways to get customers to your store on SBS.
You can announce the contest on social media and encourage customers to participate. You should also include a description of the prize as incentive.
And don’t forget to let customers know that they have to be present at your store to win!
5. Partner with your next-door neighbor
If your storefront neighbors another small business, partner with them to promote your businesses together.
You’ll both help each other get more foot traffic and increase the chance of earning new customers.
6. Make customer service your top priority
Even if your store is packed on SBS, make sure to cater to every customer.
One of the biggest benefits of running a small business is that you’re able to create personal ties with your customers, as opposed to huge corporations that likely don’t know their customers on a first-name basis.
Extend your warmest thanks for their support and answer any questions they may have.
In doing so, you’ll show how much you appreciate them.
7. Increase your ad budget
Investing in ads is one of the best ways to make sure that customers are aware of your brand before SBS.
PPC ads on social media and search engines show customers that SBS is just around the corner. You can use them to promote any specials you’re offering to attract customers to your store.
Do you want to extend your reach?
WebFX knows all about the importance of Small Business Saturday, and we have all the resources to make you stand out.
Our team of professionals will help your small business with everything from PPC ads to social media marketing and more — not just for this special weekend, but also year-round success.
Contact us today to learn more!