This year’s Small Business Saturday (SBS) is November 28, 2015, and it’s projected to be the biggest one yet. SBS is a day patterned after Black Friday (the traditional biggest shopping day of the year that falls the day after Thanksgiving, where big box stores and national retailers offer deep pre-holiday discounts). SBS is held the first Saturday after Thanksgiving and is dedicated to encouraging people to get out and “Shop Small” for the holidays at their local small businesses. SBS is one of those events that gets a lot of attention in social media, so it’s important to use forums like Facebook and Twitter strategically to promote your SBS particular business offering. Here are some great approaches to using social media to get the word out when it comes to how to promote Small Business Saturday.
- Use forums like Facebook and Instagram to tell your story. Nothing connects consumers to small businesses like an inside or behind-the-scenes look. Multimedia posts can be used effectively to give consumers background on the history of the business, a behind-the-scenes peek at business operations, personal stories of employees, or success stories conveying how the business has successfully met consumer needs and/or exceeded expectations.
- Use #hash tags in your Tweets to boost traction. Good hash tags to include for Small Business Saturday are: #SmallBusinessSaturday, #SmallBizSaturday, #ShopSmall, and #SmallBizSat. Be sure to add your city at the end of each hash tag to ensure you are targeting your local market (for example, #SmallBizSaturdayChicago). Also make sure that your business Twitter profile lists your city.
- Create a special offer. The biggest draw of SBS for any consumer is going to be the potential deals they can score. Creating a social-media-only special offer is a great way to drum up interest in your business and increase your social media reach. Develop an SBS coupon with a custom tab on your Facebook page, and encourage page fans to share the coupon with their friends. You can also make the coupon contingent on new customers “liking” your page.
- Post in advance. It’s important that your SBS offering is on people’s radars ahead of time, so don’t wait until the last minute to post. By posting in advance and then following up you can create some anticipation around your SBS event and help ensure that people plan to visit your location on that day.
- Focus on cross-promotion. If you have X amount of social media followers and another business has Y, why not promote each other’s SBS offering in order to extend your reach. While this might not work with those local businesses you are directly competing with, it’s a great way to approach social media marketing in partnership with those businesses that cater to a similar target consumer base. You can really leverage this strategy by forming a community of small businesses, with all promoting one another’s messages in anticipation of the event.
- Use social media to make it fun. Run a contest, offer a promotion as part of a campaign to get “likes,” or encourage your customers to otherwise engage on social media in order to secure deep SBS discounts. You might have consumers post pictures around a theme and tag your business on it, or run a trivia contest. Any strategy used to engage consumers and get them excited about your sale event will yield big dividends come SBS.
Small Business Saturday offers a unique opportunity for small businesses to promote their offerings, make themselves known in their communities, and extend their customer reach. By using social media forums to engage consumers around this shopping holiday, small businesses can effectively advertise their offerings while extending their digital presence over the long term.