Small Business Saturday: How your company can get involved
Tuesday, November 01, 2016
As the holidays approach, consumers will flood stores in search of the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Nestled in between sales crazes of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday gives buyers looking to get the best deals an opportunity to support small businesses by shopping small and local.
The American Express-created promotion has become such a success since its launch in 2010 that it is now an annual event. This year, the event will be held Nov. 26.
Last year, Small Business Saturday brought $16.2 billion to independent retailers and restaurants in 4,100 communities around the nation. More than 95 million consumers shopped the event, marking an increase of 14 percent from $14.3 billion in sales in 2014.
Community events and social media played a large part in the success of Small Business Saturday last year, with 31 percent of consumers saying they attended a local small business event and 81 percent reporting they encouraged family and friends to shop small through social media.
If you are looking for a way to draw in consumers to your business this holiday season, Small Business Saturday could be the answer. In order to participate in the day, you can register your business at ShopSmall.com. Signing up is only the first step, however. Promotion is key to making the day a success.
If you really want to have a direct role in getting the word out about your business, you can sign up to become a Neighborhood Champion. Neighborhood Champions are responsible for getting the community excited and involved in the day by planning events leading up to Small Business Saturday.
In past years, Neighborhood Champions have hosted window-decorating contests, sleigh rides and selfie competitions. Also, when you sign up to become a Neighborhood Champion, you will receive exclusive Shop Small merchandise to distribute at your company's events.
Interested in becoming a Neighborhood Champion? Sign up before Nov. 11. A list of qualifications and additional information can be found here.
Of course, Small Business Saturday would not be a success without some online promotion.
"Some of the ways small businesses can get involved include utilizing their email newsletter as a way to inform customers about upcoming events and promotions for the season," Small Business Saturday spokeswoman Nicole Leinbach-Reyhle said. "Additionally, stepping up social media activities to help spread the love for Small Business Saturday is an easy, effective way to spread awareness about the holiday."
According to marketing experts, it is best to start promoting your event is 45 to 90 days out, but there is still time to get the word out. The official hashtags to use this year on social media are #SmallBizSat, #ShopSmall and #DineSmall.
If you are in need of some fresh marketing ideas, new resources are available this year on ShopSmall.com for both consumers and small businesses. For business owners, the resource aims to be a one-stop-shop for all Small Business Day marketing materials, including "event flyers and posters, save-the-date templates, digital website badges, Facebook and Twitter cover photos, social media assets and more," Leinbach-Reyhle said.
With the turnout for Small Business Saturday growing exponentially each year, this year's event is expected to follow trend. Want to get your business in on all the fun but don't know where to start? Visit the American Express Small Business Day FAQ page for a list of commonly asked questions and for more information.
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