Small Business Saturday – Social Marketing for the WIN!

If Benjamin Franklin wanted to engage more customers on Small Business Saturday, what would his “To Do” list look like?

  1. Be inventive – offer something new
  2. Make it electric – create a positive atmosphere
  3. Put Paul Revere in charge of getting the message out via social media
  4. Have Jefferson craft the message
  5. Ask Dolly Madison to whip up some free snack cakes

It would be fun. There would be bunting and maybe even a small parade. Franklin loved a good time and so should every business owner out there. Because Saturday, November 30th is our time to really shine. Don’t let the preparations stress you out. If you’re struggling to think of new ways to engage your customers we’ve gathered some great ideas from fellow business owners.

  • Clicking on the Small Business Saturday link at the bottom of this article will take you to the American Express page where they’re offering free marketing materials to small business owners. Use their materials on all your social sites and in your store so that everyone can see you’re participating in Shop Local Saturday.
  • Use social media to get the word out. Create a coupon that’s good just for Small Biz Saturday and promote it starting the Wednesday before the event. The earlier you get the word out on Facebook and Twitter, the more chances your customers have of seeing the coupon and sharing the information with friends and family.
  • Offer complimentary refreshments. When shoppers get tired they lose interest. Have some tasty snacks or drinks on hand to revive them.
  • Include a free gift with every purchase. It doesn’t need to break your bank but it needs to be useful. Look around your shop and see if you already have something in stock. Be inventive.
  • Have a giveaway for a holiday gift bag filled with assorted goodies. When someone makes a purchase on Saturday, whether in store or online, have an entry form where they fill out their name, number and email address. This not only enters them in the giveaway but lets you add them to your mailing list.
  • Make your marketing count. Have a specific message about what you’re doing to celebrate the day. What are you promoting? What’s on sale? What are your hours that day? Will you have entertainment or live demonstrations? A prepared shopper is a shopper prepared to spend.

Small Business Saturday is OUR Black Friday. So let’s make it a cool shopping party, not a shopping nightmare. Celebrate your customers and make their experience one of engagement and fun. Let the big box stores force them to endure long lines, elbow jabbing crowds and packed parking lots. Because with Ben’s advice, you can make Small Business Saturday electric, simply by encouraging folks to eat, drink, be merry and spend their fabulous Franklins with you. They can save their Washington’s for those other places.