Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. Founded by American Express in 2010, this day is celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. In 2015, 95 million Americans shopped Small Business Saturday, up 14% from the 2014.
Shoppers now care as much about the shopping experience as the gifts they get, according to the PwC. This puts small business owners at an advantage.
So why are we talking about this now? Because as a small business or practice owner, you need to do some prep work for the holiday season, and many customers/patients want to shop local over the big box stores. It's the personal touch and overall experience of the shopper that matters.
30% of potential buyers won't shop at a small business if it isn't on social media Forbes magazine
So as a small business or practice, how do you get these buyers? Well here is some help in Going Local.
1. Make sure you're promoting on social media.
Over 241,000 posts graced Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter throughout the month of November 2015, including 100,000 on the holiday itself Shoppers are planning to do 38% of their shopping online (an increase of 5% over last year and 9% over 2014). (Source: American Express).
Small businesses with successful online initiatives will be at a continued advantage, benefiting from both Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday shopping as well as throughout the year.
2. Use the right hashtag
Tagging your posts with #shoplocal(name of your city here) is a great way to join the national movement, but it's even better to tag your local community. For example, #shoplocalEastEnd. Ask the surrounding businesses in your neighborhood to also adopt that tag to give more weight to your efforts.
3. Join other surrounding businesses and do a joint campaign for #ShopLocal
Consider becoming a Neighborhood Champion. Neighborhood Champions are business associations, state and local chambers of commerce, and other community organizers who are willing to commit to organizing events or activities to rally their neighborhoods for Small Business Saturday. Reach out to businesses that your have a connection with to collaborate on social media campaigns.
4. Brand your business communications with #ShopLocal
Be part of your local community and broadcast it on social media. Use #ShopLocal on all your marketing materials and thank your followers for supporting your business.
As a small business owner, you can also explore the Promote Your Business section of the American Express website for marketing materials, including free downloadable signage to post in your store, social media posts, and email templates, to help you promote your business. Business owners are responsible for the cost of printing marketing materials.
So get moving on your #ShopLocal campaign today! The holidays are just around the corner.