Small Business Saturday is coming up in less than two weeks. Scheduled for November 28th, it’s part of the nation-wide shopping spree that extends from Black Friday on the 27th to Cyber Monday on the 30th.
The Boston Globe reports that in 2014, people spent an estimated $14.3 billion across the U.S. during Small Business Saturday. For many small business owners, the event is a chance to stand out, enjoy a spike in sales, and connect with new customers and the local community.
How can you make the most of Small Business Saturday?
1) Make your web presence accurate and complete
A strong web presence significantly improves the chance that customers will find you and stay connected with your business. Make sure your business is represented accurately and comprehensively on the Internet.
- Review your social media profiles for Facebook, Twitter, and other major sites. Your profiles should make it easy for people to quickly understand the purpose of your business and connect with you. Link to your website, display your logo, and make sure all your info is up-to-date, including business hours and phone number. (If you aren’t yet using social media, consider starting. Accounts are free and easy to set up.)
- Verify the accuracy of your listings on directories and review sites. These include Google Maps, Foursquare, and Yelp. Make sure your business info is error-free.
- Inspect your website. Does it look kind of warped on a mobile device? Does it load too slowly? If it’s drab, outdated and difficult to read, start making improvements. Fill it with meaningful content. Add a Small Business Saturday page or post that encourages customers to give you their email and/or follow you on social media.
2) Find a way to stay in touch with customers
People will be going in and out of your business throughout the day. How can you stay in touch with them?
- Find ways to get their contact info, and compile a mailing list (both for home addresses and email addresses). For example, you can offer exclusive online coupons as an incentive for people to give you their email.
- Remind them to follow you on social media. (Again, you might use enticements such as special deals or offers announced only online.)
- Any printed materials you hand out at your store should include your web address and social media info, inviting people to follow your blog, follow you on social media, or sign up on your website for offers by email.
3) Give them something to talk about
What do you have planned for Small Business Saturday? Don’t make it an ordinary day at your business. Prepare something special that reflects what you do; people will be more likely to remember you and share what they’ve experienced at your business. The following are some examples.
- Live music and refreshments.
- Food tastings.
- Goody bags.
- Beautiful decorations and, if it’s suitable, employees in costume or fancy dress.
- Joint events with other businesses, including parties and scavenger hunts.
Once you’ve given people something to talk about, encourage them to share their reactions. Ask for reviews online. Make a hashtag for posting photos and videos from your event.
4) Don’t forget to follow up
It’s important to sustain the Small Business Saturday momentum. Here are some tips.
- Post a recap of the day on your blog and on social media.
- Remind people of special deals and limited-time sales.
- Make sure to follow up with people who gave you their contact info. Reach out to people by email. Deliver on what you promised them.
- Keep sharing informative and entertaining content online; don’t let your web presence go dead.
If you’re participating in Small Business Saturday, best of luck. Don’t forget to make use of the free promotional materials from Amex.
And don’t hesitate to contact me if you need well-written, engaging web content, including blog posts. I have extensive experience writing for businesses and helping them strengthen their web presence.