It pays to be social on Small Business Saturday

Owner stands outside store on Small Business Saturday

Big box retailers aren’t the only ones excited for after Thanksgiving shopping – small businesses have their time to shine this weekend as well.  While Black Friday hogs the majority of the headlines, Small Business Saturday, falling on Nov. 25 this year, encourages shoppers to think about the local businesses in their life.

Founded in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday was established to support the little guys.  This holiday is intended to drum up business for local merchants owned and operated by businesses within communities.  What started as a very small idea, has actually grown into some very big opportunities for small business.

According to the results from the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express, an estimated 112 million consumers reported shopping at small businesses on this day in 2016.  The holiday saw record levels of support and up 13 percent from the previous year.

It is clear that consumers, when encouraged, definitely want to support their local communities – so how can your small business get a piece of the action?  In short: release your social butterfly.

Hash’tag’ out your week

Just like the big box guys do, it pays to do a little previewing prior to the big day.  As a small business, the luxury of pushing print ads and TV campaigns like them usually isn’t within your budget.  Utilizing your social media channels, although, can make a nice, cheap alternative.

Small Business Saturday already has its own hashtag, so no need to reinvent the wheel.  Start tailoring your tweets to get your business trending on the Small Business Saturday Twitter feed with the hashtag #ShopSmall or #SmallBizSat.  Preview some enticing items or events you plan to put into play on Saturday and encourage your customers to get in on the action as well the day of.  One shared Tweet could make all the difference in sales.

Tell a ‘story’

While the traditional social media tactics (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) are great for lead up to the big day, live content can have a big payoff for the day of.  Instagram stories are a great place to display your business in real-time.  While some Instagram posts can seem a bit staged or advertorial, Instagram stories aim to combat that by giving your business a way to add a personal touch to your post.

The story feature helps tell genuine stories about your business. If you’re experiencing a huge crowd that day, let your followers know that your business “is where it’s at” and encourage them to join in on the action.  Showing your followers that people, not robots, are running your Instagram will help you build stronger relationships with your audience and attract more customers for your business.

Filter your audience

When in doubt, let them “snap” it out.  You don’t have to be the only one telling your story on Small Business Saturday.  Let your customers tell it for you with a Snapchat Geofilter. In case you are not familiar, Geofilters are location-based overlays that users can apply to their snaps.

Filters are all the rage with ephemeral content, and make for great marketing for one-time events.  The filter offers real-time customer engagement, with the design and settings designated by you for you.  These Geofilters communicate the “where and when” of the Snap, giving businesses the opportunity to engage with their customers in that very moment.

Based off the numbers alone, it is no question there is nothing small about Small Business Saturday.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday might snag all the headlines, but with the proper social promotion and engagement, you can have the increasing bottom lines.

Not sure how to optimize your social media marketing efforts?
MultiView can help. Find out how.

MultiView Team Expert Julie Bernhard

Julie Bernhard

News Briefs Executive Editor

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