It’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Big retail stores have been offering massive discounts for the last 36 hours. If you are a small business owner, you know that holiday shoppers are out and spending money, but you might not know how to bring them to your business.
You might think that shoppers aren’t thinking about your business during these mega sales. You might think that customers are only interested in getting a great deal on a flat screen TV. I’m here to let you know about a growing movement among American consumers: Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday is a national campaign to help promote small and medium sized businesses during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It encourages shoppers to walk down Main Street and visit local stores, spending money within their community.
Now, I’d love to tell you that this campaign is the brainchild of a small business consortium, which created the day and used social media to spread the message of supporting local businesses. However, it was actually created by American Express in 2010.
I know, it’s kind of a letdown that a day created to celebrate small businesses comes to us by way of a credit card company. However, try not to think of it like that, because this was AmEx participating in cause marketing. They saw a need to help local businesses and found a way to encourage consumers to support their local economy. Small Business Saturday is a great way to educate consumers about the importance of shopping locally.
In fact, people have had a very strong response to the campaign. Communities have rallied around their local merchants and there has been significant growth in sales during the last three years. Last year, independent businesses made a collective $5.7 billion in sales. It’s estimated that this year that number will increase to $5.9 billion.
Social media has been a huge reason why Small Business Saturday has been successful. The official Facebook page has more than 3 million followers. In 2013, 200,000 tweets referenced Small Business Saturday while consumers were shopping. That number is expected to double this year.
Don’t let the big retail chains have all the fun this holiday season. Get involved in your community and participate on Saturday, November 29th. Go to your neighboring businesses and see if they are going to participate. Discuss ways that your businesses can work together and attract more customers.
Start advertising on your social media channels about your Saturday deals. Maybe produce a short video using your smartphone that welcomes customers to your store. Create a photo gallery campaign on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest with the hashtag #GiftsForMom or #GiftsForDad to showcase gift ideas.
If you need assistance, Wicked Local Media Solutions can always help create a digital advertising campaign that works best for your business this holiday season.
Small businesses make up 54% of all sales in the United States. They are leaders in job creation and an integral part of the local and national economy. Join the Small Business Saturday movement and experience the results for yourself.
Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at email@example.com.