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Is Your Business Ready For Small Business Saturday?

Posted Oct 22 2013 7:00am

Smiling Mature Woman Florist Small Business Flower Shop Owner. The Small Business Saturday campaign began on November 27th, 2010 and will be held on November 30th this year. Created and promoted by American Express, it was a response to Black Friday which targets the big box stores and Cyber Monday which encouraged on-line shopping.

In 2010, many small businesses were failing and continued to do so even up to the present Small Business Saturday, so it was easy to see that we needed to band together to help our friends and neighbors by purchasing their products and services on that day and hopefully throughout the year. 

Small business Saturday was highly promoted on social media with American Express purchasing ads on Facebook (and passing some of that advertising inventory on to the small merchant account holders). They also began to tweet about the event using the hashtag #SmallBusinessSaturday starting early 2010.  According to Wikipedia “At least 41 local politicians and many small business groups in the United States issued proclamations concerning the campaign,which generated more than one million Facebook “likes”… and nearly 30,000 tweets”.   I’m just beginning to see more chat around this hashtag in the last couple of weeks and also noted increased activity in the UK. 

Because Small Business Saturday is so integrated with social media, it’s a great opportunity for your own small business to participate and get some free publicity.

What can you do to participate and how can you get ready for the day?

!. To begin, you can visit SmallBusinessSaturday.com to get some great unbranded resources (signs, logos for your website and/or storefront) and you can also apply to get help personalizing your campaign.  There are restrictions but they seem fairly liberal. You must apply by November 4th.

2. Make your own coupons that are redeemable only on Small Business Saturday.  You can do this either for your brick and mortar business or your on-line business. Once you make your coupons, advertise via your social media channels.

3. Create a foursquare campaign for your brick and mortar shop so that when anyone checks in to your business, they receive a discount, a small gift or perhaps a BOGO.  

4. Look for similar businesses that will be p articipating in Small Business Saturday and partner with them. If you are a brick and mortar business, perhaps it will be with those in your general location. If your business is online, perhaps you could partner with a group of folks each offering a separate service that might be needed by a consumer.  Maybe a blog tour  or Etsy shop tour is in order.

5. Tidy up your social media channels AND your website.  Make sure that your profiles are up to date, that you have plenty of new content on your Facebook page and website. Be sure that your About Us section is current and that information is easy to find.

You have about a month to get ready.  That’s still enough time to create some positive attention towards your small business.

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