Download #SmallBizSat Kit?
Social Media Strategies
What is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to helping small businesses and their communities. It falls in between the traditional Black Friday shopping frenzy that occurs the day after Thanksgiving, and before the 21st century-created Cyber Monday, when Internet shopping sees a boost in activity with online deals.
Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 by American Express to help focus on the locally owned, small businesses in all of our communities — the businesses that make up the backbone of the Chamber, and of our region. By supporting local, independently-owned small businesses, we’re helping create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country.
In 2015, an estimated 95 million people shopped small on Small Business Saturday, spending approximately $16.2 billion in their communities. This year, the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut wants to help you tap into that consumer base.
Small Business Saturday is November 25, 2017, and we have created this special toolkit to help make the day even bigger for your business.
Here we have created free downloadable flyers, posters, banners for your website, sample social media posts and eblasts, and strategies for you to use in the weeks leading up to Small Business Saturday, on the day of, and in the days following. Promotion is key to making Small Business Saturday a success, but it can also be expensive. The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut is committed to providing all our local small businesses with the tools they need to succeed.
In addition to the toolkit, Chamber members can use the Deals and Discounts section of our website to advertise — free of charge — Small Business Saturday specials and discounts. Members can also use their listing in our Business Directory to help get out the word about what they can offer the consumer that sets them apart from the Big Boxes. If you are interested in becoming a member to have access to these added benefits, please call our office at 860-701-9113 or complete our online application.
Celebrate what makes your business special and what makes your community unique — Small Business Saturday is a great avenue to do that. Let’s get started!
How to promote your business during Small Business Saturday
Promoting Small Business Saturday in affordable ways can be challenging. We have provided several tools for you to use to help get out the word that you have lots to offer customers on Nov. 25!
Go old school: You can download a 13×19 poster or 8.5×11 flyers to post in your store window and at your counter. You can also use the Chamber’s Buy Local Shop Chamber sticker if you are a Chamber member.
Go online: Download one of the online banners or social media images we’ve created and add it to your website and your social media.
Make sure both customers in the store and people visiting your website can easily find your social media platforms – display a flyer with all your platforms and the urls, and make sure you link prominently from your website.
If you are a Chamber member and you don’t have a website (or you don’t have a website that is easily updateable) you can use your listing in our online Business Directory as a de facto website. Speak to a Chamber representative about how to enhance your listing for free by calling 860-701-9113.
Members can also use our Deals & Discounts section to list Small Business Saturday (or any day) specials, deals and discounts.
If you would like information about how to become a Chamber member and access these exclusive services, please call us at (860) 701-9113.
Social media strategies for Small Business Saturday
Social media is critical for success on Small Business Saturday, but it needs to start well before Nov. 25! You can use your social media platforms to begin to create excitement among your potential customers for deals you will be offering, sales, discounts, and just plain fun!
One important note: if you don’t have a specific social platform that’s mentioned here, don’t create one! Social media takes time and effort, and the last thing you need to add to your plate right before the holiday shopping season is more work! Use the platforms you have to their utmost, and concentrate your efforts there.
In early November, you should start posting to Facebook about Small Business Saturday to raise awareness. Always include the date in each post. Make sure it is conversational and not ‘overly promotional’ in tone, to ensure that it reaches the widest audience. If you have it in your budget, an inexpensive Facebook ad in Mid-November might be a smart strategy to build traffic and engagement on your page and your website.
Plan ahead – if you will have deals or discounts, make sure you have good quality photos of the items, and share them with your followers. Ask your followers questions about their shopping plans, and what their strategies are for the best deals (great insights into what your customers are thinking!) Use the Insights data that Facebook provides your business page to see what the most popular posts are, and who your audience is.
Like the pages of your business neighbors — and talk to them about sharing each other’s posts to help promote the area in total. They have followers you don’t, and vice versa — by sharing, you connect with potential new clients without spending a dime!
On Twitter, make sure you use the hashtag #SmallBizSat with every post. You should start Tweeting about #SmallBizSat in mid-November, and again, make your posts specific to your business! Tweet photos.
Use Instagram to promote items you have in your store to sell, and use the hashtag #SmallBizSat as well.
If you have Pinterest, create a board called Small Business Saturday 2017 and fill it with items from your shop. Those pages will show up in search engines.
On Small Business Saturday itself, the hope is that you will be so busy selling to customers you won’t have time to post! WRONG! Make sure you have someone designated that day to post to all your platforms, because a key part of social media is events that are happening ‘in the moment’ — great deals and happy customers (and cookies and balloon animals and face painting and whatever else you have planned for your shop) make great posts. Your posts that day should make someone feel like they are missing out if they are not in your shop!
The other important reason to have someone paying attention to your social platforms that day is in case a customer has a bad experience and posts it on their social media. You need to be able to respond to those bad reviews or complaints quickly, because no one wants that kind of viral!
The day after #SmallBizSat you need to make sure to post a thank you to everyone who came out and shopped and supported our local business community!
You can download a number of suggested posts and images for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as part of the #SmallBizSat Kit.