Shoppers spent a whopping $17.8 billion on Small Business Saturday last year, according to NFIB.
Started by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday was created to support small businesses across the country. What started as an idea to encourage customers to #ShopSmall in their local communities, has actually helped create jobs and boost the economy.
If you haven’t been using Small Business Saturday as a way to attract new customers and increase sales in the past, you’re missing out on some big opportunities. A highly effective way to do this is by utilizing your website and digital marketing to reach customers online.
When it comes to standing out online and attracting customers on Small Business Saturday, there are two things every small business owner needs to do.
1. Refresh Your Website
Many business owners get caught up in the day-to-day and wind up neglecting their online presence, but if you have a website, making regular updates is crucial for success. Small Business Saturday 2019 is only a couple weeks away, so now is a great time to make updates.
To get started, you’ll want to look over your entire site and ask yourself these questions:
- Is my contact information up-to-date?
- Can people easily find my business address?
- Are my business hours correct?
- How do my photos look? Are they outdated?
- Are my products and/or services clearly listed?
- Do I have recent customer reviews?
Your website is the backbone of all your digital marketing efforts. Quite often, it’s the first thing customers see even before walking through the door. By making simple changes like incorporating customer reviews or including your business hours, you earn a customer’s trust and the credibility you need to stand out on Small Business Saturday.
The best part of making these types of changes is that almost anyone can make them. I recommend appointing someone on your team to be in charge of your digital presence — which includes monitoring and updating your website, responding to customer inquiries online, and promoting your business on social media.
2. Utilize Social Media
Small business owners know the value a strong community has on building a trustworthy business.
After establishing a name and reputation in your community, you’ll want to take it one step further by establishing a presence on social media — where many of your customers spend a lot of their time. Below are a few tips to help you get started:
- Ask your customers which social media channels they spend the most time on. Most likely, you’ll receive answers like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Start off small by establishing a presence on two channels. Typically, you’ll want to begin by creating a Facebook page and Instagram account, but this may vary depending on the industry you’re in.
- Fill out your profiles completely with up-to-date information. Just like your website, you’ll want to make sure that your hours of operation, address, and contact information are listed correctly.
- Make sure your profile picture (this will be your logo) is clear and easily recognizable. This is crucial to have as customers will easily recognize your business when you share something.
- Post regularly, but don’t overwhelm your followers. On special days like Small Business Saturday, customers will want to know about the specials and sales you’re offering, but posting too much can deter them.
Ask customers to leave reviews on your Facebook page. This will help build your online reputation and attract new customers.
In addition to the tips above, one of my favorite ways to increase awareness and attract new customers around the holidays is with a social media contest or giveaway. Leading up to Small Business Saturday, consider holding a contest that encourages people to share your posts for a chance to win a prize. This prize can be a gift card to your business or something you sell.
Running a contest on social media can expose your business to new people and even attract new customers. Check out these six engaging social media contests to inspire your next great idea.
I hope these tips have been helpful and inspire you to make the most of Small Business Saturday 2019. There is so much more to learn when it comes to marketing your small business online, and if you’re serious about developing a marketing strategy that fulfills your business goals, reach out to our team — we’d love to learn more about your objectives.