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Founded in 2010 as a way to encourage consumers to support small businesses, Small Business Saturday will celebrate its seventh year this upcoming November 26, 2016. Taking place the Saturday following Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday has gained worldwide attention over the years – with the United States President Obama having supported it each year, as well as elected officials in all fifty states. Possibly even more impressive, however, is that in 2015 over 95 million consumers were reported to have shopped small on Small Business Saturday. Keeping this in mind, what can you do to help attract some of the millions of customers who plan to shop small this year?

 

Tip #1: Gain Free Inspiration & Marketing Assets from ShopSmall.com

There’s no better place to jumpstart your Small Business Saturday planning than at ShopSmall.com. Here you will find inspiration from other small businesses who have successfully participated in Small Business Saturday in past years, including insight from the co-founders of The Infatuation, restaurant owners who share their thoughts on how to maximize the publicity of Small Business Saturday without having to dip into your own wallets to help spread the word. Additionally, ShopSmall.com provides examples, ideas and action steps to help bring your marketing plans to life for Small Business Saturday thanks to the recently launched Shop Small Studio, where you can customize downloadable social media assets, digital resources and more for your unique small business.

 

Tip #2: Incorporate #ShopSmall Into Your Social Media Marketing

In addition to the free digital assets available at ShopSmall.com, take advantage of the national and local buzz that Small Business Saturday generates in combination with the hashtag #ShopSmall. Use the hashtag #ShopSmall on any tweets, posts, updates and other online sharing you use, as well as incorporate hashtag #SmallBizSat to further expand your reach. By doing this, you’re tweets will appear on the main Small Business Saturday Twitter feed, as well as customers can search social media by using these hashtags and potentially find your business along the way. Don’t forget to encourage customers to share their own social media updates using these hashtags, as well, particularly when sharing these from your business after a purchase or while in your store.  In past years, many small businesses have created a selfie station within their stores or communities to help spread the love for shopping small on Small Business Saturday and encouraged their customers to take pictures and use the #ShopSmall hashtag in combination with their own business social media handles. This idea could work for any business, including yours, so go ahead and begin using hashtag #ShopSmall today.

 

Tip #3: Maximize Media Attention Gained for Small Business Saturday

Free resources available from ShopSmall.com is a perk in itself, but that isn’t the only free perk you gain from being a part of Small Business Saturday. This nationally recognized day – officially recognized in 2011 by the U.S. Senate as a United States holiday – gains an extensive amount of publicity that lends even more visibility to businesses that participate. Leaning on the national media attention Small Business Saturday will undoubtedly gain, this is your chance to be a part of something enormously successful, enormously appreciated and enormously respected by customers and business owners alike. Gain unique attention for your store, as well, by reaching out to your local media and inviting them to cover what your plans on for Small Business Saturday. Additionally, be sure to share the value of why shopping small matters to your community and encourage your local newspapers, community magazines, local bloggers, radio stations and even local television shows to help spread the word about Small Business Saturday.

One last tip to consider? Have a countdown that leads up to Small Business Saturday in an effort to help build awareness, excitement and overall participation leading up to November 26th. You can incorporate this countdown via social media, in your email marketing efforts, in-store and anywhere else that you engage customers with, sharing what you have planned to celebrate this nationally recognized day.  Don’t forget to encourage your small business neighbors to do the same, as well, because as the saying goes, more is merrier… and this is particularly true when it comes to celebrating and supporting small businesses.

Finally, thank you. Small Business Saturday simply wouldn’t be the same without you. 

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About the Author

Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Founder and Publisher of Retail Minded, a publication committed to supporting independent retailers through news, education and support, as well as the Co-Founder of the Independent Retailer Conference. Recognized for her expertise in independent retail, Reyhle has published thousands of articles about small business and is the Author of the book “Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business” from McGraw-Hill. Additionally, Reyhle has contributed to Forbes, Fiverr, IBM and more, and has been the Spokesperson for Small Business Saturday from American Express since 2014. Learn more about Retail Minded at www.retailminded.com, at @RetailMinded on Twitter or at Facebook.com/RetailMinded.