Small Business Saturday is this weekend. The annual promotion launched by American Express means to support small businesses by buying small and local during the holiday shopping period.
Retail consultant Bob Phibbs, who goes by The Retail Doctor, shared 14 of his favorite small business holiday marketing ideas in a recent blog.
Here’s a sample:
- Get shoppers’ names. Use this opportunity to get those who visit you to join your Facebook page. Have them sign up for your newsletter on a dedicated iPad by the register. Getting their names and social follows is critical as you need to stay in contact with these shoppers long after the Thanksgiving leftovers have all been eaten.
- Give back to a local non-religious charity. Collect donations. Have your Main Street fund new uniforms for the high school choir, plant a park, trim the trees – you name it. Customers feel good when they see businesses making their local world a better place.
- Lose your cynicism. It doesn’t help the shopping experience or your local businesses when you bemoan the weather, the foot traffic, or politics – especially within earshot of consumers. It’s called the holiday season, not the headache season.
- Use social media marketing to help shoppers give you user-generated content. Choose one or two social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and create a short hashtag you can track like #shopsmallJennysGifts for your gift store. By including a custom hashtag in your social media posts, you’ll easily be able to find them by searching for your hashtag.
- Entertain passersby. Nothing attracts like music. Owners Rusty and Drew with the Green Monkey in Clayton, N.C. have a small band quartet playing Christmas carols on their sidewalk.