12 Ways To Promote Your Business on Small Business Saturday

By Raubi Perilli |

  | Nov 12, 2020  /  Solutions |

Small Business Saturday is almost here. This year, the event that highlights local shops, restaurants, and service providers is Saturday, November 28, 2020.

Small Business Saturday is the perfect opportunity for local businesses to boost holiday business. The U.S. Small Business Administration reported that an estimated 108 million consumers nationwide have shopped small on Small Business Saturday.

If you want to tap into this massive shopping day, it's not too late.

We have a guide that can help you drive new and existing shoppers to your business to shop local on Small Business Saturday.

12 Ways to Celebrate Small Business Saturday

Here are twelve ways you can make the most out of Small Business Saturday -- even if you are last-minute planning.

#1) Offer a #ShopSmall special -- not a #BlackFriday deal.

Small Business Saturday is the boutique and locally-owned businesses’ response to Black Friday offered by big-box chains and retailers. But, that doesn’t mean you should treat the two days as the same.

Mega-retailers can get away with severely slashing their prices for Black Friday. But most small businesses can’t offer the same price drops. So, don’t try. Instead, offer a deal or special that provides a big value to your customers, rather than a huge discount.

Consider providing a free gift with purchases over a certain amount, coupons for later dates, complimentary in-store experiences like free food, or something else that taps into the desires of your target shoppers (but doesn’t break your bank).

#2) Highlight your participation in social media.

Shoppers will be looking for businesses that are participating in Small Business Saturday. So make sure it’s easy for your social followers to know that you're joining in.

Update cover photos on your social media pages to highlight your participation. Share social posts that let your followers know to expect from your business on Small Business Saturday such as your special deals and extended hours.

If you need help with creating graphics to promote your participation, head over to American Express’s Shop Small site. They have a library of pre-made graphics and a tool to make custom graphics sized for social media that feature your business name.

#3) Use themed hashtags throughout the day.

When Small Business Saturday starts, your promotion work is not over. As part of your local business marketing, you need to keep hyping the event throughout the day. Use your social media channels to share photos and updates throughout the day.

Use hashtags that will curate your messages into streams that shoppers use to find the best businesses in their area. Use broad hashtags that attract attention from a large audience.

  • #SmallBizSat
  • #ShopSmall
  • #SmallBusinessSaturday
  • #DineSmall

Also use hashtags that help customers in your area find you. Tie your location into the hashtag to attract audiences that are near your business by including your city, neighborhood, or zip code in the hashtags.

For more tips on how to create the perfect social posts and hashtags, check out our guide on Social Media Posting Tips Your Business Needs to Embrace Today

#4) Encourage customers to check-in and share in-store moments.

Another way to use social media to promote your business during Small Business Saturday doesn’t involve you sharing content. It involves your customers sharing content.

Customers are frequently introduced to new businesses when they see their friends or followers share their experience at places via social media. So encourage your customers to post while in your location using these small business social media tips.

  • Offer check-in deals and offers through Facebook and Yelp. For example, give a free gift or discount when someone shows that they checked in.
  • Build an interesting photo-op that prompts people to take and share photos on Instagram or Snapchap. Set up a beautiful backdrop or silly saying on the wall to get in-store customers to snap and share the moment.
  • Create a branded hashtag that helps customers create a connection back to your brand on Twitter or Facebook. Another perk of a branded hashtag is that it curates all user-generated content for you so it's easy to find and engage with.  

#5) Show up when locals search for local businesses.

Small Business Saturday is a good opportunity to get locals to find you while they are actively looking for small businesses to support. But, they can only find you if your online presence is optimized to lead them to you.

One way to get people in your community to find you is by creating a profile on your local Area site. MyArea Network local sites are organized by area code. So people in Tampa can easily find nearby local businesses by checking out 813area.com, and locals in Austin can find top spots at 512area.com.

When you sign up for you FREE profile, customers can find you when searching for local businesses. You can even add your Small Business Saturday event in the event listings or request to be included in round-up articles of the best deals in the area. Sign up for free today.

#6) Include your business on the Shop Small map.

If your business accepts American Express, make sure you are included on their Shop Small map. The map pinpoints small businesses in an area and includes their contact information, making it a great place to attract attention from customers looking to patronize locally-owned shops.

If you aren’t sure if your business should be listed or how to get your business on the map, check out this resource of frequently asked questions from American Express.

Small Business Saturday Map

#7) Extend your hours.

An idea that you can take from Black Friday is its promotion of extended hours. While your business doesn’t have to go as wild as stores do with Black Friday (like opening at 3 a.m.), you can still adjust your hours for the event.

Consider opening a few hours early or staying open a few hours later to offer customers something special for the day. Since many small businesses keep the same hours, this could be your chance to stand out and catch customers on their way to or from their day of shopping when other places are closed.

#8) Host an event.

Take it one step further and host an all-out Small Business Saturday event. Think of it as a special day for your customers. In addition to offering sales and discounts, provide free food and drinks and special in-store experiences (like product demos, workshops, or special guests).

Promote the day just like an event. Add it to online listings, promote it through social media, and send out invitations to your email list. Also, leverage your local area site to get even more exposure.

#9) Feature your #ShopSmall details on your website.

Make sure that customers know what to expect at your business on Small Business Saturday. Update your website to include event details and promotions.

If you have more than one location, be clear about what specials are exclusive to each location. You don't want customers to show up to one location expecting the deals and promotions promised at another store. Use unique location pages on your website to share details for each business.

#10) Over-staff your team.

Use Small Business Saturday as an opportunity to show off what makes local shopping so special -- superior customer service. Over-staff your team so you can offer customers a top-notch experience that includes little to no waiting in line, quick customer service, and a helpful sales staff.

Remind shoppers why it’s better to shop small.

#11) Encourage shoppers to sign up.

Take advantage of a spike in foot traffic in your store during Small Business Saturday. Use it as an opportunity to get customers to come back again by collecting email addresses and phone numbers from shoppers.

By collecting contact information from shoppers, you create remarketing opportunities.

When you have a customer’s phone or email, you can set up email marketing and text marketing campaigns that encourage shoppers to return to your business even after the excitement of Small Business Saturday is over. So include plans to collect contact information by:

  • Asking customers to provide their email when they check-out.
  • Holding a contest that requires registration via text
  • Offering freebies that require contact information to qualify
  • Creating a customer loyalty program.

#12) Launch a geofencing campaign to drive foot-traffic to your store.

A lot of shoppers are out and about on Small Business Saturday. This traffic can mean business for your brand when you use geofencing ads.

Geofencing ads creates an imaginary border around a certain geographic area, such as a shopping plaza, mall, or neighborhood. When people move in or out of the geofenced area, they receive display ads about your brand on their mobile devices.

This strategy is perfect for Small Business Saturday. Customers are already out in masses, shopping and looking for deals and local products and services. You can reach those engaged customers by delivering highly targeted ads to people who are already out shopping near your store.

 To learn more about how you can use geofencing, check out our guide: Using Geofencing Advertising to Target Customers at Exactly the Right Place.

Keep the Momentum Going After Small Business Saturday

Holidays and marketing events like Small Business Saturday often prompt businesses to launch campaigns, promotions, and special events.

But remember -- you don’t need a holiday as an excuse to launch marketing promotions.

All year long, there are plenty of ways to stir up interest in your business, attract new shoppers, and bring back existing customers -- and MyArea Network has the tools to help you do it.

MyArea Network has launched mySuite -- a FREE marketing suite that helps you set up and monitor local marketing campaigns. Create your free business account and start running brand awareness and lead generation campaigns with just a few clicks.

You can easily launch a text marketing, geofencing, or promoted event campaign to make sure that everyone in your area knows about your Small Business Saturday specials.

Plus, your mySuite account comes with:

  • An analytics dashboard to track marketing stats
  • An extensive library of marketing resources
  • A marketplace to buy products and services to support your brand 
  • A free business profile to feature your brand on your local Area site!

MyArea has made it easy for you to get the tools you need to succeed all in one place. Sign up for your free mySuite account and start promoting your business for Small Business Saturday and all the way into 2020.