Conway has plenty of small businesses.
One of the things I like about Conway is the emphasis on Small Business Saturday.
From the Conway Chamber of Commerce to the support here at Conway Scene, this city embraces Small Business Saturday.
To underscore that fact in recent years, Conway has launched an event called Illuminate. The event takes place on Small Business Saturday downtown at the Chamber of Commerce.
We gather around our Christmas tree and watch together as it is lit for the first time.
No, it’s not a scene out of Whoville, Conway loves to bring people downtown.
Check out these stats from the Small Business Administration
Stats from the Small Business Administration:
- There are 30.2 million small businesses in the country.
- United States small businesses employed 58.9 million people, or 47.5% of the private workforce, in 2015.
- Small businesses created 1.9 million net jobs in 2015.
- 58.9 million Small Business Employees 47.5% of United States Employees
So, you see, small businesses are pretty important to communities like Conway.
Small Business Saturday is a great thing for small businesses to take advantage of, and today we are going to discuss five ways you can be ready. This year, Small Business Saturday is November 30th.
Download Marketing Materials from the SBS Website
The good thing about the Small Business Saturday initiative is that there are existing marketing materials available.
American Express has set up a Shop Small Studio, which you can use to customize marketing assets for the big day.
There you can create email templates, a poster, Instagram Stories, and a social post.
This is a simple way to create marketing materials branded with the Shop Small and Small Business Saturday.
Additionally, you can apply to get a Shop Small Kit, which contains buttons, stickers, pens, tote bags, and more.
Let your customers know you are open
Small Business Saturday is on a Saturday. Some small businesses aren’t open that day. If you are going to be open, you want to make sure your customers know!
This is especially important if you aren’t regularly open on Saturday.
If you aren’t going to be open that Saturday but intend to support the day, consider letting your customers know that as well.
Remember, Small Business Saturday is two days after Thanksgiving. Things may be hectic as many people shop on Black Friday. You may not be open on Friday but open on Saturday. Let your customers know ahead of time!
Consider making special social media posts or emails explaining you will be open to take advantage of Small Business Saturday.
How can you get the word out?
Get your social media posts ready
Using social media is not something that you should debate. Do it!
There is incredible power in using social media. Remember, social media is a conversation with your audience. Therefore, don’t forget to engage.
Here we are going to offer three tips.
1. Use the check-in features on Facebook and Instagram
Encourage your customers to check-in when shopping on Small Business Saturday.
Deborah Sweeney writes at the popular Social Media Today blog,
One way businesses have been increasingly included in milestones is through check-ins made on Facebook and Instagram. On Small Business Saturday, encourage new and returning customers to check-in when they’re at your store in order to get an extra view of what your foot traffic looks like.
Sweeney lists three thoughts, and the other two are worth checking at as well.
2. Organize your social media content
Creating a content calendar can help you create an organization for your social media posts. This is something that Facebook and social media expert Mari Smith talks about in her article on Social Media Examiner.
Looking to increase holiday sales? Make sure you know the key dates. Note the shopping holidays following Thanksgiving: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, as well as Christmas, Chanukah, and other celebrations.
She recommends using a spreadsheet or a project management tool to organize your content.
Looking for help to plan your social media? Here three resources:
3. Use Facebook Live to increase engagement
Next, use your Facebook (or Instagram) to run a live video on the day of Small Business Saturday.
One thing you can do with a Facebook live is interview customers or one of the employes. Further, consider using the Event feature on Facebook to alert your audience that you will be going live.
Everyone will be in a festive mood, and it should provide high engagement. Also, those who are watching live will be prompted to come to visit your business!
Email your customers with special information
Your email list is your business’ livelihood. So, why not prepare a few emails to send ahead of time to let them know you will be participating in Small Business Saturday?
You can send your emails out the month leading up or send a few extra ones within a week.
Be sure to mention specials, giveaways, prizes, and whatever else you might have planned.
Make it a no-brainer to come into your store on Small Business Saturday. After all, you will have special offers and giveaways.
Create a giveaway or special offer
One way to make sure people come into your store is to create a giveaway, prizes, and/or a special offer.
Everyone likes those. This will generate some buzz and get your customers in the store for Small Business Saturday.
Share the specials on your social media accounts and your email list. Make sure those in the community know about the specials.
Wrapping it up
Conway is known for embracing Small Business Saturday. We have the tree lighting downtown, and many folks will be out at their favorite small businesses shopping for the holidays. There is no reason that you cannot take advantage of Small Business Saturday for your business as well!
Are you looking for ideas for Small Business Saturday? Start with the official website here.
Additionally, Conway Scene will build a page that showcases the holiday happenings this year. We are also looking to create a page that showcases excellent gift ideas from local businesses. If you are interested in participating in our Local Gift Showcase, get in touch!