The shopping holiday wasn’t formed by a group of small businesses getting together. The giant credit card company, American Express
, started it in 2010 in an advertising campaign and has registered the name as a trademark.
American Express and the Small Business Administration have some tips on how small businesses can benefit from this day of shopping devoted to them:Help Customers Find You:
American Express offers many marketing tips for Small Business Saturday, starting with helping shoppers find your business. American Express card merchants get access to some perks, such as appearing on a “Shop Small” map it puts together.Free Marketing Materials:
Even if small businesses don’t accept American Express cards, they can still get free printable signage, postcards, email templates, social posts
and “Shop Small” logos.Organize Your Neighborhood:American Express
helps business associations, local chambers of commerce and other community organizers set up events or activities to rally their neighborhoods for Small Business Saturday. Called a “Neighborhood Champion,” they help their communities hold block parties, street fairs, concerts and other activities focused on local shopping.Promote on Social Media:
Within the past few years, the National Restaurant Association sponsored Small Business Saturday Night to promote local restaurants. Suggested promotions included posting a picture of a restaurant’s menu using the hashtag #ShowUsYourMenu, and post social media updates with the hashtag #DineSmall. Icons promoting the event were also available for restaurants to add to their websites.
A Small Business Saturday social media toolkit is available from Twitter
, @ShopSmall is the Twitter account for the day, and it has a Facebook page.
Afterward: After Small Business Saturday is over, continue holiday promotions for your small business by having special shopping nights, in-store promotions or performances, or other events that make your store stand out. Plan ahead and get the decorations, extra inventory, refreshments and seating that you’ll need well before the event.
There’s nothing stopping you from continuing working with other local merchants to promote your businesses together and encourage local residents to shop local all year round.