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How to Take Advantage of Social Media on Small Business Saturday
By Rich Kahn, eZanga.com
Small Business Saturday is a big day for local brick-and-mortar shops. It’s a day where people are encouraged to “shop small” and support local businesses.
For small business owners, this is your Black Friday, and there are tons of free marketing and promotional tools to help your Small Business Saturday efforts.
But, in-store promotional tools aren’t your only option for Small Business Saturday; you also need to embrace social. With 67% of shoppers purchasing a gift they found on social media, it’s one of your most powerful tools to prepare for the holiday season.
Here’s how you can take full advantage of it.
Launch Your Promotions Early
While the holiday shopping season officially launches after Thanksgiving, people are starting earlier each year. In 2015, 20% of people started their holiday shopping in October while about 40% of people started in November.
If you wait until the day before to announce your Small Business Saturday deals, you’re doing it too late. You need to announce your promotions early to build excitement, but also so awareness of your deals has the chance to spread.
People love a good sale, but they especially love sharing a good deal with their friends. Make sure you’re creating special offers for Small Business Saturday on social and using the hashtags #SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall in your posts. Encourage people to not only share the deal, but to come to your store and redeem it.
Change Up Your Profile for the Holiday Season
Make your social profiles festive by decking them out for the holidays. Use photo editing websites (such as Canva) to make cover photo and profile pictures seasonal, and make any promotional posts or photos holiday themed as well.
You can also download photo editing apps with great holiday themes and stickers to make any photos you post from your phone feel more festive.
Certain apps even have photo resizing options for the different social media platforms, so you can easily optimize your image sizes right within the editing app. (And be sure to tag your photos with #SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall when you post them.)
Humanize Your Business
People feel particularly sentimental during the holiday season. Take advantage of that and use social media to humanize your business by sharing the story of how your business started.
Post pictures of your employees recommending their favorite gifts or products. Share memories from your various holiday parties. Use social media to really give your followers a behind-the-scenes look that lets them see the faces behind the business.
Host a Contest
Create a contest or giveaway specifically for Small Business Saturday and promote it on social media. This will not only get you shares, but you can even make coming into your store mandatory in order to participate.
For example: In order to enter the contest, you could have customers stop by the store and snap a selfie with the tree, then share it on social media with your business tagged and a specific hashtag in order to enter. This way, you’re getting people to your stores and free exposure on social.
Schedule Your Posts in Advance
The holidays are an extremely busy time of year for any business. More people are out shopping, and the demand for your attention as a small business owner is high. Do yourself a favor, and schedule out all of your Small Business Saturday posts in advance.
Use free and low-cost tools like Hootsuite, Twitter Dashboard, and Buffer to make sure you don’t have to worry about getting to your phone or computer to publish a post in time. This way, all you’ll have to do is monitor your profiles and respond to any customers.
Use Targeted Advertising
28% of holiday shoppers have purchased from a local business because of a Facebook ad. And now, with Facebook’s advanced location targeting, you can make sure your ads are getting to the most relevant audience.
Consider running a social media advertising campaign on Facebook to help you promote your Saturday deals, or even just promote specific posts on your social media profiles to boost your reach.
If you choose to go the paid advertising route, be sure to think outside the box for audience targeting. Keep in mind that people are searching for gifts for others, so it might be wise to target the men shopping with gift ideas for their mothers, wives, or daughters and vice versa.
Small Business Saturday is your day, so why not make it a party? Announce on social media that you’ll be offering refreshments, in-store games with prizes, and activities for the kids.
Your small business already has enough competition with bigger brands. The tools are out there for you on Small Business Saturday. You just have to take advantage of them.
Rich Kahn is the CEO of eZanga.com and has been recognized as a leader in the online advertising industry since 1993. Rich started eZanga.com, a digital marketing firm specializing in pay per click and pay per call advertising, in 2003 with his wife, Beth. Follow him on Twitter at @richkahn.
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