Lessons for the Future from #SmallBusinessSaturday

Small Business Saturday, for those who aren’t in the know, is a shopping holiday made up by American express back in 2010. It was created to fill the void between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when (heaven forbid!) there was a “break” in consumerism. Heavily publicized by AmEx through social media hashtag campaigns like #smallbusinesssaturday and #smallbizsaturday, it caught fire in cities worldwide, with NYC actually being the first to institute it as a recognized national holiday.

Social media has, unsurprisingly, been at the center of Small Business Saturday since its conception. For those of you who participated this year, you probably used the hashtags in a few social media posts, advertised your sales to your followers, and then moved on to focus on the upcoming possibilities of Cyber Monday.

But WAIT! Did you really consider all the possibilities? Yes, Saturday has passed, but who’s to say you can’t capitalize on it until next Saturday? And what lessons did you learn this year that you might be able to use for the future?

If you participated until Saturday and then dropped the campaign, you haven’t done your small business justice. Throughout this week, post one picture a day showing how you participated on Saturday. Give a shout out each day to a local business from your block congratulating them on the success of the day, and recommend them to your followers. Change your cover photos to an image that shows how excited you still are about all the wonderful people you met and all the great new business you conducted.

While that’s good food for thought in the short-term, what can you do in the long term? Make a check-list for next year, including all the possibilities you learned about– and get prepared! This year, for example, the first 10,000 business owners who signed up to participate via AmEx received “$100 of free Facebook advertising to help build online buzz and drive customers to shop at their businesses.” Take a moment to click “Boost Post” on Facebook and see how much reach $100 can get you. To spoil the surprise, it can mean TENS OF THOUSANDS more people see your posts than usual.

Days like #SmallBizSat can be overwhelming, but there’s a lot to gain. Search around online and see how businesses promoted themselves around the holiday. It’ll be nice to reflect, and you’ll tip yourself off for better social media practices year-round.


Sharon Bruce
Marketing Consultant

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