Want more customers this holiday season? Want to do more digitally, but are unsure of where or how to start? We know more small businesses are turning to social media to grow sales, but we’ve heard from many owners that there never seems to be enough time to get started. That’s why American Express has teamed with Facebook, Google, Twitter and other innovators to create a toolkit to help small businesses make the most of Small Business Saturday
Now in its second year, Small Business Saturday is Nov. 26 and we’re again asking consumers to pledge their support to shop small that day. And, to add a little incentive, American Express is offering a $25 statement credit to Cardmembers.2 Last year’s inaugural event saw an estimated 28 percent increase in sales among small business retailers, as compared to the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2009.3 Think of the potential impact to your business this holiday season!
How to drive more business
Go to facebook.com/shopsmall. There, you’ll find a collection of easy-to-use, free marketing tools. From apps that enable you to quickly create and connect on social media, to in-store signage and website badges, these tools will help you attract more customers. And even better, it’s all free:
- Get more customers and “Likes” with $100 in free Facebook ads.4
- Don’t have a Facebook page for your business yet? No problem, we’ve teamed up with Facebook to develop a simple “page-maker” tool to help you create one.
- We’ve also teamed up with Google and YouTube on a free, easy-to-use Video-Maker that gives you the scripts, templates and music you need to create a professional-quality video about your business.
- Want to promote a sale? Use our GoSocial platform and share your offer with customers on Facebook and Foursquare.
- Grow your Twitter following by adding the ‘follow’ button to your website or blog so customers can easily follow you.
- Want to let more folks know that shopping with you means supporting their local community? Download free Small Business Saturday signs for your store and badges for your website or blog. Use the pre-written messages to spread the word on e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.
- And make sure your business is listed in all the right spots online, and review and respond to their comments across these sites—all using our free tool, YourBuzz.
And there’s more to come. For a simple guide to getting started, download this Small Business Saturday Checklist. Then “Like” our Shop Small page on Facebook to receive updates on new tools and opportunities to grow your business.
Why Small Business Saturday?
When American Express OPEN launched Small Business Saturday in 2010, our goal was to build support for the locally owned, independent retailers that make up our communities. While we had high hopes going into last year’s event, we were blown away by the results. More than 130 advocacy groups demonstrated their support, as did more than 1 million people who “liked” Small Business Saturday on Facebook. And more than 100,000 small businesses took advantage of the marketing materials and opportunities. This year, we’re aiming higher.
At OPEN, our mission is to “help businesses do more business.” And with Small Business Saturday, we’re not only helping businesses with their number one need—getting more customers—we’re also helping consumers meet their interest in investing back into their communities. We believe small business growth is essential to the health of our economy—and that’s good for everyone.
We hope these tools help you build more business on Small Business Saturday and beyond. Try them out and let other business owners know what you think with a comment below. And if you did something special for Small Business Saturday last year, let us know that, too!
1Fall 2011 American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor
2Cardmembers can receive a $25 statement credit offer when they register their Card and spend $25 or more on Small Business Saturday at any qualifying small business that accepts the American Express Card.
3Based on preliminary American Express spending data as of December 2 from small retailers that accept American Express Cards: “Small retailers” include any independently owned retailers that accept American Express Cards in industries such as apparel, bikes, books, electronics and florists. Online-only retailers, large, national chains, franchised business locations and government agencies are not included.
4Facebook offer: Registration is limited to the first 10,000 merchants. Limit one offer per registrant. Visit facebook.com/shopsmall for details.