This year’s Small Business Saturday will mark the third year since it began. An initiative started by Barak Obama, supported by American Express and brought to England by Labour MP Chuka Umunna it brings the biggest names to the smallest of businesses in the UK. Providing a phenomenal platform for SMEs it offers publicity, training and networking with some very exciting results. Following on from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday aims to drive customers towards their local businesses. Last year, according to Small Business Saturday, the day reached 64% of UK consumers and 16.5 million people shopped in independent businesses garnering some £460 million in revenue. Even the councils got on board and relaxed their normal iron clad control and allowed free parking, further clearing the path of local consumers to reach local businesses.
But, this day is about far more than profits, it can also be used to launch an incredibly successful digital marketing campaign for your business. Last year the #SmallBizSatUK had 3.5 million Facebook views and was amongst the top three trending hashtags on Twitter. Small Business Saturday was very popular on social media in 2013 as well. And all predictions point to this day following on from the continued growth of the past two years. So beyond opening your doors and waiting for the oncoming influx of shoppers there is plenty of opportunity for you to build on this day and expand your brand locally.
A week out from Small Business Saturday the #SmallBizSatUK currently has 61 posts a day, has reached close to two hundred thousand accounts and almost half of user engagement has been positive (a pretty impressive feat given the general attitude of many Tweeple.)
According to Tweetreach, the account itself has almost 30,000 followers and is supported by some extremely influential accounts with around half a million followers in total. On Saturday 5th December, it is guaranteed to be trending at number one on Twitter and offers a gloriously rare opportunity to target new customers and market your wares. Not only that, but using some clever tactics such as tweeting at your local council and local personalities will allow you to precisely aim your marketing at the people most likely to engage with your business.
Having a business Facebook page and posting regularly is no longer a guaranteed method of expanding your digital reach. Over the past year Facebook has been lowering the organic reach of Pages. The majority of posts from any business page will fail to reach their follower’s newsfeed. According to a study conducted by Oglivy & Mather, organic reach from Facebook posts is as low as 6%. According to tech blog Valleyway, Facebook is planning to gradually lower this to 1 or 2% of your likes, with algorithms focusing on high quality content. It essentially means businesses will have to start paying for their marketing efforts (a fact that has surely not gone unnoticed by Facebook), to reach more than a fraction of their consumer base.
This makes Small Business Saturday and its accompanying #SmallBizSatUK hashtag a unique resource. With guaranteed traction and interest, it should ensure the right targeted market view your posts. Last year, the hashtag received over 1.5 million views and with posts as easy as a picture of marketing material provided by Small Business Saturday with a smiling shop proprietor it is marketing manna from heaven.
More money is earned from Instagram than Facebook and Twitter combined and it is a singular opportunity to show some of your products in all their filtered, edited glory. Using the hashtag will attract more people to your account and given ease of use, and the current lack of restrictions on business pages, it should be an easy way to attract more followers to your account. And if any businesses are unfamiliar with this social media platform, take a look at Instagram’s trademark blog that aims to help businesses grow using their tool.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy, and days like this are a great way to promote what they do and get them noticed. At Boost Capital, we help small businesses to reach their growth potential, and our small business loan programme is ideal for business owners across the UK in a variety of industries.