This holiday season, we’re all about using social coupons to boost business during the hectic last months of 2016. We recently blogged about social coupons in general, and also about how to use coupons to your business’s advantage during the holidays. With Small Business Saturday fast approaching on November 26, we wanted to take a look at how social coupons can prompt your customers to think of you when they “shop small” and “dine small.”

If you’re not familiar with Small Business Saturday, it was an initiative first launched by American Express in 2010, prompting customers to shop and dine in their local communities on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Black Friday belongs to the big-box national retailers, and Cyber Monday drives shoppers to online stores, but Small Business Saturday carved out a space for the local restaurants and businesses that are such an integral part of their communities. Since its launch, it’s grown steadily with every year; in 2015, 95 million customers shopped and dined small on Small Business Saturday, to the tune of $16.2 billion.

Social coupons are a great tool in your Small Business Saturday kit. The benefits of social coupons are numerous:

  • They help you track which social media platforms drive the most traffic to your business.
  • They create word-of-mouth buzz by encouraging your followers to share the coupons with their friends and family.
  • They create urgency.
  • They can drive foot traffic.
  • They can generate sign ups for your email lists.
  • They take advantage of customers’ price sensitivity, which is often more important to them than brand loyalty.

In the run-up to Small Business Saturday, all of these advantages come into play. Here’s five ways to make them work for you.

1. Use Small Business Saturday to create urgency

Small Business Saturday is but a short day in one of the busiest holiday weekends of the season. Social coupons help focus your customers’ attention on the fact that they need to take action — either by visiting your business or your website — on that day in particular. Drive traffic with a social coupon that’s good only on Saturday, November 26.

2. Use social coupons to stand out from the crowd

Small Business Saturday is a great way to call attention to all the small businesses in a community, of course. But in a world of increasing competition, giving yourself an edge never hurts. Social coupons click with price-conscious consumers who may pay more attention to the bottom line than to brand loyalty. Use your Small Business Saturday social coupon as a loss-leader to get traffic in the door (or on your site), and then upsell those visitors on other products and services. This is especially important if your business sells a common product line or service that customers can find elsewhere.

3. Use social coupons to raise money for charity

Social coupons don’t have to be just for discounts or promotions, of course. Try running a social coupon campaign where your business donates a certain amount (or certain portion of sale proceeds) to a local charity. That way you can drive traffic to your business, upsell the customers while they’re there, and still do some good at the end of the day.

4. Social coupons can help advertise a Small Business Saturday event

Two days after Thanksgiving, a lot of people are waking up from their turkey comas, or they’re sick of eating leftovers, or they’re feeling daunted about the crazed holiday weeks yet to come, or they’ve had enough football. Or maybe all of the above. Chances are they’re a little bit stir-crazy and ready to be out and about. Give them a reason to visit you by holding a Small Business Saturday event at your business, and use social coupons to dish out free beverages, extra discounts, or other holiday-themed treats to those who stop by. Encourage them to share the coupons with their friends and family to ensure you have a steady crowd.

5. Use Small Business Saturday hashtags so people can find your social coupons

#SmallBizSat, #ShopSmall, and #DineSmall are some of the most common Small Business Saturday hashtags. Make sure to affix them to your social coupons so your posts are searchable in Facebook, Twitter, and your other social networks.

If you haven’t already, Small Business Saturday is a great way to start using social coupons to boost your business. Follow these tips, and you’ll cut through the clutter this Thanksgiving weekend.

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