Today is Small Business Saturday, that one time a year when underdog marketers try to turn the tables on the big boxes and encourage consumers to shop local. Sure, it’s romantic to walk-in to your local boutique and if you met my friend Meghan at Select Style, you would want to visit her boutique, if you saw Jill and her dogs, you would shop at SitStay. There are a lot of ways to help small retailers, don’t limit your actions just to stopping into their retail stores.
Small businesses need help online and they need their community to advocate for them locally.
“Much of what we consider valuable in our world arises out of one-sided conflicts. Because the act of facing overwhelming odds, produces greatness and beauty.”
-David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell
Like them on Facebook. Share their content, give them positive comments, these interactions are valuable and small businesses can outpace national brands where it matters at home, with those local connections. Take 5 minutes and think of the businesses where you shop locally and make sure you like/follow their business. Yes, the business owners take notice of this and it matters to their reach.
That local news article is important. Traditional news outlets are struggling and looking for ways to be relevant online. When they see that local content is shared, they are more likely to highlight that business again. Your local newspaper, TV, radio are watching their Google Analytics, it’s important that the local businesses do well.
Build it together. This is what community is all about. When you do run into that small business owner, take a photo. Share a recent experience -that can be far better that even your purchase to share that testimonial, online review or referral to your friends. Be creative about it. I bought something from a friend recently and gave them about 5 different quotes to chose from that they could use on their website, all written just to give a testimonial.
As community financial institutions, we are often good at getting to know the store owners, get in the habit of sharing about the people behind these businesses. Most small businesses struggle to humanize their own business, because they feel like they are talking about themselves too much, but you can do this for them.
If you are a financial marketer, your community needs you to help connect the dots for small businesses and your impact is profound. Sharing the underdog stories will lift your brand.