The holiday shopping season is upon us! This year, it all kicks off with a big weekend, starting with a holiday shopping day most of us are familiar with: Black Friday. But did you know that this year, millions of consumers have pledged to shop local in support of Small Business Saturday the day after Black Friday? This effort is raising awareness about the importance of shopping local and supporting local businesses – a cause near and dear to our hearts here at ReachLocal. To make the most of Small Business Saturday, here are five tips to help your local business connect with local shoppers this holiday season and keep the “shop local” momentum going strong.
1) Make Your Gift-Giving Opportunities Obvious
Local shoppers may or may not already think of your business as the first stop for holiday gifts. So, take some time to brainstorm seasonal promotions and gift-giving ideas specific to your local business so you can share them online and with your customers. For example, services companies might market gift certificates or bundled service packages, while spas might highlight personal pampering specials along with seasonal gift baskets.
2) Optimize Your Local Listings
As the holiday shopping season begins, it’s important to make sure your business has a claimed and optimized Google Places Page that focuses on your core product and services keywords. That way, local shoppers who are looking for specific products or services from local companies can easily discover your business. Learn how to optimize your Google Places page to get started.
3) Build Your Mobile Web Presence
Did you know thatover 87% of Smartphone owners use the Internet on their phones? Plus, 25% of Smartphone owners use their phones as their primary device for accessing the Internet! That’s just one reason it’s so important to have a mobile optimized site and web presence for your business. So, this holiday, make sure that local shoppers can find your business directly from their mobile devices so they don’t miss your business while they are out and about looking for local businesses to buy from.
4) Share Unique Holiday Offers with Fans and Followers
The holidays are a great time to share special offers for your fans and followers on social networks. Not only can this remind your current fanbase about your local business and what you have to offer for holiday shoppers, it’s also a way to encourage them to share your specials with their own friends, family, and social connections.
5) Get Customers Involved with Giving Back
For many local businesses, the holidays are an important time to get involved in giving back to your local community. It’s also a great time to share with your customers the opportunity to give back in support of your community. For example, you could host a food drive or charity event at your business, or sponsor a local outreach program on behalf of top clients as your holiday appreciation gift to them. Finding unique ways to give back to your local community – and to get your customers involved – is a great way to connect with local shoppers and remind them why supporting local business is so important.
These are just five tips for connecting with local shoppers this holiday season. What ideas have you used in the past or are planning this year? Share your thoughts in a comment, and happy holidays!