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November 26th marked the second annual Small Business Saturday -- a day slated to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country.
Created by American Express as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the goal of Small Business Saturday is to drive more customers to small local businesses. While American Express of course hopes to drive cardmember transactions by offering $25 credits to those who use their AMEX to make purchases at these local businesses, in doing so, the company has given a boost to local merchants and helped drive an estimated 103 million Americans to shop at independently-owned small businesses this past Small Business Saturday.
Increased awareness of the day via TV ads and dozens of locally organized initiatives helped merchants leverage the wave of consumer support. In fact, public awareness of Small Business Saturday rose to 65 percent compared to 37 percent in 2010.
Elected officials also kicked in by championing Small Business Saturday --including President Obama, who took his daughters on a shopping trip to an independent bookstore a few blocks from the White House.
What is not as well known is that participants of this initiative have developed a set of tools and promotional materials to help small businesses attract more customers.
These tools are available on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page and include tips and information on how to:
- Create offers for customers.
- Create a Facebook Business Page.
- Create a video on YouTube using My Business Story from Google and American Express.
- Get a Twitter button for their website.
- Find out what people are saying about their business online with YourBuzz.
- Promote their business with tips from OPEN Forum
And with just under 2.8 million fans, the Facebook page offers tons of opportunities to network with other small business owners around the world.
So check out the page, try some of the tools – we’d like to hear how it helps you to make Small Business Saturday a weekly event!