9 ways to connect with customers during National Small Business Week
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) founded National Small Business Week in 1963. The yearly event recognizes the important contributions that entrepreneurs and small business owners make to their communities. From April 29th through May 5th, SBA hosts events and webinars to educate small business owners. But if you can’t attend one of these events, don’t worry — you can still get involved by running National Small Business Week promotions and marketing campaigns. Here are nine ways that your business can use email and social media marketing to join the celebration.
Reach out with email
Promote your sale
First, tell subscribers what National Small Business Week is. Then alert them that you’re celebrating the week with a special sale. Consider making certain coupon codes or sale prices exclusive to your email audience to reward them for signing up for your list.
Send out a National Small Business Week-themed newsletter
Looking for newsletter content topics? Why not focus on National Small Business Week? Show your subscribers where they can find more information about the week, tell them how you’ll be participating, share your business’s story or bring attention to another local business owner that you admire.
Invite subscribers to a special event
National Small Business Week is the perfect opportunity to get to know your customers — and for them to get to know you. Plan a “friends and family” event in honor of the week and send out invitations to your email subscribers. Remind them why they should stop by. Will there be free refreshments? A raffle? Discounts? Goodie bags or giveaways? Your invitation should tell readers what will be happening at the event and the benefits of attending.
Show your appreciation
A recent study has shown that 68 percent of businesses lose a customer because the company doesn’t appear to value them. Make sure your subscribers understand how important they are to your business during this week by sending out a customer appreciation email. Your message could be a simple thank you, letting them know that you want to show your appreciation during National Small Business Week. You could add a discount code to the note as a thank you.
Spread the word on social
Use event hashtags
Let your followers and other business owners know that you’re participating in National Small Business Week by adding the event’s hashtags to your post: #DreamSmallBiz and #SmallBusinessWeek. If you’re doing something special, such as holding a meet and greet with a local celebrity or getting together with neighboring businesses for a community event, share photos and tag the official SBA Twitter account (@SBAgov) for additional traction.
Why did you start your business? Who are the employees that help make sure everything is running as it should? Your small business story is unique. Share it with your social media audience. Use this week to give your followers a peek behind the curtain by posting personal anecdotes, photos and stories about how much your customers mean to you. Not only is this a great way to honor the spirit of the event, but it also humanizes your business, helping you foster an emotional connection with your customer base.
Share a week of promo codes
Give fans and followers incentives to keep an eye on your social updates — and ultimately to stop by your business — by revealing special promo codes on your social accounts throughout the week.
Throw a contest
Ask customers to post a photo of themselves using or wearing one of your products, or to share an experience they’ve had with your brand. Whoever has the best photo or story wins a free item or complimentary service. To get your whole audience involved in the fun, encourage them to vote for their favorites. Announce the winner at the end of the week.
Run a social cross-promotion
Recognize the critical contributions that other small business owners have made to your local community through a cross-promotion. Connect with another business owner that you’re a fan of, or that offers a complementary service or product. Mention the business in a special National Small Business Week post. Explain to your fans what you love about your partner brand and encourage them to check it out. Have your partner do the same. This type of cross-promotion will introduce your business to your partner’s audience and vice versa.
National Small Business Week is your week, so you don’t want to miss out on any of the fun — or promotional opportunities. But remember, as with any marketing campaign, you have to establish a plan and clearly identify your objectives. Do you want to drive revenue? Are you trying to build brand awareness? Once you’ve figured out what your goal is, you’ll be able to find the best way to promote your business.