The Small Business Guide to the Holiday Season

Own a small business? Want to figure out how to maximize the holiday season for your small business? We’ve got you covered. 

Here are nine things you won’t want your small business to miss out this holiday season. We’ve got a whole lot of info coming, so make sure you save these essentials for later.

small business holidays

9 ways to market your small business during the holidays

1. Run a Black Friday Sale/Promotion

I’m sure this has already crossed your mind numerous times this year, so it’s not much of a shock. Afterall, everyone loves sales. Which means everyone loves Black Friday.

As a matter of fact, there are tons of consumers who actually wait till Black Friday to make purchases.

There are so many different facets of the world worth acquainting yourself with. And making friends around the world will prove to you and your travel buddies that we’re really not all that different. 

If you want your small business to even be considered in the minds of these buyers, then run a sale. It can be as low as 10% off– but anything is better than missing out on the day altogether.

If you’re concerned about where exactly you’re going to get the money to effectively promote using social campaigns, then worry no more. Currently, Pingster is indefinitely allowing free advertising by all businesses on their platform. 

small business holidays

All you have to do is make an account, share coupons, and post some pictures, and Pingster does the rest in targeting local consumers. Meaning your content will be prioritized for relevant users and potentially viewed by the platform’s thousands of users.

2. …And a Cyber Monday Sale

Regardless of if you own a brick-and-mortar business or an online business, your best bet for max sales is running a sale on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Over the past few years, Cyber Monday has actually replaced Black Friday as the biggest annual shopping event in the US.

Tech products are generally the niche goods sold on this day, but quite frankly, consumers will still be looking to buy all kinds of goods. Business Insider encourages buyers to shop Black Friday for expensive products and shop Cyber Monday for gadgets– so bear that in mind when deciding on which products to discount on which day.

The weekend as a whole is a time when many people are ready to and excited to make purchases. Which brings us to the next thing on your bucket list.

3. …And a Small Business Saturday Promotion

If you don’t market to an American audience, then you skip this suggestion. Everyone else? Listen up.

You probably already know what this national holiday is– but just in case. Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held during the Saturday after US Thanksgiving (A.K.A one of the busiest shopping periods of the year.)

small business holidays
  • This day is aimed at encouraging holiday shoppers to support small and/or local businesses. If your business is too big to be considered “small”, then congrats. You can skip this.

  • Just bear in mind that The U.S. Small Business Administration counts companies with as much as $35.5 million in sales and 1,500 employees as “small businesses”, depending on the industry.

  • Outside government, companies with less than $7 million in sales and fewer than five hundred employees are widely considered small businesses.

  • So if you make the cut as a small business but you don’t want to offer a sale, SmallBizTrends offers some clever alternatives to market your business.

  • Which includes raffles, using the #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat hashtags, and partnering with other small businesses.

4. “Spooky” Promotions for Halloween

If your small business sells anything involving food, don’t miss out on an opportunity to add in some “spooky” flairs or sweeter options. But let’s be real– Halloween is an international holiday, so there are ways for every single industry to get involved.

Orange, black, white, pumpkins, candy corn, ghosts, costumes, candy, and a few other things should be included in at least some of your business’ online images. It’ll make your brand seem relatable and fun, even if you don’t run any discounts.

According to Twitter Business, here are some hashtags you should be targeting during October and November.

  • #HalloweenAtHome
  • #QuarantineHalloween
  • #hotglue
  • #glitter
  • #makeup
  • #handmadeHalloween 
  • #spooky 
  • #horrorart 
  • #DIYhalloweencostume
  • #halloweendecor  
  • #DIY costumes
  • #SugarComa
small business holidays

Make sure to post your pics for local consumers on Pingster, with as many hashtags as you like!

5. Host a Holiday themed event (webinars, anyone?)

If you’re a busy entrepreneur like myself, chances are the last thing on your mind is hosting a whole event. Talk about unnecessary stress, am I right? 

Well not quite. Video chat platforms have revolutionized business events like never before. You don’t have to worry about providing a venue, drinks, snacks, volunteers, or any of that other jazz.

Just you, a computer, a bomb presentation, and some promoting is all it takes to host a successful online event. But let’s be real– the average consumer doesn’t want to attend some webinar about some business, regardless of if they have or haven’t heard of your brand before. 

So what does that mean for you? Appeal to what the average consumer does care about. A.K.A, the holidays. 

Keep in mind that if you market the event as a festive informational session, you actually have to make it festive. 

Which means you should probably wear festive clothing, play some festive music, and incorporate a game or two into the mix. Prizes go a long way when appealing to potential attendees. I know it sounds difficult, but all it requires is a little thinking outside of the box.

If you want to keep the whole event short, then just encourage everyone to dress up in festive gear (optional, of course) and compete for the top three places. All winners receive a digital reward– a gift card for either your business or a business that isn’t your competitor.

And as an incentive for people to stay the whole time? Don’t announce the winners until the end.

 According to Constant Contact, the value of a Holiday event goes a long way.

  • It shows your deep appreciation for both customers and employees
  • It appeals to the holiday shopping “state-of-mind”
  • And it means your small business stays at the forefront of consumers’ minds

So you better get to planning.

6. Running a Christmas Sale

Alright, this one was kind of a given but it had to be mentioned. A Christmas sale doesn’t have to be anything grand. Just enough to keep your brand name circulating.small business holidays

  • Throw some red and green in those promos and you’ll be good to go. According to WooCommerce, you should consider if the products you sell are impulse buys, or inexpensive enough to be purchased on a budget? Or do they require planning ahead, even months of saving to afford? 

  • If your products require heavy thought before purchase, then you’ll need to run that Christmas sale (and other holiday sales) way earlier than December.

  • This’ll also require some research as to the shopping behavior of your target audience. So plan ahead!

7. Holiday Season Giveaway

For the purpose of this article, the Holiday “season” basically runs from mid-October to the end of December. So, think of a service, product, or something else you could give away that consumers will actually want. 

Carefully consider what the prerequisites should be for entry into the giveaway. Nothing too extreme, since the goal ultimately is just to build brand awareness

Should it be…

  • following your social accounts?
  • Signing up for your email list?
  • Or better yet– tagging others on your posts (with each tag serving as another entry)?
small business holidays

8. Vlogmas (If your biz has a YouTube account)

If you’ve never heard of vlogmas, I’ll just assume you’re not a big fan of YouTube. So, go ahead and skip this one.

If not, keep on reading.

A video blog or video log, sometimes shortened to vlog, is a form of blog for which the medium is video.

Popularly practiced by vloggers, and YouTubers as a whole, your small business can easily get in on the action. Vlogmas entails posting a video every single day of December up to Christmas.

These should be great videos that capture everything going on behind the scenes during the holiday season. They should be relatable and generally geared toward a slightly younger crowd. 

  • Don’t rush into this though– if your business doesn’t already have a YouTube channel– this’ll require:

    • a high quality camera
    • some decent audio equipment
    • & a pretty good deal of marketing
  • So either secure these things before December or wait around till next year.

9. Last Chance New Year’s Sale

New Year’s marks the end of the Holiday season, meaning it should also mark the end of your seasonal discounts. Make sure potential buyers know this.

  • Send out emails and post on your socials that this will be your last sale for a while, so buyers should hop on this opportunity. 

  • This sale will also be your last chance to create a promo that actually drives sales– just in case your earlier campaigns didn’t do so good. Assess the performance of your earlier Holiday promos and use that to figure out how to ‘go out with a bang.’

  • Operate with the goal of this being your most effective and most practical sale yet, even if it doesn’t perform as well as earlier campaigns.

Final Thoughts

Sounds like a lot to do in just a couple of months? It doesn’t have to be. With a handy dandy content planner, your small business will be good to go for the holidays.

And Pingster is here to help. You can promote all your campaigns for free on Pingster. The multi-platform application even has a built-in area just for coupons. Meaning users can view and save coupons ahead of time to stay on top of your business’ promos!

The iOS app also has a built-in photo editor, so you don’t have to worry about your photo editing skills. Starting a business account takes one to two minutes max.

Plus, businesses make up less than 5% of the app’s users, so you’ll be well ahead of the competition. Your small business’s social potential is waiting to be unlocked… and Pingster is here to simplify the process.

Sign up for Pingster here.

Pingster Username: cierrasmith
Display Name: Cultured Simplicity
cierra smith
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Small Business Holidays