Tag Archive : shop local

Social media has become somewhat of a necessity for all businesses. When it comes to companies that focus on shopping and retail, social media is a must. Why is this? Social media is the easiest (and cheapest) way to generate buzz about your brand. It is critical that shopping focused businesses create posts and share them so consumers can see your products and engage with your offering. Need some inspiration for your next post? Check out these popular ideas from other Save Local Now activity based businesses:

  • Deals – Advertise your latest deals or advertise a flash sale for social media followers only
  • New Products – Let your followers know when you get a new line in the store
  • Social Media Exclusive Offers – (Get 10% off your next purchase if you like us or $5 Off if you RT #savings)
  • Establish Yourself as the “Expert” – create posts about style trends, the best antique shows or the right running shoe for different types of runners

Save Local Now provides an easy-to-use digital marketing platform that allows you create and share your own posts to Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Login to your SLN account now to start sharing!

Summer is the time for family, friends, fun, and community. Many local communities organize concerts, festivals, fairs, and other events to celebrate the warm weather. These are the perfect opportunity for small business owners to gain exposure and meet locals and other event goers.

Here are some tips on how to get started marketing your small business at local events:

Do Your Research

Your first step is to research what events are occurring in your local community (and the nearby communities) in the upcoming months. Some examples of events you should look out for are festivals, art walks, farmers markets, and flea markets.

Prior to choosing an event to attend, make sure to know your target audience. While researching local events, research what type of customers it brings in. Choose an event/events that are a good match!

When you have an event in mind, contact the organizers to get the details and see what opportunities exist. This could range from sponsoring the event, having an information booth, or actually selling your products. Be sure to ask about all of the costs and requirements involved.

Prepare Yourself and Stand Out

Decide what your goal is at the event. Are you planning on selling products? Make sure you have enough stock and that there are several ways to accept payment. Generating leads? Make sure you have enough literature to hand out and you have an easy way to collect information.

Make sure you have several energetic, well-trained staff members to work the event. Your business’s presence shows that you and your staff are actively engaging with the audience. These details can make or break effectiveness and help you to stand out.

Assess Your Results

Like any marketing effort, you need to track results to see if the event was worthwhile. Set goals for how much you want to sell, how many prospects you want to talk to or how many leads you want to capture. Track them and assess your results afterward. Fine-tune your approach depending on what you learned.

Make Sure to Have Fun

Above all enjoy yourself. Customers are more likely to approach people who look like they enjoy what they are doing. Whether your booth is successful or not, it’s a great way to connect with your local community and build a great reputation for your business.

As you know by now, Save Local Now is a true “Buy Local” initiative. With the holidays now just weeks away (can you believe it?!), we wanted to highlight how easy it is to promote your business on the SLN platform. Throwing a special Thanksgiving event? No problem! Offering a Thanksgiving FEAST of savings? Even better! Drive consumer traffic by creating promotions on your Save Local Now platform. November_MP_Chamber_Newsletter

Consumers are looking to buy local this season; let’s make it easy on them! Use your Save Local Now platform to promote fresh produce, holiday décor, or where to buy the plumpest turkey in town; this will drive consumer traffic and encourage shoppers to keep their money close to home this season.

Last but not least, don’t forget to share the promotions you create with Save Local Now’s social sharing benefit; reach more consumers in just 1 click!

From our table to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Spring is in the air! The sun is coming out, birds are chirping, snow is melting…it’s time to do some spring cleaning! Here are some tips to get organized:

1. Clear Out That Inbox

We know you get a lot of spam. Over 200 million spam emails are sent out PER DAY. Take some time at the end of each day and sort our your inbox. Delete junk mail. Create and organize folders to help you navigate your inbox better. Create a Save Local Now folder for all your impression reports! Before you know it, you’re inbox will be squeaky clean, and you will thank yourself for having a tidy email system.

2. Give Your Save Local Now Business Profile a Facelift

You might have updated it a few months ago but you might have also added a new service or popular product to your business. Give it a quick once-over and look for places that need a little refreshing. Update your hours if they are different in the summer. Check out your keywords and add some more. Post your business’ profile on social media again if you haven’t in a while. It’s a simple way to freshen up your image.

3. Create a New Spring Deal or Event

There’s a lot going on in spring. Some of you might have customers looking for landscapers, new hair styles, new cars or new houses. Put up a deal relating to spring to help drive more business. If you want new customers, offer referral discounts to encourage your already loyal customers to bring in more! If you want to throw an event, think of all the great things you can do with the nice weather; weddings, sidewalk sales, outdoor games, you name it. Lots of customers are looking for reasons to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. There are many great opportunities and it only takes a minute!

These are just a few things you can do for spring. Of course there’s still some windows that need to be wiped down and some floors that need some scrubbing, but your marketing strategy is just like that closet that needs to be cleaned out and reorganized. Out with the old, and in with the new. Keep things updated and keep things going!

 

 

This is a great article for Valentines day. Thank you Imran Anwar for reading our minds!

8 Just in Time Valentine’s Day Publicity Ideas for Small Business

by Imran Anwar

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and you may be thinking of ways to squeeze out some extra sales. You can use the world’s 2nd popular gift-giving festival to gain publicity mileage and sell more stuff. Here are a few last minutes Valentine’s Day publicity ideas to help you out:

1. Play on Red: Design a red and white theme for your outlet or website. Think of creative ways to relate red color to your business. You can discount all red items till Feb 14 or keep a surprise discount for walk in customers who are carrying or wearing red things (cellphone, handbag, shoes etc).

2. Do Target Marketing: Plan different shopping packages for ‘him’ and ‘her’. If you are selling cosmetics, this may be your time to target males and give them incentives for buying gifts for their girlfriends or wives.

3. Play on Love: Don’t keep your Valentine’s Day publicity limited to sexual love. Include love for nature, animals, parents, friends and kids when you are storming for your ideas. Plan a special ‘We Love You’ sale.

4. Do Co-promotion: Alright, so your business has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day? Find a business that has and run a co-promotion. If you are selling auto parts, include a cake or flowers or discount voucher from your partnering retailer.

5. Offer Couple Discounts: If a loving couple buys gifts for him and her together, offer them some discount or incentive. Offer complimentary glasses of Champaign to couples who have dinner at your restaurant or plan discounts if someone buys ladies and gents gifts together.

6. Hold a Photo Contest: Ask couples to upload their photos and share them with you. Announce a prize for the winning couple. Add the best images to a special Valentine’s Day board on your Pinterest account. Tip: Hold a Vine video contest.

7. Reward a Story: Ask people to write real life stories about love and announce a reward for the winning story. Publish the top stories on your website and share them on you social media.

8. Offer Something Different: Many people are tired of receiving chocolates, hearts and teddy bears as Valentine’s Day gifts. Think of something new. How about bungee jumping for daring couples or a gaming competition for geek couples?

The money you lose by offering a small discount or surprise gift travels a long way in the form of word-of-mouth publicity. Storm some ideas and come up with something really interesting. Communicate your offer on social media, your website and your outlet. Write down a press release about your plans and send it to a few journalists.

 

View article here

Save Local Now’s commitment to inspire people to shop locally is near and dear to our hearts. We know how challenging it can be to try and get your community fired up about buying local. You might think you are just one business and nothing you do will have any impact, but I beg to differ. Here is a quick list of things you might want to try out this year that will really make a difference in your communities efforts to buy locally.

1. Meet your neighbors (and tell your customers about them) – From my own personal experiences with the communities I’ve lived in, as well as from the communities we work with, I’ve learned one thing. The more businesses promote their neighbors, the better and more thriving the community is as a whole. You should make friendly suggestions to your customers on other businesses they should check out. This will reassure them that you are a trustworthy business owner and not just out for your own profit, and it will also inspire people to keep checking out local businesses and keep returning to your town. Your neighboring businesses might return the favor and send people your way, and soon your whole community could become a giant web of local networking. I’ve seen this happen-there is nothing more powerful.

2. Join (or help out) local organizations – Aside from your local chamber of commerce, there are probably a multitude of other small organizations you could become involved in. Some might say they don’t have the funds or time to join all of these, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t get involved.

  • You could reach out to organizations and tell them you would like to volunteer once a year for their big event.
  • You could tell YPO’s they may host their next networking event in your business space.
  • You could offer a discount to any member of the local book club.

However you want to do it, my bet is you will see some more business coming your way by word of mouth. Local organizations are usually just that: organized, and helping them out once in a while could mean extending your marketing efforts 3 fold!

3. No brainer: Buy Locally – Make it a point to frequent other businesses not just as a business owner but as a customer. Other business owners will appreciate it and will often return the favor. Use local suppliers, local farmers, and local services for all of your businesses needs as well as that of your personal life. It will show the rest of your community that you are standing behind them, so they can in turn, stand behind you!

4. Take local global – Register your community in national, or even world wide competitions or write into travel magazines to tell them about why they should check out your town. Sometimes there is only so much you can do locally and you need to let the rest of the world know why THEY should come to your town. Highlight the things that make your town unique and don’t underestimate how weird quirks can attract attention. I promise you there are people out there looking for just the kind of beautiful little town that is your community.

5. Create $LN awareness – In order for Save Local Now to have it’s affect on your community, you need to get people using it! I know I say this a lot but the bottom line is, being a free service to both consumers and businesses, we aren’t the ones who will benefit from people using $LN, YOU will. So tell your friends, family, community, organizations, newspapers, and schools. Tell them to try Save Local Now and stay up to date with everything local.

Small Business Saturday is a tradition started in 2010 by American Express to encourage consumers to visit their local and smaller sized businesses. Falling on the day after Black Friday when big box stores are knocking down prices (and sometimes people) to get rid of products, Small Business Saturday offers shoppers a more comfortable experience with unique items. We obviously think it is a good idea to shop local any time of the year but we love the idea of having a special day for the businesses. Thus, here is a quick checklist for things a small business owner can do to prepare for the day. (Hint: A lot of these you can do using your Save Local Now account!)

Business Champ

___  Visit the American Express Website

They have a lot of free resources for you to use! Everything from logos and printables to shopping bags and doormats to let your customers know you are participating in the event. You can also join community circles and use social media templates to spread the word.

___  Update your email contact list

Clear out the bouncers and add any new ones you might have acquired. Also have fresh email sign up sheets ready for the big day.

___  Create a holiday deal that encourages referrals

There is nothing you can do in your own marketing efforts that outweighs the recommendation of a good friend. With everyone looking to spend some money in the next two months, now is a good time to launch this deal and let it expire after the new year.

___  Create a countdown to the big day

Post it to your social media accounts or send it out in email. Get creative with it! You can post a new picture of some great item in your store with every new day or post something that will be on your menu to entice local shoppers to stop by for the Small Business Specials. If you are a service or less visual business you can still keep it fun by adding quick videos or snap shots of the staff to let people see your fun side!

___  Update your information

A lot of people will be in from out of town. Make sure your address and contact information is correct both on your Save Local Now profile, and on any other travel or business listing sites.

___  Encourage year-round savings

Encourage every new customer who comes through the door on Small Business Saturday to download the Save Local Now app. Remind them that they can find you, and all the other local businesses in the chamber on Save Local Now any time of the year, and even follow their favorites.

We are wishing you all the very best of luck for Small Business Saturday as well as the rest of the holidays! Please remember to check back in with us at the blog for more tips, tricks, and holiday fun! Also, If you have a great holiday idea or story to share with us please do so at blog@savelocalnow.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

1. Shopping local creates jobs.

Most local stores hire within the community. Making them successful allows them to hire more people, which creates more jobs, and therefore more money spent locally!

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2. Shopping local saves you money.

It might appear cheaper in big box stores or online but every little bit counts…including gas and shipping. When you shop at the store that you can walk to you won’t have to pay for any of that! Who doesn’t want to save on gas?!

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3. Local, independent shops do more to give back to the community.

Most local businesses do a lot to support our communities through local charities, schools, and community events. Doing good feels great!


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4. Better customer service.

Studies have shown us time and time again that people receive better customer service when they shop locally.

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5. Avoiding Walmart.

Do we have to say more?

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6. Shopping local keeps services in business.

Local shops go hand in hand with the local services such as the tailor, hairdresser and banker. If there are no shops then there are no services…which means you’d have to cut your own hair.

 

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7. Keep dollars Local

Fact: Locally owned businesses put a greater revenue share back into the local economy compared to chain stores.

 

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8. Support entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is what fuels America’s economy. Be patriotic! Support innovation and prosperity!

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9. Help the environment.

Not only are you helping your wallet by not spending money on transportation; you’re also helping the environment. Shopping local means less sprawl, congestion, habitat loss, and pollution.

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10. Local shops offer more unique products.

Shopping locally provides you with the opportunity to discover something different. You’re not likely to find the same thing at a local store as you would at the mall. Find something unique like a vintage prom dress or maybe even a unicorn!

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Don’t forget: Small business Saturday is November 30th. Get out and buy local! Use the Save Local Now app to find all the great deals and holiday events your local stores have to offer!

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The holiday season is among us! I know, hard to believe right? So, how are you going to get crowds to deck the halls at your business this year? Don’t worry if you don’t have an answer to that just yet, we’ve got a few tips to help you out!

Host an Event

Hosting events is a great way to promote yourself and get people going through the door. Think about it, are you more likely to go to a mall with smelly food courts and pretentious stores or, go to that really cute store around the corner that’s hosting an event that gives you free cupcakes with purchase? I vote cupcake. If your feeling really creative, get that local cupcake store to work with you. Cross promotion is the best way to get the local community involved and it’s a win win for both of you! Be creative and festive also by hanging up decorations and playing seasonal music to get people in the holiday spirit. You can also take to social media. Hold Facebook competitions where winners receive prizes that encourage them to come to the store. You’ll not only build your following, but you’ll also get more shoppers in your store.

Sell Small

Everyone’s looking for a great way to save. Selling products that make good gifts makes everyone happy. Put together a small gift package like roll on perfumes, travel sized hair products, lotions, and packets of tea and voila you’ve got a great product you’re customers will love and appreciate. These items can be marketed as great stocking stuffer too! It’s also a great way to get shoppers to sample your products as well, which will encourage them to come back again and again which brings us to our final tip…

Encourage Loyal Customers

Everyone wants to feel like they matter, and you should be treating your loyal customers like VIP. These loyalty programs can be super effective during the holiday season. It can be as simple as sending them a holiday card or giving them a free ornament with purchase. These little things mean a lot to the customer and makes them feel like they get something special when they shop with you. Your employees also deserve a little appreciation. Host a Christmas party or have an employee appreciation night and allow them to bring their friends. Show them how grateful you are for their hard work and maybe they’ll be encouraged to work even harder.

Of course we’ll always be here to provide more ideas but these quick tips should help get you started! What are you waiting for? GO!

Here are 3, simple, kick-butt tips that will help grow your business, bring in more customers, and make YOU money. Be sure to log into your $LN account and put these great tips to use!

  1. Download the app: You’re business is already on it, so download the app (iPhone or Android) and see what the buzz is all about!
  2. Choose a $LN Ninja: Choose someone to be in charge of posting deals and events! You don’t need to hire anyone, either you or one of your current employees can be in charge of keeping your business on $LN current.  Click Here to view the $LN ninja plan of attack. Hay-ya!
  3. Educate & Engage your employees: Save Local Now will bring customers to your door, so it’s important that your employees understand how $LN works, and even more important you get them excited about it.  Make sure every employee has the $LN app downloaded on their smart phones and that they use it! Not only will they stay informed about your business, but they will also save some bucks at other chamber businesses. Be sure to ask them for feedback on deals, promotions and events. Employees are the best source of customer feedback and inspiration, so ask them what customers may want to see from you. Who knows? One lucky employee may just become your $LN ninja..

That’s it, that’s all it takes to reap some of the great benefits of $LN’s free platform. If you want even more tips, tricks, and help. Check back with us here at the blog for business articles and $LN advice on how to best market yourself locally!