SMSSmall Business Saturday was started by American Express five years ago to help small business compete for Holiday sales. (It was also a marketing coup for American Express.)  Falling between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this initiative has been growing steadily.  Last year, a survey found that $5.7 billion was spent by consumers who knew about this program, thanks, in no small part, to the aggressive advertising done by American Express.  AMEX also invited businesses to join as “Neighborhood Champions” rewarding them with a variety of marketing resources and promotional items.  If you missed the deadline for applying to become a Neighborhood Champion this year, there are still a few things that small businesses can do to capture the momentum of this day.  Why not augment the aggressive Social Media Marketing being done by American Express and others on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other sites. Here are a few ideas:

Twitter: Start tweeting now! Use #shopsmall or #smallbusinesssaturday and focus on specific products, your special offers, and links to your website and Pinterest board.

Facebook: Feature your products in posts with the shopsmall or #smallbusinesssaturday. Use a Local Awareness Ad to be posted on November 29 so that people in your area will know you are participating.

Pinterest: Start a Small Business Saturday pin board with images of your store, your merchandise, coupons, specials, or even images from your community, showing the other stores people might want to visit in your area.

Blog: Blog about Small Business Saturday, talking about what it means to you, how you have participated in the past or how you will participate this year. Then post the blog links to Facebook and Twitter. Add a great image and pin to Pinterest and add it to your Google+ page.

Website:  Add a Notice or, better yet, a special page for Small Business Saturday, explaining how you will participate. If you have photos from last year, add those.

Google+: Add your blog post, coupons and special offers. Make the images attractive. Be sure to add a link back to your Website Page.

Email:  Send an e-blast to your database, personally inviting them to your store.  Add a special incentive if they bring a friend.

Partner:  If you are in a mall or neighborhood with other businesses, cross-post on all of the social sites.  Add signs in each of the stores inviting patrons to the other stores in the area.

SmallBizSat:  Each year free Ads are offered, sign up by November 14, 2014 and your business could get a free Ad.  See Small Business Saturday for details.   You can also get marketing materials (logos, templates, etc.) to help promote the event.

Hashtag:  Be sure to use the official hashtag in your Social Media Updates – #SmallBizSat.

Finally, get creative! This is your day to shine.  Make it fun, make it memorable, and make sales!