Love is in the air, so make sure your small business takes part in all the romance, ardor and consumer spending of the Valentine’s holiday. It might be a little late to put all these ideas into motion this year, but you can start making plans for next Valentine’s Day. With annual spending for Valentine’s Day averaging $13.19 billion, you’ll want your piece of the pie (or chocolate heart). Here are some ideas to make your business bloom:
Celebrate customers’ love stories: Did you hear about the latest United Airlines promotion? The airline asked for couples who made a love connection on United to submit their stories to the airline and the lucky couple received free airline tickets. What kind of love story promotion (if appropriate) can you do with your business? It doesn’t have to be something the couple did in your store or with your business. For example: Submit the most romantic gift you ever received or describe your most romantic Valentine’s date. You could have customers post their Valentine’s date on Instagram. It doesn’t have to be a big prize (a discount, a freebie, a week of free service). Customers love to share their stories!
Do something good for others: The Case Foundation has lots of good ideas about how to give back to your community as a gesture of love and good will on Valentine’s Day. Ideas include having you and your employees volunteer at a local soup kitchen, animal shelter, or favorite nonprofit. You could also have your business hold a fundraising event like a dinner or silent auction and donate the profits to a charity. Also, think about next year. You could reach out to soldiers overseas and have customers send them valentines (and maybe gifts) from your business.
Being green. Show your love for the environment by offering tips for your customers to live green. Own a design business? Suggest ways for customers to make their homes and offices more environmentally conscious. If you’re a retailer, you could hand out reusable shopping bags and spotlight your “green” products.
Random Acts of Kindness (RAK): RAK 2014 takes place February 10-16, 2014. Check the Random Acts of Kindness website for ideas on how to celebrate RAK week in your business. Random acts last year included surprising employees with treats or hosting a food drive.
Socialize it: Valentine’s Day is a great time to promote your business on Instagram and Pinterest. Take pictures of your Valentine’s promotions, sales and events and share them on your social media sites. And don’t forget about shooting short videos for Vine and Facebook!
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.