Sep 24 2012
You’ve seen a flash mob, where groups of people spontaneously break out in song and/or dance. You may have even heard about flash robs, cat mobs and other types of mobs around the country. By now, hopefully you have also heard of a cash mob – the grassroots, community-led movement targeting locally-owned businesses and want to learn how to plan a cash mob.
Planning a cash mob in your area is a fun and simple way to stimulate the local economy, raise awareness about locally–owned businesses and inspire others. While it may seem like a big time commitment, following these easy steps on how to plan a cash mob ensures that your first event is a success in your community.
Step One: Create social media accounts for your area.
Social media is one of the quickest and most effective platforms for advertising and marketing. We recommend that you create both a Facebook and Twitter account, but you can also use Pinterest, Google +, YouTube and other channels as well to help spread the word.
Step Two: Choose a deserving, locally-owned business.
Choosing a deserving, locally-owned business is perhaps the most crucial step in knowing how to plan a cash mob effectively. Your best bet is to pick a location that has allegiance to the area and is active in the community. Promote the stores that give back to charities, local schools and other local organizations or the businesses that are struggling financially.
Another option is to let the community vote for the most deserving recipient. This in and of itself does wonders in regards to promoting your event. Each of the businesses in the running will do their part in helping to spread the word. The next time you plan a cash mob, you can re-enter the remaining stores in the poll.
In most cases, you do not want to reveal the target business until just before the mob takes place. Much like flash mobs, the appeal of a cash mob is in the essence of surprise; however, you do want to make sure you notify the business (es) you choose for the cash mob so they can prepare for the event (with extra personnel, extra merchandise and/or additional business hours)
Step Three: Choose a meeting spot
Once you have nailed a target business, you need to plan the event details. Where will people meet? What time will the event take place? How long will the event last? Will you promote an ‘after party?’
Pick a meeting place that is well-known in your community (such as a town square, chamber of commerce or well-known landmark) and within walking distance to the targeted business. Gather your mobbers approximately 15-20 minutes before the event, and make the grand announcement just minutes before the mob. Tell everyone about the meeting place on your social media channels (But remember: keep the business that is being mobbed a secret!)
Step Four: Spread the word
Once you have hammered out the event details, spread the word. Use email, newsletters, flyers, radio, local newspapers, tv stations and social media. Educate the public about the concept of a cash mob and how spending locally has a 75% greater impact on the local economy than spending in big box retailers. Make sure you give yourself at least 2-3 weeks to get the word out there.
Step Five: Recruit your friends, family and co-workers
Recruit family members, friends and co-workers to attend your event and get involved. Have them share the information on their personal social media networks as well to fuel the trend to an even broader audience. You want the event to attract people of all ages and varieties. The old mantra “the more the merrier” definitely holds true for cash mobs!
Step Six: Reveal the location
Once the day of the event finally arrives, use your social media channels to send last minute reminders about the meeting place and time. Once everyone has gathered at your designated meeting place, reveal the target of the mob and explain any additional rules. Then, let the fun begin.
Step Seven: Celebrate
Once your cash mob event is over, the only thing left to do is celebrate. Meet at a local bar or watering hole to meet new people, discuss the successes and plan the next cash mob event.
Planning a cash mob is not difficult, but it does require adequate publicity and planning in order to be successful. If you follow these steps, you are sure to enjoy a successful and positive event that supports local businesses.