We’re a week away from Thanksgiving and a time we all reflect on what we’re thankful for and how we can give back to those less fortunate than ourselves. This week’s Trending on Thursday details some great tips to help you get a donation drive quickly up and running at your small business. We also provide advice for getting your share of the millennial/gen Z dollar, and take a look at why small businesses should be on Instagram.

Keep reading for this week’s #smallbiz roundup and tweet us at @MarlinBusiness with how you’re giving back this holiday season. We’ll be off next week for Thanksgiving – we hope you get some quality time with family and friends!

  1. Trending on Thursday: How to Get a Donation Drive Up and Running at Your Small BusinessYou may think it is easier to just throw old or lightly used items away instead of donating them. It often seems like the process of donating clothing items, electronics or even office furnishings to charity is too cumbersome or time-consuming for individuals – or for your small business. However, organizing and planning for a charitable donation drive isn’t as difficult as you might think. This Small Biz Trends article by David William lays out some helpful tips for pulling one together, and details some other great benefits, such as helping the environment, getting your office organized, and making your donations tax-deductible.
  1. Building brand loyalty among consumers is complicated at best. But companies who hope to cultivate a strong following among the youngest generations, including millennials and generation Z, have some serious wooing to do. These consumers have grown up in a very different environment than previous generations, and have a distinct way of viewing the world. To help us out, Deep Patel has put together some helpful tips in this Entrepreneur article regarding how brands can capture the attention and loyalty of these two burgeoning segments of the population.
  1. trendingnov172Small and midsized businesses with fewer resources and smaller social marketing teams usually allocate their resources carefully, which likely means focusing on fewer sites with larger audiences. With less overhead for social campaigns, small businesses could be more agile and take more chances. Yet most seem reluctant to take a chance on a non-core social network. A recent survey shows that about 76 percent of small business owners do not use Instagram, which is a missed opportunity according to Social Times’ Kimberlee Morrison. She said, “This is a major oversight, as Instagram could easily work wonders for small business by catering to the potential niche appeal of their marketing.”
  1. As the use of video grows, so too do the number of small businesses that rely on YouTube to deliver sales, training and other educational information. YouTube has enhanced its comments section with cool new features which promise to make it easier for creators to build a community and show extra love to their die-hard fans. Now, it’s possible to “pin” comments to the top of a thread. These tools will make the service more business-friendly and improve your visitors’ experience. Check out this The Next Web article for more details.
  1. Kind words are worth much and cost little. This creates opportunity: when you can’t out-spend the competition, the solution is to out-support them. While strict rules restrain creativity and spontaneity, that doesn’t mean proven principles should fall on deaf ears. There are a number of customer service tips that have been used time and time again to create great experiences, and you need to know about them. This Inc. article details the 12 recurring tips that all of the best support departments have in common.