How to get your business ready for the new year & beyond

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It’s always humorous when we start talking about the following year, and we’re only a few months into the current one. But something about this upcoming year induces fewer laughs and smirks because, well, it’s different.

How different? Well, the internet first became public nearly three decades ago. And businesses began adopting it for commercial use in 1991. Business owners have had the opportunity to conduct themselves on the internet (or watch others doing so) with their websites alone for quite some time now.

Having a website isn’t enough anymore. And surprisingly, brick and mortar mean almost nothing for small businesses and consultants these days, especially with the concept of dropshipping. Let’s face it, E-commerce and social media are here to not only stay but grow and evolve.

It’s no surprise that a website isn’t enough anymore. It would be best to have a social media presence, a pattern of consistency, and reliability to start getting a following going. And no, having a younger family member who has little digital media experience won’t cut it. For some jobs, you need to pay for quality. Social media is no exception among similar roles such as marketing expert or web designer.

Once you do get your business on social media, it should be light or soft sell or no selling at all. People on social media do not tolerate pushy tactics and only look for creative, value-inspiring content, promotions, and events. Be careful because most often, boosting a post is a waste of money and time.

First, your content should be mobile-friendly. Content includes cover photos and profile photos.

When you put up a post, it needs to be informative and provide precious and meaningful insights. Visual creativity consistently earns extra points in today’s digital landscape as well, and quite honestly, there’s no room for typos, especially with auto-correct in use.

Using hashtags has gotten out of hand. Not in the volume of use, but in the incorrect ways people have started to use them. Hashtags are similar to using keywords when searching online for information. When used on social platforms, hashtags allow you to find related posts or relevant content. But unfortunately, people use them excessively and assign them to material that has no relevance to the hashtag they are using, or they assign them randomly to various posts.

Beyond hashtags and post structure, if you are operating a business and want a substantial online presence, make sure you sign up for and claim your Google My Business listing and Yelp listing. You will need to have a physical address for these to work correctly.

Outside of the two major listing sites mentioned above, make sure you set up your YouTube channel for the business, Twitter account, and any other major social media platforms like Instagram if you haven’t done so already. Signing up for these puts your business name into a higher search ranking with Google. Be sure to link your Facebook and Instagram business accounts since both platforms are integrated and owned by Facebook.

Finally, you will want to look at setting up a Facebook Business account and corresponding Facebook Ad account, so you can create a Facebook Pixel and have the pixel code installed onto your website. This last piece is critical for businesses that will want to reach massive audiences in the future on these platforms and their linked affiliates.

Even if you aren’t using social media for advertising, there is a high likelihood that you will do so in the future. Having these pieces in place now will lay the solid foundation without delay and will ensure more success down the road when you are ready to advertise on the platform.

Facebook has an advertising feature called Lookalike audience creation. After each company’s pixel has been “seasoned” and running for some time, it allows a Facebook Ad Manager to create an almost identical audience in personality type and interests as their most frequently visiting customers. This process is essential and unlocks the ability for businesses to advertise to more people who are similar to their ideal customers.

Get ready for the future, have the right tools and the right team in place. 2020 is coming, and we should all be ready. If you need some help with any of the items we mention in this article, this is what we love to do. Just ask us for help!

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