Now is the time when many people make personal resolutions for the year ahead. This year we encourage you to think about your business goals too, specifically those around your social media and online activity. Here we offer some recommendations for social media for your business in 2016.

  1. Take a moment to look back at what you’ve already accomplished. Look at things like: what worked, what didn’t, where you fell short, what surprised you. Write, or type these things out to get a big picture view of your situation.
  2. Set goals. Use your big picture as a stepping stone to create goals for 2016. People often lob out goals like increasing revenue and growing the number of followers, but think deeper than that. What would really be meaningful to your specific business in 2016? Several of my clients recognize the value of earned trust and referrals so we have goals around increasing the amount of content that gets shared by their existing fans. Others are really hyper focused on tracking codes and referral links. Think of the things that you’d be really interested to know by the end of the year. Whatever your goals are, set yourself up to achieve them! Set monthly mini milestones that allow you to spot check along the way, understand your progress, and set you up for success. Know how you’re going to track your progress and hit the ground running.
  3. Get invested in visuals – both still and video. People are visual which makes photo and video increasingly important to promoting your brand and connecting with your audience online. Don’t let this overwhelm you. You can honestly start with a good smartphone and some visual tools. We’ve outlined a few of our favorites below.
  4. Tools, tools, tools. The right tools can make your time spent online so much more efficient and enjoyable. Find the ones that work for you. A few of our favorites include:
    1. Evernote – A workspace that syncs across devices. It does it all. Couldn’t run my business without it.
    2. Canva – The easiest design program ever! Honestly.
    3. Sprout Social  – Cross platform social media management. Awesome reporting built in.
    4. Post Planner – Social media management tool built to help you source content to share.
    5. Skitch – A screen capture tool and so much more. (Part of Evernote) I honestly use it every day.
    6. WordPress – An online publishing platform for blogs and websites. Most of our client sites are on WordPress.
    7. Adobe Photoshop – Photo editing software. Not for the newbie to run with, but its a powerhouse.
    8. Firebug – A web development tool that tracks and analyzes the behind-the-scenes stuff.
    9. WooCommerce – Our favorite WordPress theme!
  5. Consider advertising on social media. It’s relatively inexpensive compared to traditional marketing and the targeting capabilities are phenomenal. Hire a professional (ahem, that’s us!) to help you get started if you don’t have someone on staff that’s intimately familiar with the intricacies.
  6. Blog. Blog often. Then use that content to feed your social channels.
  7. Enable social sharing. Set up your website and all online entities including email, email signatures and customer/vendor portals for social sharing.  Include share buttons that make it easy for people to find you across platforms and share content with their own community.
  8. Resolve to listen and be present. Know where your target audience is and join them. Engage on a consistent basis. Comment, share, like, retweet….be available and connected. This will help ensure you are listening to your audience and learning what is valuable and important to them. This is the key to creating your own engaging content.
  9. Build your list. You own your email list. Let us repeat, you own your email list. As much as we love social media, you don’t own your Facebook page or Instagram account the way you do your email list. So covet your email list, cultivate it, grow it and get to know it. It is vitally important to both the present and the future of your business.
  10. Have fun. Really. Find your own voice for your business. Bring humor and authenticity into your online community. When you are passionate about your business and enjoy what you do, it shows. Let your audience get to know you, the people that make your business great. Your efforts will be rewarded handsomely.

2016 is going to be a great year for social media and online marketing. Platforms continue to evolve and adapt to consumer needs while creating increasingly targeted opportunities for businesses to market to them. If you need assistance with your social media, website or online strategy we encourage you to look over our services here at Coastal Mountain Creative and contact us for a complimentary consultation.