Wishing You A New Year to be Thankful For

I don’t know about you but the first day back after the Winter holidays is always challenging. You’ve woken up earlier than you have in a fortnight, you’re bleary eyed but you have a list of goals for 2015 to hand and you’re damned if you’re going to let a little fight with the alarm clock get you off to a bad start.

Goals

Out-Smarts Goals 2015Goals, written down, in hand (because if you right them down you are more likely to follow through), you land at your desk. You’ve had the good sense to tidy up your space over the holidays and everything is spic and span but where is the rechargeable battery for your mouse….

And maybe you should just have another cup of coffee.

Getting down to business.

Getting down to the business of avoiding procrastination is probably easier at this time of year than after any other break because we are motivated by the new start but it can also be hard, with all these fresh new ideas knocking around in your head, to actually get down to the business of getting things done.

My advice on getting down to business is to take a tip from Santa, make a list of things you will do today to help you achieve your 2015 goals, you don’t have to worry about the checking it twice (sorry that’s so last month). Prioritize that list in order of importance and then just get your head down and get started. The key to getting this right though is to focus and that means avoiding distraction. Don’t get sidetracked by a cute cat videos or a discussion on Facebook about accents (this happened to me just yesterday). Work on each list item till you are done and before you know it the first work day of the New Year is over and you’ve achieved everything you’ve set out to do for the first day of the year at least.  And may this set the precedence for the New Year.

Incidentally, what are your goals for 2015? Do you even make any? Only 10% of resolutions are carried through to the end of the year they were conceived in so I can see why you might not bother. What do you do to kick start your year? Any tips or tricks you would like to share?

A New Year to Be Thankful For

Wishing you a year to be thankful for in 2015 regardless of your goals and how you go about achieving them. Unless of course your goal is to set up or implement your online strategy, in that case give us a shout, we would love to help.

 


Facebook Wall – #GetReal

Facebook can be a great place for small businesses to build community, loyalty and awareness. It can even level the playing field with larger competitors. It is important to remember, when using Facebook for your small business, not to hide behind your wall or try to make your business out to be something it isn’t. Be authentic, transparent and genuine – get out from behind your wall from time to time because the best online presences are those that reflect, augment and intertwine with your everyday functions.Slide1

 


How to Reach More Followers on Facebook For Free

Over the last few years the reach of our Facebook page posts has eroded. Gone are the days when you could post an update on your small business page and be safe in the knowledge that most followers would see it.  Now fewer than 6% of your followers will see your posts organically and this is expected the decline Facebook Reacheven further if you look at reach patterns over the last few years and take into account Facebook’s need to please shareholders:

What Can Small Businesses Do to Extend Their Organic Reach on Facebook?

If Facebook is key for your audience, don’t despair! Here are 5 simple tips that have worked for us to help us extend our reach and those of our clients on Facebook for free – hope they work for you too!

Free Tactics to Extend the Reach of Your Facebook Posts

1.Use hashtags – I know that there is a big debate about hashtags on Facebook but if you use them sparingly and in a highly targeted way, they will extend the reach of your posts organically.

2. Post photographs of you, your team, your partners and your clients and tag them personally. Doing so will help your posts reach and be seen by their networks.

3. Content is still key – the better your content, the more likely people will find it and share it, so create content that really educates, builds knowledge and helps others.

4. Engage others – know your community and make sure you are following the pages and profiles of prominent people in your industry. Share their content where appropriate. What goes around comes around – the more you share, the more others will do the same with your posts. You can also get creative and invite them to participate (check out our latest podcast for example).

5. Post at the right time – the optimum time to post will depend on your audience and take some experimentation to determine. Many people don’t have access to Facebook during the day so evenings can be a great time to post.  We have used this to post page reach for many of our clients by as much as 300%.

Paid Solutions to Extend Facebook Reach

The last option, one I hear a lot, is to use Facebook promoted posts and pay to have them appear to your audience and whilst it is true that you can reach 500 or so followers for a small amount ($1 or so), it all adds up. I recently saw a statement from Moz’s Brian Carter, “If you can’t spend $30 per month ($1 per day on Facebook Ads), you shouldn’t be in business.”  That is all very well (and condescending) for Mr. Carter to say but for many small businesses, particularly start ups, their money might be better spent elsewhere and they might get more value for their time on other networks like LinkedIn or Google+ for example (just because there are over 1 billion Facebook users doesn’t mean that it is the best tool for you to engage your target audience).

What works for you on Facebook? What innovative approaches have you taken to extend your reach? Please share your tips here as well!


The Out-Smarts Podcast #35 with Michela Quilici

Michela QuiliciEach month for the Out-Smarts podcast I talk with local small business people and ask them to share with us how they’ve used social media and the Internet to grow their business and to tell us their top 3 tips for business growth.

This month I had the pleasure of sitting down with business partner and colleague Michela Quilici of Q Consulting. Listen up!

Q Consulting