Are You Practicing Good Business Habits?
There are many factors that go into creating and building a successful business. Working with YP℠, we have identified five things we think are particularly crucial for small businesses to employ. You don’t necessarily need to practice any or all of them to succeed, but your chances of success will be greater if you do embrace at least a few of these good business habits.
When you’re busy running the day-to-day operations of your business, it can be difficult to take a step back and consider letting go of bad behaviors (and then learning good ones to replace those behaviors). Fortunately, these habits are not difficult to learn. We’re talking about:
- Having a consistent and accurate online presence across all your websites and social platforms
- Making sure your business profile is full of rich content, such as videos, images, and reviews
- Creating a well-designed, easy-to-navigate website
- Answering your business phone
- Having a solid social media marketing strategy
To learn more about these good business habits, please join YP and me on Wednesday, May 3 at 2 pm ET for a webinar on the 5 Fabulous Habits of Local Business Champions.
In the meantime, let’s talk a little more in-depth about one of these habits I’m particularly passionate about: making sure you have a solid social media strategy.
If you feel like a social media novice, don’t worry. It isn’t as complex as you might think. The first thing you need to think about is what social platforms are most relevant for your business to use to engage customers. Don’t try to be active on all of them – even the “Big 6” (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest) – unless you have a dedicated staff and a big budget to manage them all. Otherwise, it’ll become an impossible task for you to manage on your own. The most logical place to engage with both current and potential customers is on the platform of their choice. Ask your client base where they’d prefer to engage with you – and then build your social media presence accordingly.
It’s also important to pay attention to which platforms your competitors are most active on. Be sure to sign up on all those social channels and follow them. Another great way to keep tabs on the competition is to join app-based communities that dominate your industry – like Houzz for remodelers and interiors designers or TripAdvisor for the hospitality industry.
As you go through the process of deciding which platforms to be on, you should also think about the specific purpose that each social media channel serves. For example, LinkedIn is the number one platform for job searching, recruiting, and business-to-business (B2B) engagement. Facebook, on the other hand, leads the charge for branded content and business-to-consumer (B2C) engagement. And if your business is in an industry with visual appeal – from design to fashion to cosmetics to food – Instagram and Pinterest are a must.
Once you get your social media efforts up and running – and remember, the key to success in social is to engage with consumers, not to simply broadcast messages out to them – be sure to monitor the analytics provided by each of the platforms to see what kinds of posts and other social media content perform the best to engage your target audience. What kind of interactions are your posts, tweets, and photos getting? Do they drive customers to your website or to your brick-and-mortar location? Even though a big part of social media marketing is about building brand awareness, you should also strive to use those tactics to drive traffic, leads, and sales.
To get the most out of social, be sure to create a social media “editorial” calendar to keep yourself organized and to better plan your content. Then, use an app like Hootsuite or TweetDeck to schedule your posts in advance. Doing this will free you up significantly so you can spend more of your time engaging with consumers directly.
As a rule of thumb, whenever you post a piece of content, be sure to include a visual alongside it. Numerous studies have shown that posts with images get higher engagement and click-through rates, overall. And if you’re looking to boost traffic, consider buying social ads. The great thing about social media is that you can narrowly target prospects – by demographics, interests, locations, or other factors – and reach them in a cost-effective way. Try testing out a few different ad formats to get started and then see what works best for your business.
Don’t forget – please join YP and me on Wednesday, May 3 at 2 pm ET for a webinar on the 5 Fabulous Habits of Local Business Champions.