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You’re probably spending a fair amount of money on advertising your small business to potential clients and customers. Did you know most of your marketing and advertising can be written off as a tax deduction to lower your tax bill?

Whether you’ve got a whole marketing team running the show or you just purchased your first  ad, most money spent on promoting your small business is tax deductible.

According to the IRS, the criteria that your advertising expense must meet to qualify as a deduction is that it is ordinary (i.e. common and accepted in your industry) or necessary (i.e. helpful and appropriate for your business). Marketing and advertising are both essential to growing and promoting your business, which makes them ordinary and necessary.

Just because the IRS terms an advertising expense as “ordinary” doesn’t mean you can’t be creative when it comes to ways you advertise. As long as the purpose is to bring in new customers and keep existing ones, you should be covered. Just be sure you know and document the business purpose.

The few exceptions include expenses that are used primarily for personal use or gain, not business promotion. In addition, though donating products or money to a community event or charity are tax deductible, donating services or time are not. Again, be sure to know and be able to show how the expense benefits your business. When in doubt about a specific advertising expense and if it’s tax deductible, ask your accountant.

20 Common Tax-Deductible Advertising Expenses for Small Businesses

Here’s a list of the top 20 most common advertising expenses for small business owners to keep in mind come tax season. All of these are tax-deductible:

  1. Website set-up, design, and maintenance
  2. Pay-per-click ads and online advertisements (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.)
  3. Social media promotions
  4. Promotional materials with your logo such as t-shirts, mugs, pens, notepads and more
  5. Graphic design fees: logos, business cards, brochures, signs, printed or online advertisements, flyers, or other promotional materials designed professionally
  6. Printing of promotional materials: business cards, flyers, postcards, brochures, and coupons
  7. Storefront signs
  8. Vehicle signs or vinyl decals for windows
  9. Giveaways and promotions
  10. Radio advertisements
  11. Magazine or newspaper advertisements
  12. Television commercials
  13. Balloons, decorations, refreshments, and any other expenses incurred for parties or open houses promoting your business
  14. SEO services
  15. Packaging, design, and materials for your products

Tax-Deductible Goodwill Advertising Expenses

The following are considered goodwill advertising expenses and are tax deductible as well. Goodwill advertising is any type of promotion that keeps your small business in the public eye.

16. Sponsoring a youth sports team in your community such as little league baseball or soccer

17. Money donated to a school, charity, or local cause

18. Participating in a parade to promote your business, such as handing out flyers, candy, frisbees, pens, or shirts

19. Giving away products or samples

20. Advertisements encouraging people to donate to a certain charity, like the Red Cross

Did you know you can deduct Halloween candy from your taxes? As a business, you can use Halloween candy as a tax write-off if you figure out a way to make it business-related.

Here are five ways on how to make Halloween candy tax-deductible this October:

  1. Make a promotion out of it. Attach your business card or a promotional flyer to packets of M&M’s and voila! Deductible.
  2. There are many companies that will print candy wrappers with your logo on it. This is a more advanced way to promote your business and still have something for trick-or-treaters.
  3. Send a box of candy to potential or existing clients this October. These gifts help promote your business and build relationships that can boost your sales. It might also be a nice, unexpected (and early!) surprise for clients who might be expecting a Christmas card rather than a Halloween treat.
  4. Donate any leftover candy to the US troops. Read more about that, here. “Charitable organizations with 501(3)c status like Operation Gratitude (EIN 20-0103575) and Soldiers’ Angels (EIN 20-0583415) collect leftover Halloween candy to include in care packages for soldiers. They are two of many 501(c)3 organizations on the IRS-approved list to donate tax-deductible charitable goods. Always be sure to check the IRS list before claiming your donations are tax-deductible, as status can change.”
  5. Make it a party. You can deduct a portion of a Halloween party if the party is to conduct or promote business. Typically, this looks like an open house of some sort where you mingle with current and potential clients, play a few Halloween games, give out candy and treats, and discuss business. The IRS does not specify how much time you must spend discussing the business to claim a deduction, so party on!

 

The candy you purchase to stand at your front door and hand out to neighborhood kids is likely not tax-deductible. But hey, those little smiling monsters on your doorstep are worth the money, aren’t they

When you run a small business, the title, owner, translates to: head of marketing, inventory manager, customer service rep, etc. It’s impossible to stay on top of everything unless you develop organizational habits.

Learning to be more organized is essential to living a balance and happy life. However, there are a few direct benefits to becoming organized. First, being organized helps to lower stress. We don’t have to tell you what relieving a little stress can do for your health. Second, by developing organizational habits you can become more effective. Which means you can do more with your business and improve your life.

Conquering these 5 organizational habits can help you stay on top of all the tasks pulling at you and help you grow a successful business.

Organizational Habit 1: Prioritize Your To-Do List

The first organizational habit you should develop is utilizing to-do lists. A simple to-do list on your phone can free up so much space in your head.

A to-do list is a great place to start but in order to be more organized you’ll have to go beyond just listing things out. Learning how to prioritize your to-do list is going to simplify your life.

When you don’t know how to prioritize, you end up being overwhelmed by a long list of things to do and you don’t accomplish anything, at least not fully. You must be able to pick out the most important items on your list and do them first. Not only is a prioritized to-do list going to give you more direction, it can also free up some of your time.

Once you prioritize what you need to do, you can delegate any tasks that don’t require your attention to your team. Learning to delegate is a life saver as a small business owner.

Organizational Habit 2: Prepare for Tomorrow

Everyone wants to be able to leave their work behind and relax at the end of the day, even small business owners. However, there is always a list of things that need to be done. This organizational habit will help you leave work behind so that you aren’t constantly thinking about it.

Before you leave work for the day, take a couple of minutes to jot down any tasks that need to be done the next day. This will help you in two ways. First, a good brain dump will free up your mind. So, instead of spending all night remembering tasks that need to be done, you can spend five or ten minutes at work to think and jot them down. Now you can relax for the rest of the evening. Second, when you come into work the next day you won’t waste time trying to figure out what you need to do. You’ll already have a list of tasks to complete and you can prioritize those and get going.

Keep Track of Your Time

Organizational Habit 3: Keep Things Tidy

There is a huge correlation between a cluttered space and a cluttered mind. In order to focus on your work you need to minimize other distractions, including clutter!

The first step in becoming tidy is having a place for everything. Look around your desk or office and determine what you can store away. What do you need within arms reach? Find a place for everything so that when you’re finished with it you know where it should go. Also, take this time to declutter. The less you have the better!

Once you have a place for everything you must be diligent in keeping things in order. Don’t procrastinate putting things away. It’s also a great to get in the habit of cleaning up your space for a couple minutes every day. Cleaning at the end of the day is a great way to decompress from a day’s work and set yourself up for success tomorrow.

Organizational Habit 4: Scan Important Documents

Being tidy can be relatively easy, until we get hit with a stack of paper. Paper tends to be the biggest contributor to clutter. The simplest way to clear your space and your mind is to get rid of the papers.

Instead of hanging on to every piece of paper learn to toss them. If you think it might be important later, scan it and save it on your computer. If you want to know how long to keep something you can use our guide, How Long to Keep Important Financial Documents.

Organizing Receipts

Receipts are a whole other mess to be tackled. You need to keep track of important receipts, especially anything you plan to use as a business deduction. Anything that isn’t going to be used for tax purposes can be tossed.

The IRS accepts digital copies of receipts, so any important receipts can be scanned and saved for future reference.

It’s good to get in the habit of scanning your receipts and organizing them within files on your computer. You can also add notes along with your receipt so that you know what the expense was for. This will come in handy if you’re audited and have to prove why that lunch was a business expense.

Organizational Habit 5: Keep Track of Your Time

We’re not talking about clocking in and out. You’re the boss. Your paycheck isn’t based on the hours you put in. What we’re talking about here is keeping track of how you spend your time.

There are a lot of different time organizational habits you can choose from. However, the most important thing is to learn how to focus on one task at a time. Whether you time block or use the Pomodoro method, or some other trick,  you have to be able to stick to one thing if you want to organize your time.

Scan Important Documents

An important aspect of time management is learning to minimize distractions. This means turning your phone on silent, closing Facebook and shutting your office door. If you allow too many distractions in your workspace then you won’t be able to focus on your tasks. You’ll spend more time doing simple tasks and you wont’ be able to accomplish nearly as much.

We hope these 5 organizational habits will help you improve your business. Let us know what works for you!

FAQs on Organizational Habits for Small Business Owners:

Why are organizational habits crucial for small business owners?

Small business owners juggle various roles, and being organized helps manage tasks effectively, reducing stress and increasing productivity.

How can I prioritize tasks effectively using to-do lists?

Prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance to streamline workflow and ensure crucial tasks are completed first, enhancing productivity.

Why is preparing for tomorrow important for small business owners?

Preparing tasks in advance allows for a clear mind and efficient workflow, minimizing wasted time and maximizing productivity the following day.

How can I effectively manage paper clutter and important documents?

Scan and digitize important documents to reduce paper clutter, ensuring easy access and organization. Utilize digital receipts and categorize them for efficient record-keeping.

What is the significance of tracking time for small business owners?

Tracking time aids in optimizing productivity by focusing on one task at a time and minimizing distractions. Implementing time management techniques enhances efficiency and task completion.

 

Feeling overwhelmed by all the things you have to do for your business? Cultivating these 5 organizational habits can help you run a better business.

The elusive “work-life balance” we hear so much about these days…does it exist? Any entrepreneur who doesn’t clock in or out at a 9-5 job knows that time is money, especially when your productivity determines your profitability. Here are 8 genius life hacks to get things done as an entrepreneur on the go:

  1. Follow the two minute rule. David Allen, a time management consultant and best-selling author, developed this rule: “If you determine an action can be done in two minutes, you actually should do it right then because it’ll take longer to organize it and review it than it would be to actually finish it the first time you notice it.” Allen suggests cleaning up your inbox, purging your files, setting up appointments and sending a quick email when you have little windows of time throughout the day. If it will take longer than two minutes, save it for later.
  2. Turn off notifications. Keeping social media and email distractions to an absolute minimum allows you to focus on the task at hand. Set aside specific  times of day to check your email, or check it while on the go.
  3. Define your MITs. Decide what your Most Important Task (or tasks) are and make time to get them done. It’s an age-old rule that is practically foolproof. Give yourself several minutes in the morning or even at night to identify 3-5 important things you have to get done. Even if you don’t accomplish anything else that day, you can feel at ease knowing that you were still productive.
  4. Knock out the most important things in the morning. Speaking of MITs, research shows that morning people are more productive and proactive. Getting your MITs done early sets you on a productive path for the day.
  5. Set deadlines for yourself. Write important dates on the calendar and set the completion dates for large tasks before you even start them. Start on them early so that when problems arise, you can troubleshoot and still be done by the deadline you had originally set. Become your own boss and hold yourself to the timeline you set.
  6. Reward yourself for completing a task. It could be a quick stroll outside, a piece of candy, or a new item of clothing you’ve had your eye on. Treat yourself as you close the book on large projects, and allow that to motivate and inspire you to complete the next task. Hint: Be even more productive by completing an unpleasant but necessary task, and then rewarding yourself with a more enjoyable task that still pertains to your business. Example: finish your SEO or PPC advertising for the day, reward yourself with a product photography session or a new blog post.
  7. Stop trying to multitask. There is a plethora of research behind multi-tasking, and the latest completely debunks the possibility. Constant task-switching develops bad habits and makes it nearly impossible to accomplish any one thing. While multitasking helps us feel accomplished and capable, it also produces more stress hormones and kills overall productivity.
  8. Know when it’s time to call it a day. You know yourself well enough to know when enough is enough. If you’ve been staring at your computer screen for 14 hours and feel like you can’t do any more, don’t. You’ll boost productivity in the long run by staying rested and refreshed.
What hacks have worked to boost your productivity as an entrepreneur? Let us know in the comments!

 

business-team

The size of your budget isn’t the only factor that determines the quality, talent, and caliber of employees your company attracts. There are other ways to find employees who genuinely want to work for you, even if you’re not designing iPhones or promoting Ferraris. Here are a few quick tips on attracting and hiring the top talent in your industry:

  • Look for people who share your passion. Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, advises: “Stop looking to hire people just because they have extraordinary resumes or impressive academic records. Look for people who share your passion.” A great employee catches your vision and is eager to help you make it come to life.
  • Know your purpose. If you truly know your purpose and can express it in an understandable, engaging way, people will be more likely to react to it and identify with it. More and more people are seeking job opportunities that provide a purpose and make a difference, not just a high salary.
  • Boost the company culture. While a day on the job is not all fun and games for most, it doesn’t have to be torture either. Make your business an enjoyable place to work by treating your employees well. Be generous with compliments, flexible when necessary, patient, and kind. Be the boss you’d like to work for. Encourage healthy competition among employees by offering incentives and bonuses, and show your employees that you value health, education, and professional development.
  • Help potential hires envision their future with you. Most talented and driven individuals realize they have to start somewhere, even if it’s the low man on the totem pole, before they can end up where they want to be. Use the interview to shed light on what the future may look like at your company for the employee, even if the company as a whole isn’t quite there yet.
  • Offer a great work environment. You don’t have to have massage chairs and pedicures in the break room to offer an enjoyable place to work. A few plants, a clean color pallet, and lots of natural light goes along way in creating a pleasing work environment. Even a simple offering such as free sodas in the fridge or assigned parking spots can help employees feel valued and more engaged at work.
  • Don’t shy away from the awkward topics in a job posting. State exactly what the potential employee can expect on the job, even if it seems mundane. However, you can still liven up the add by highlighting the fun, interesting ways your company engages with employees and some of the perks they can expect from the job. You may or may not choose to put the compensation in the job listing, but keep in mind that it will obviously come up at some point and you’re probably better off to be upfront about it in order to attract the right talent to begin with.

If you get a few of the right employees on your team and treat them well, word is sure to spread. Become a great employer and you won’t need to offer a six figure salary to have talented individuals beating down the door to work for you.

 

Other posts that might interest you

Improve Your Online Presence Part 1: 8 Steps for Reviewing Your Website

Improve Your Online Presence Part 2: Perform a Quarterly Social Media Audit

Improve Your Online Presence Part 3: Contact Information & Review Sites

4 Low Cost and Low Risk Ways to Grow Your Team

Planning Your Summer Marketing Efforts Part 1: Who, What, When, and Where

Planning Your Summer Marketing Efforts Part 2: Celebrating Holiday and Events

Planning Your Summer Marketing Efforts Part 3: Cheap Advertising Tips

Quick Money Management Tips to Build Your Business

Plan for Holiday Success by Hiring Seasonal Employees

How to Create a Succession Plan for Your Small Business

How to Protect Your Small Business from Theft

Now that summer is in full swing and your marketing events are already mapped out, it’s time to execute the plan. Here are a few quick, easy, and CHEAP advertising tips to make your marketing efforts and events amazingly successful this summer.

Gather referrals from happy clients

  • Gather referrals from happy clients and use them as advertisement on social media and your website. Here are a few ideas on soliciting referrals. Take it a step further by rewarding clients who spread the good news about your business by offering them a future discount or small prize.
  • Use social media to your advantage. It’s FREE! Of course, you’ll reach a larger audience with paid social media posts, but you can still reach a huge number of people with thoughtful, quality content. Hint: post a picture with your most important social media announcements. A great image increases people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.
  • Be a comedian. In reference to the tip listed above, skip the stock photos for now and promote your summer business happenings with funny photos of your team. Wear Hawaiian shirts to the office and make a video of everyone sipping snow cones while they work. Be creative and funny and most of all real. (Which is also free, by the way.) Who knows, maybe you’ll even go viral!
  • Offer a freebie. Freebies don’t even have to cost you money. Have a member of your team design a patriotic printable or summer sign to drive traffic to your website. If you’ve got a little cash to spend on summer marketing, set up a lemonade station in your store or throw in a lei with every order you ship out.
  • Use a consistent template to announce events. Design a template that incorporates your logo, and then add the dates and locations of your summer events. This will keep clients in the know about what’s going on with your business this summer, and a consistent template will help them know what they’re looking for when they visit your page for information.
  • Send email blasts before big events. While your announcements on social media may not reach everyone you intend them to, you can be sure that emails will be delivered to who their rightful owner. Craft thoughtful, engaging emails and send them out before each big event with your business this summer.
  • Good ol’ fashioned flyers. Yep, they still work. Print out a massive amount of flyers with information about your event and send an employee out to hang them up all over town.
  • Advertise with your customers, not to your customers. Like this video here. It’s hilarious and original, and promotes Lyft without feeling sale-sy at all. Come up with creative ways to make your business fun and involve customers to help spread the word.

What cheap advertising ideas do you have to engage your customers? Share with us, we’d love to hear!

See part 1 and part 2 of our Summertime Marketing Tips Series.

Other posts that might interest you

Improve Your Online Presence Part 1: 8 Steps for Reviewing Your Website

Improve Your Online Presence Part 2: Perform a Quarterly Social Media Audit

Improve Your Online Presence Part 3: Contact Information & Review Sites

4 Low Cost and Low Risk Ways to Grow Your Team

How To Attract the Right Talent For Your Company

Quick Money Management Tips to Build Your Business

Plan for Holiday Success by Hiring Seasonal Employees

How to Create a Succession Plan for Your Small Business

How to Protect Your Small Business from Theft

 

The single most powerful selling tool for any small business can be summed up in one simple word: REFERRALS. People would rather do business with people they know (or know of) than strangers. That’s how it’s always been. Think about it from the other perspective. When you’re introduced to a new service or product by someone you know and trust, you’re more open to it than you would be if someone had cold called you and asked you to make a purchase. Referrals are an immensely powerful and underused tool for small business owners that can help their sales explode. Here are a few tips on soliciting referrals tactfully and using them to your advantage.

  1. Just ask. Yep, it’s that easy. Except that you can’t just park your social media links on the sidebar of your website and expect that your clients are going to jump on and share your brilliance. Instead, make it personal. If you’re in an email exchange with a client, write a note of genuine gratitude for their support or purchase. At the end, a simple statement of “I’d really appreciate an honest review about your experience on xyx site” can make all the difference. Make sure the timing is right when you ask though. It should be in the midst of delivering excellent customer service or shortly thereafter. Don’t be shy to ask a second time in a later follow-up email if the client said they would and then didn’t follow through.
  2. Make it easy. Most clients won’t jump through hoops to refer you, regardless of how much they love you. Your referral process should be incredibly painless, as in, the click of a button easy. Rather than saying “I’d appreciate if you would hop over to Facebook and leave me a review,” try hyperlinking the text within the email directly to your page.
  3. Set up a reward system. Rather than putting all of your focus on potential newcomers, reward your loyal clients. Give them access to new products, free trials, coupon codes, discounts, cash, or an entry for a large prize for their efforts in referring your business. They’re more likely to continue referring you to people they know.
  4. Give and Take. Don’t expect to receive hundreds of referrals if you aren’t doing your part, too. Put out a good word for the services and products you buy and recognize the hard work of the entrepreneurs behind those businesses as well.
  5. Make it a Habit. Don’t just ask for referrals on clients who are already expressing their love for your product. Make it a habit to solicit a review from every client. Your pitch doesn’t have to sound sales-y either; just make it a quick “hey, if you have a second, let’s connect over on xyz site!”

At the end of the day, referrals are about relationships and people supporting people. Don’t try to buy referrals and don’t get discouraged if you didn’t get a referral where you’d really like one. Slow and steady wins the race–and gets you a lot of great referrals, too!

Question:  I’m headed to a vacation hot spot on a business trip this summer and I’d love to enjoy it while I’m there. How can I bring my family along while keeping this a work trip, and share the expense? What are the rules?  Answer: You can have your cake and eat it too! Grab your flip flops and beach towels and surprise the family with some summer fun. Here’s how to make it happen.

To claim deductions for a business trip turned family vacation:

– Keep all of your receipts from a business trip. For easy and organized tips on doing this, visit this post.-Set up your out-of-town meetings for late in the week and early into the next, giving you time for family fun over the weekend. The IRS frowns on one or two days of meetings, with five days of fun tacked on the end; but, by scheduling it over a weekend, the longer trip is necessary.– Separate business expenses from personal expenses. For example, you can write off your airline ticket, but not your family’s so you’ll need to book them separately or separate the expense in your books. You’ll also need to split the meal checks, tickets for entertainment, ball games, shows, and other things that cost money on the trip. You can deduct those expenses for yourself, but not for others. Your family and friends are not considered “essential” for the business trip.– If the trip is primarily business, your expenses to and from the destination are deductible. If it starts as a planned family vacation and you add a little business in at the last minute, transportation to and from the destination is not deductible. However, if you drive to the meetings instead of fly, your miles driven are tax deductible, regardless of whether you have the family along.– If you spend less on transportation by staying until Saturday, the IRS has indicated it will generally consider that extra stay time as a business expense.– Meals are only 50% deductible, even if they’re business meals.– If you doubt it is a business expense, it probably isn’t. Remember that business expenses should be ordinary and necessary, even when traveling. Scuba diving is hard to justify as a business expense, no matter how much business talk is done underwater. Keep in mind that the IRS is vigilant about tracking expenses while on a business trip. Plan on a bit of extra preparation and work to make it happen and don’t forget the sunscreen when you go!

What do you do when consumers are becoming increasingly focused on social media, while your business is still focusing on the awesome product or service you sell? It’s time to get serious about an online marketing plan. In order to get the most bang for your buck online, you’ll need to utilize social media for your business–no matter what you are selling.

Here are a few things to consider before diving into social media:

The first and most important thing is to decide how you are currently communicating with your audience online and how you would like to communicate with them in the future. Think about these three channels of communication.

  1. Text. The easiest and most informative way to communicate online is through text. Channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, blogs, and good ol’ emails are a great way to communicate messages–long or short–to your audience about the latest happenings with your business.
  2. Images. Any business can and should be incorporating still images into their online marketing plan. Images should be carefully chosen to convey messages to an audience and should not overpower the main goal of the post. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Pinterest are image-focused and can be great for promoting a business. Still images should also be included in emails, and profile/cover photos should be present on every social media platform your business engages in.
  3. Audio/Video. Periscope, Youtube, and Vimeo are great for sharing messages through audio or video. These can come in the form of tutorials on how to use your product, interviews with people who love your product, funny behind the scenes happenings around the office, or tips and tricks on how your service or product can improve your customer’s life. The possibilities of using videos for marketing are endless, but this method of reaching consumers through social media is a bit more time consuming. You don’t have to invest in fancy equipment to use videos in your marketing plan, but it does take a bit more commitment to create a  video that engages your audience.

A business owner on top of their social media game

A business owner on top of their social media game (which sometimes means hiring an employee whose main job is to manage social media) will aim for doing a little of everything. However, you don’t have to do it all to be recognized and look professional on social media. Here are a few tips from Vyde’s marketing team to make it happen for your small business.

  • Choose a few social media channels and do them well. Don’t feel like you have to manage every single (and old) social media platform out there. Determine how much time you have to spend on social media for business and divide that by 3 or 4 — that’s about how many social media channels most small business owners can manage at first. In fact, many find that 3 or 4 is even too many to handle.
  • Snag your username on all social media platforms, even if you won’t use them right now. Plan to use your 2-4 platforms well, but be sure to claim your space on certain channels you think you might use in the future. There are many people out there who will sign up for a social media account or domain under a business name and then try to sell it back to the business owner for an outrageous amount of money. Avoid this mishap by grabbing your business name on the channels you’re interested in now and then focusing on them later. You don’t have to advertise every social media channel you’re signed up for–just bring the attention to the ones you’re actively using.
  • Sign up for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Here’s why:
    • Facebook attracts the widest variety of users. All of your customers are on Facebook (with a few exceptions), young and old. With over one billion users, it has an audience too large to ignore. Facebook is easy to use and offers the flexibility of text images, and videos all in one place.
    • LinkedIn is a professional network that is more serious in nature, but one that all small business owners should be on. There are over 230 million LinkedIn users and 2.7 million business pages already on LinkedIn. You don’t necessarily have to maintain a business page on LinkedIn, but as a business owner, you should absolutely have a personal account that is updated regularly.
    • A Google+ page for your business will help Google generate search results for your business that includes: the name of your business, where it is located on a map, reviews, contact and location information, and even photos. Google is the tried and true search engine for anyone and everyone, and if you’re not showing up on Google, you’re missing out.
    • Other social media channels that are great for business include: YouTube, Instagram, Yelp, Reddit, Pinterest, FourSquare, Tumblr, Twitter, Periscope, and Snapchat. Venture onto those social media platforms in the future, when you can create a marketing plan and use them skillfully.

potential customers

Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter what you’re signed up for or how often you post about your business when it comes to social media. What really matters is that you’re generating thoughtful, meaningful, and original content that will engage your current and potential customers.

FAQs for Social Media Marketing Strategies:

Why should my small business prioritize social media marketing?

In today’s digital age, social media is a crucial avenue for engaging with customers and expanding brand visibility, regardless of your business type.

What are the key communication channels to consider for social media marketing?

Text, images, and audio/video content are essential channels for conveying messages online, with platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube offering diverse options.

How can I effectively manage social media platforms without feeling overwhelmed?

Focus on a select few platforms and prioritize quality over quantity. Allocate time based on your capacity, aiming to excel on 3 to 4 platforms rather than spreading too thin.

Why is it important to secure usernames on social media platforms, even if not actively using them?

Claiming your business name prevents others from exploiting it and ensures consistency across platforms, facilitating brand recognition and trust among customers.

Which social media platforms are essential for small businesses and why?

Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ offer diverse user bases and distinct advantages for brand visibility, customer engagement, and search engine optimization (SEO). Other platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter also hold potential for strategic marketing efforts.

itius.  Altius.  Fortius.  Faster, higher, stronger – the Olympic motto will be heard often this summer and can be applied to small business marketing, as well as athletic endeavors.  Share in the excitement surrounding this summer’s holidays and events to add some inexpensive pizazz to your marketing efforts. Here are few important dates and tips as you plan your summer marketing strategy:

  1. Be Patriotic: Memorial Day 5/30 & Independence Day 7/4.  Fly the red, white and blue to celebrate the patriotic days of summer.  Did you know that the 4th of July is #4 on the list of holidays most celebrated in the U.S.A? (Right after Christmas, Halloween, and Thanksgiving.) Run promotions and sales of products and services that correspond to these holidays and wish customers a happy holiday on social media as these posts are well-liked and shared.
  2. #Olympics2016. Get ready to cheer August 5-21 – the Summer Olympics are in Rio and it is going to be a party!  Carry the red, white and blue theme all summer to support Team USA. Join the #Olympics conversation on social media, cheering for favorites and sharing your own personal stories of Olympic favs and experiences, as well as popular posts. Take your cheering from the couch to your business by supporting local athletes at all levels.
  3. Celebrate Labor Day.  This bookend summer holiday is a great place to host a promotion or giveaway.  Wrap up your summer marketing with solid Labor Day sales, advertising them well in advance for best results.
  4. Join in local events.  There is bound to be lots going on in your area this summer.  Whether it is the Warrior Dash fun run, Movies in the Park, Stadium of Fire, Shakespeare on the Beach, or Rooftop Cinema Club, add your small business to the list of supporters by donating goods or tweets, attending, or simply adding your advertising of the activity in your store or site. It is common practice to reach out to event organizers offering a reciprocal social media share – you share their event on social media or in store, they’ll share your site or store details on social media.
  5. Use a variety of marketing strategies.  Summer is filled with vacations, family reunions, and get-togethers, so increase the number of times you connect with customers so they don’t miss your special or sale.  Email blasts, text message reminders, phone calls – however you connect with customers make sure it has a clear, consistent, and compelling message about the benefits you provide through your products and services.  Social media heats up during the summer with everyone posting photos about travels and fun.  Keep your brand and message top of mind by posting often – and reposting popular and informative posts.  If foot traffic is key to your business, add visual reminders of promotions and deals near the door and register, where customers linger, to grab their attention and promote sales.
  6. Practice.  Practice.  Practice. Win.  Take advice from the athletes – it takes a lot of practice to be an Olympian.  Make a plan for the summer, practice a bit every day to improve and expand your marketing efforts. If something is working, do it more often. If something isn’t working, tweak it. It is consistent effort day after day that leads to greatness.

Did you catch our first post on planning your summer marketing efforts. You can read tips on planning the who, what when, and where of summer business events here.

For cheap advertising tips in the summer, visit this post.

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