Have you made a business plan to cover you over the Christmas period? Whatever type of business you run, whether it be retail, production or service, you need to set out some plans to allow yourself to take a break over Christmas.
For businesses other than retail, it can be a great time to slow down and take stock. We’ve put together a few pointers to think about so you’re all set up and able to put your feet up with a mince pie…
- Opening Hours
Whatever your business, your opening hours will probably change over the festive period. Think about how you can best communicate that to your customers. If you are reducing your hours you can post your temporary hours on your social media platforms and pin the posts to the top of your page/feed.
If you are completely shutting down for the festive period, put your out-of-office email response on letting customers know when you will be back to work after the break.
It would also be a good idea to attach a post to your Google Local Entry as this can often be the first port of call for new customers.
- Prioritise & Plan
Take some time think about the year ahead and give some structure to what you want to achieve in the new year. By making a plan for January you are allowing yourself to switch off over Christmas.
- Schedule your Social Media & Blog Posts
Block out time to schedule your social media and blog posts over the break. If you run a small business you will need to check your social media platforms over the holidays but make a plan, perhaps one hour at the beginning of the day and then you can switch off. If you have a team, you can spread the task or indeed hire a VA!
- Make the most of the festive season
It only comes once a year so make the most of it, make the effort to go to those Christmas drinks and enjoy some festive cheer!
Finally if there’s just too much to do, hire a VA: we have scheduled our team so there will always be someone around if you need Business Support or a Concierge Service.
We’ve often talked about Online Reputation Management (ORM), and how important it is to know what others are saying about you or your business online. An extension of this is brand awareness – how aware are you of your portrayal on social media? Are you conveying the right message to reflect your brand?
Sprout Social have a brilliant group of articles about creating & maintaining a social media branding strategy.
The important things to remember are:
Social Media Profiles
Don’t underestimate the importance of your Social Media Profile, spend time optimising it, ensure you are including your most effective keywords, and you are reflecting your brand in an honest and positive way.
Make sure you have continuity throughout your social media platforms, make sure your branding is always easily recognisable with images, names and text.
- For Instagram, make sure your bio is clear and that it includes a link to your website (currently the only place where clickable links work on Instagram).
- For Twitter, as well as your bio think about your Twitter handle as this is how people mention you in messages so it should definitely reflect your business brand.
How to Build your Brand
You don’t have to be on every social media platform, in fact we strongly discourage this as it not only is a lot of work but it also dilutes your branding message. Think about who your target audience are and what platforms they use. For example, a couple of years ago many of our clients were using Pinterest and Google+ but as social media trends move on and evolve we are most likely to be setting up an Instagram account for them instead.
Define and Maintain your Brand Voice
- What is your business about? What are your business ethics or beliefs? These should come across in the language and images on your website and social media posts.
- Think about who your audience are? Are they local businesses or large global conglomerates? Your language used should reflect this ie warm and welcoming or corporate.
- Are you a faceless or anonymous company or do you want the personalities of the staff to shine through?
- There’s no harm in researching the competition. What is it that you like or don’t like about their projected brand?
Auditing your Brand
Every now and again it is important to audit your brand. For example, you may have changed your logo or client sector. Go back through your social media profiles, website and posts and see if anything needs tweaking.
It might be that if you are targeting a new client sector that you need to see who you are following on Twitter. We find Twitter lists very handy as you can build a good awareness of tone of language used and the types of tweets which might be useful to share and retweet. See our article on Twitter lists.
Red Desk work with a number of small businesses and are here to help yours too. Please do get in touch if you wish to discuss anything in this article; firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might also like to read our rebranding tips article.
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