Right now, many people are in the same boat, trying to maintain afloat with no forecast of what’s on the horizon. And for many business owners, there seems to be more time than money going around.
Problems are often opportunities in disguise if leveraged appropriately. And, we have the choice to either focus or to fold under pressure. (Easier said than done, seeing as I, personally, have micro-breakdowns almost weekly.)
With this downtime, there are countless opportunities where you can develop some new skills for your business that’ll pay off in the long-run. Other than item #1, which I hold as the absolute top priority, the other listed subjects aren’t in any particular order. And, many of these items can be done while watching Netflix!
1. Build a true community.
I firmly believe that focusing on building a true community through your social media channels is the most valuable and important thing you can (and should) do during this trying time.
This is also the time to learn about your customers. Everybody has their unique story, and, normally, businesses and brands position themselves in a “Look at me” situation on social media. This ultimately results in poor engagement and stunted follower growth.
Take the time to listen to and learn about your customers. They should be the most important thing to the brand, not the other way around. You might learn something new – that can help with profits later on, too.
2. Connect with other business owners.
Right now, you and other business owners are in the same boat. Instead of fearing competition, share each other’s content. This is a time of relation-building and collaboration. You have your own audience and they have theirs, why not share on each other’s platforms?
3. Try social listening.
Outside of listening to your customers, this topic is more about using social channels to listen to what customers, potential customers, and others are talking about – not necessarily involving you or your business in the conversation.
Social Listening is when you can use tools to monitor certain trends, keywords and hashtags on Google, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms. Hootsuite and many other social media platforms offer this tool, while there are other tools (like Mention) that offer this exclusively and more robustly. Google Trends and BuzzSumo are great places to start looking up topics for free.
4. Study your competitors.
Leverage your newly acquired social listening tools to also spy on your competitors. To take things a bit further, look and analyze their social channels. See what they’re doing both right and wrong.
Use Audience Insights in Facebook’s Business manager to look up the insights on bigger brands. And for web analytics, sites like Similarweb and SpyFu will give you a peek behind the curtain without anybody finding out.
Here’s a snapshot from SimilarWeb.com
5. Update and connect (with everyone) on LinkedIn.
There are 2 places where it’s easy to go viral today:
- TikTok (more about this one later)
Spam messages aside, LinkedIn is developing into a more robust and social media platform. Expand your network here and engage with others. Endorse your friends and (ask them to endorse you back.)
6. Set up (and learn) Google Analytics.
A quick YouTube video can give you enough insight on how to navigate and even create your custom dashboard to simplify viewing for the next time.
7. Set your goals.
- Determine your 3 main goals for the next year as a result of your social media marketing efforts.
- Determine your 3 main goals for the next 90 days, based on your annual goals.
- Create monthly goal breakdowns/steps to help you accomplish the 90-day goals.
- Identify key metrics and Key Performance Indicators to monitor.
8. Create a SWOT Analysis of your current marketing efforts.
A SWOT analysis is a snapshot breakdown of your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
You can do this exercise for yourself, personally, for your business, or for clients and friends.
Take a step back to objectively analyze your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It’s not an easy task but a very useful tool to help you layout the right perspective for your business.
You can learn more about creating a SWOT Analysis here.
9. Create content by using apps like Wordswag, Canva, and Mojo.
There are countless cool apps for editing and creating content right from your phone and the web.
Here are my favorite apps:
- Wordswag is particularly helpful in recycling older content by adding a text overlay.
- Mojo is an awesome video app that makes stunning Instagram stories and other clips
- Canva is a desktop software that helps you create anything from an Instagram post to social media covers to infographics.
- Lumen5 is a web-based platform that effortlessly allows you to make advanced text-overlay videos (like Buzzfeed and Nowthis).
10. Practice making videos (and being on camera.)
Some people are natural on camera. Many (including myself) are not at all. But, video is the most easily consumable form of content. And it’s not that difficult to make. All you do is open up your phone, click on the record button, and have something to say.
Tai Lopez has managed to build multiple 8-figure empires off of shitty selfie videos, so you really don’t have any excuse.
But, remember, in producing content, focus on providing value. Don’t try to become a motivational speaker or aggressively sell your product or service.
Another reason to start your content strategy with video is that you can produce multiple assets from a single video.
11. Schedule your content for the rest of the year.
Yeah, that sounds crazy when you say it out loud.
But, you can at least get something scheduled out weekly for the year (52 posts) on top of creating an editorial calendar for your business events, special celebrations and fun national holidays to begin tailoring other content around.
12. Automate your social media posting.
Last year, I was posting to over 30 social media platforms per day. Outside of my “day job.” And I still had time for my Netflix and naps.
How was this humanly possible?
I’m so lazy that instead of doing all this hard work, I just figured a way to automate posting to most of my accounts.
My current automation for posting to multiple channels is by posting to Instagram (that’s the trigger.) And, after the IG post, there is automation where that content is automatically scheduled to other channels via SocialPilot.
You can use these automation sites for anything from Google Sheets to Quickbooks to G-mail and go as far as connecting your Roomba to Alexa. Social media applications are just a few of the countless integrations in these automation platforms.
13. Learn Facebook and Google Ads.
Learning something like Facebook or Google ads can be intimidating. But, there’s this amazing website called YouTube where you can learn anything for free. And there are some great tutorials on both.
It’s not about becoming an expert at this, but learning enough so that you can get self-sufficient and get the ball rolling in the right direction.
Both platforms also have their own tutorials and Google in particular even has a hotline where helpful employees will walk you through the process, step-by-step.
Set up basic, ongoing retargeting (that you can forget about.) You can run a campaign as low as $1 per day.
If you’re active on social media, you can set up a retargeting audience based on people who have engaged with your Facebook page or Instagram. And you should also retarget people who have visited your site or blog.
14. Update your website.
Make sure that your site loads fast and is mobile-friendly.
15. Build a chatbot.
An effective chatbot can significantly increase conversions especially if you run ads.
Take some time to build out a simple chatbot that answers the frequently asked questions you encounter in your business. Manychat and Chatfuel are very common and robust chatbot platforms with built-in templates to help you build your own bot. And they both integrate with Facebook seamlessly.
16. Optimize your Google My Business.
In 2019, Google+ was laid to rest and nobody really noticed. And, in turn, Google My Business has taken its foothold, especially with smaller and local businesses.
Google reviews are more reliable than Yelp reviews and they’re critical for a solid local SEO. Having a strong local listing will also drive clicks, calls, leads, and sales for local businesses.
When Googling anything “near me” (i.e. dentist, food, mechanic, CPA, chiropractor,) the top listings have strong Google My Business accounts.
17. Conduct a social media audit.
Take a few hours to scan your channels, make sure your bios, images, links, and contact information are updated and accurate.
18. Plug all the “holes” and leaks in your plumbing.
Do all those intimidating and boring administrative duties, like making sure your Pixel is installed properly with the “Conversion Events” or just having an organized list of your social media logins.
Yes, it’s boring. But, yes, it’s necessary.
19. Sharpen your e-mail marketing.
E-mail marketing is still relevant. Some brands don’t realize this — because they’ve been doing it wrong.
Like Facebook and Google, e-mailing platforms are constantly striving to make things more user-friendly. And, with the continued advancement of AI, sometimes it just takes a click of a button to do what would otherwise be seemingly impossible.
Some things to add to your repertoire for e-mail marketing is to focus on personalization, segmenting your audiences, testing catchy subject lines, mobile-friendly, and clear call-to-action.
20. Build your e-mail list.
Most sales from social media marketing aren’t a direct path to conversion. Meaning, if someone sees your pretty Instagram post, they normally don’t stop their scroll and pull out their credit card.
You want to leverage the power of social media to build your own e-mail (or text message) list. There, you are immune to algorithm updates and can also organize and segment data better than any social media channel will allow.
21. Set up an automated e-mail campaign.
One of the best email marketing software on the market is Klavyio, but you can really do a lot with something as simple and easy as MailChimp.
Get your list organized and create an automated campaign. Meaning, if someone submits their email, they receive a sequence of emails over a period of time that shares your brand story while offering your service. DripScripts is a great site that’ll guide you on how to write your own sequence.
22. Start a YouTube Channel (or build your existing one.)
Or if you have one, start posting on it. Don’t’ worry about polished and produced content.
Just focus on providing value to those who may benefit from your service.
Or if you’re a local business (for example, a pizza shop,) you can create content centered around your theme. Create DIY videos, highlight recipes, share Behind-the-Scenes content on what it’s like operating a small business. And, remember, this is a long-term game. Document.
Forget about immediate sales. You can learn a lot by following Gary Vaynerchuck’s lead from his journey in launching starting Wine Library.
23. Learn more about funnels.
The purpose of social media marketing shouldn’t be to get people to like your stuff. It should be for people to buy your stuff.
With brands finally coming to terms with the fact that social media just doesn’t convert like it used to, people are getting more strategic in their approach. This is a good thing.
The term “marketing funnel” has been around for a while, and with Russell Brunson’s Clickfunnels, the term has been slowly creeping into more “mainstream” business conversations.
These “funnels” fall under Direct Marketing, and they come with measurable results as compared to just getting brand awareness and keeping your fingers crossed.
24. Build an influencer “Hit List.”
Influencer marketing is the hot topic of today. And what’s even hotter are micro and nano influencers.
These are people with smaller but highly relevant and engaging niche audiences. They tend to be a lot cheaper than macro influencers and often provide more value.
You can use the Facebook Brand Collabs tool to start researching your list. Or, if you’re a local business, log in to Instagram and look up hashtags and geotags close to you.
Influencers (of all sizes) tend to have a contact e-mail in their bio. And they do read their e-mails. So, start by creating a spreadsheet with their Instagram link, their email and any relevant other social channels and notes that’ll help you and your brand.
25. Learn About TikTok.
Yeah, sure the government is working on wiping out TikTok. But, this is where the next generation is. And it is the next big thing.
It is also the fastest growing social media platform in the world and (currently) over 500 million users. 41% of those are between the ages of 16–25.
Even if you’re hesitant on starting and trying to grow another channel, don’t worry about that. Focus on how people within the platform are successfully creating content. That is the new trend. This is about how content is being created, edited, and consumed now. Where it’s being posted isn’t that important.
Times are tough right now. And though there’s a lot of outside stressors that may negatively impact your business in the short-term. This is the best opportunity to finally work on your business, instead of working in your business.