January is inevitably the time of year when we all seem to telepathically engage in the same thought-cycle – embarking on healthy diets, regular exercise and a more positive approach. While we all know these good intentions tend to fall by the wayside circa 20th January – adopting good business habits will have a greater chance of sticking, so why not embrace some improved business practices this January.

You don’t have to engage in a complete overhaul of your business to ensure greater success in 2016 – making a few key updates to your website and digital presence now will help you stay ahead of the competition in the year ahead.

To make it easier for you, we have outlined some of the top ways to do this.

Upwardly mobile: Mobile use is going to dominate in 2016, make no mistake about it and, is poised to globally overtake desktop traffic in the year ahead. 3.2 billion people worldwide will have access to the internet this year and 2 billion will be using it on their mobile devices – meaning you have to ensure your website is optimised for smartphone, android and table use and you have to do so now. All you need to do is look around anywhere you go; café, restaurant, supermarket, public transport, to see that people are glued to their mobile devices.

In 2015, Google reported that in 10 countries worldwide, mobile internet traffic soared ahead of desktop traffic, including in trendsetting countries like Japan and the US. If your website is not mobile friendly then you will really feel the impact in 2016. In fact, Google has created a new algorithim called ‘Mobilegeddon’ to phase out sites that are not mobile optimised. You’ve been warned.

Above; ComScore graph showing global mobile overtake of desktop.

The personal touch: Consumers and businesses alike are expecting greater levels of personalised, tailored email communication than ever before. According to the most recent Email Marketing Census by Econsultancy, 76% of marketers surveyed predicted that by 2020 all email communication will be personalised. In fact, one in three companies are doing this already. Your small or medium sized business can ensure you are staying relevant and giving your target audience what they want by starting to personalise emails right now.

There are simply and effective ways to stay ahead of the curve with personalised email in 2016 – but the key is ensuring that your database is up to date so ensure your database is updated constantly so you have the relevant information at your fingertips. Include your client’s name in the email subject line to encourage them to open it. Use milestone dates to issue an email, for example their birthday, the date they first signed up to your newsletter or the date they first purchased one of your products. Think of companies like Twitter which regularly issue personalised emails recommending people/brands to follow based on those you currently follow:

Above; Screenshot of customised Twitter email

Social life: It’s not enough to merely have a presence on social media such as Twitter and LinkedIn any longer, in 2016 you have to demonstrate to your target audience and (as well as contemporaries in your field) that you are actively listening to what they say and engaging with them. You also need to ensure that you analyse your data to figure out what social media content you are using that is having an impact – and what is failing to meet the mark. There are a number of free social media monitoring tools online that you can avail of to keep track of your social media accounts and ensure you are engaging at the right time, with the right people.

For example, Hootsuite has a dashboard display that allows you to simultaneously see and track reaction to your own tweets, any tweet that mentions you as well as content being posted by those you follow.


Above: Hootsuite’s dashboard

Two other fantastic tools which are free and very user-friendly include Tweet Reach – which gives you a comprehensive and precise breakdown of the extent to which your tweets have travelled and been retweeted etc. and Social Mention – which gives you a straightforward analysis of every mention your business has had on Twitter.

So there you have it; three convenient, hassle-free ways to ensure your business is fighting fit for 2016.

Post by
Susie founded Springboard in 2011, and has developed the business into a leading, director-led communications agency. She has worked for over 20 years in senior marketing and public relations roles.

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