If you are finding it hard to believe that we are 16 years into the “new” millennium, you are not alone.  If you are also finding it difficult to keep up with the ways in technology has changed the world – including how people decide what products and services to buy and how they buy them – again, you are not alone.

In the world of 2000, Social Networking meant going to a cocktail party or meeting with other business people at a local restaurant.   If you had a website at all, it was definitely not “mobile friendly.”  Google was only 2 years old; it was only beginning to explore its advertising potential.  You probably advertised in the telephone book. You may have had brochures and flyers printed and mailed.  You had never heard of “inbound marketing.”

Today’s consumers turn to the Internet for information about products and services.  They read blogs and check business websites; they have joined several Social sites and follow at least a few businesses.  Consumers consider not only what a company is saying, but also what others are saying about the Company.  And more and more they are doing all of this on their smart phones.

The question is are you adopting the marketing strategies that attract today’s customers?

Here are 16 tips help you in 2016:

  1. Do a “wall to wall” website review. Make sure it is mobile friendly and tells your viewers the things they want to know.  Verify your site on Google so you will appear on its local listings and maps.
  2. Don’t put a website up and forget it. Google likes fresh content – and so do your customers.  SEO guidelines also change. If you want to stay at the top of search engine results, you will need to keep up with those changes. Companies change over time – your website should reflect those changes.
  3. Publish a blog and post to it regularly. Companies that blog get 67% more leads. People today make purchasing decisions without ever talking to a human being.  If you don’t have a blog – start one. If you have one, post to it as often as possible.
  4. Send a monthly newsletter. Build your database of email addresses. (For example, add a signup to your website and blog.)  Email still works – if you work it.
  5. Everyone likes a sale or special deal. Add a monthly deal and publish it to your website, blog, newsletter and social sites.
  6. Branding and visibility are important in our competitive world. Make sure you are sending the right message with your logo and keep the “look” of all of your online and offline properties consistent.
  7. Depending on your target customers, consider offline marketing. There is still a place for brochures, flyers and print ads. Some people still like holding things in their hands.
  8. SEO (search engine optimization) is changing. Google now indexes Twitter posts. Blog posts, Facebook Pages and LnkedIn Profiles are often displayed above a company’s website.
  9. Social Media has become a marketing juggernaut. Allocate a realistic budget to enlarging your “social” footprint and find a Social Media Marketing person who understands how to get the most out of your participation on relevant social sites.
  10. Advertise on Social Media. Facebook ads are becoming more effective than any other advertising tactic.  They are also one of the most economical ways to reach your potential customers.
  11. Stay active on all of your social sites, posting 1-3 times a day. This is important if you want your posts seen by viewers, as Facebook’s algorithm favors businesses that post often.
  12. Monitor social sites. People are probably talking about your industry, your products and your company on social sites.  Listen to what they are saying and use their comments as a market research tool.
  13. People tend to complain on Social Media. Using Social sites as a customer service tool demonstrates to everyone that you care about your customers.
  14. Integrate Social Media into all areas of online AND offline marketing. Publish your Facebook and Twitter handle on print pieces. Add icons to your website.  Add links to your social sites to your email signature.  Encourage people to “share” your blog posts.
  15. Become a truly “Social” Business.
  16. Ask a professional Social Media Marketing person to help you implement these New Year Resolutions.