As a small business owner or manager you might be wondering: “What are the things that I need to do every day to stay on top of my marketing and continue to grow my business?”
We’ve put together a simple and easy to follow checklist to help you figure out where to focus your efforts. This guide is meant to be a basic daily checklist that takes less than 30 minutes every morning. If you stick to it, the results will compound over time translating into more business and a stronger online presence. So, grab a cup of coffee and start your day by ticking off each item in the list.
Check and respond to your leads
Every good website has a way to capture visitor’s information in order to convert them into potential customers. If your website doesn’t at least have a “Contact Us” form, you should set one up now, and read our post on how to turn web traffic into actionable leads.
Visitors to your website will submit forms at all times, which means that some might have come in while you were sleeping! It’s important to get back to these leads as soon as possible. Contacting them while they still have you in mind will help you convert more of them into customers. Go through the list and sort them, figure out which are legitimate leads and set a plan to contact them today! This can mean setting up reminders at specific times for you to call them, emailing them yourself, or maybe assigning them to a salesperson to follow up.
Monitor your Social Media
Social Media has changed the way we do business. If you don’t have a presence in Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare you might be missing out on opportunities to engage with your audience.
It’s important to check your Facebook wall and inbox frequently (at least every morning) to see who has commented, liked or messaged you. Make sure to follow up with anyone who sent you a direct message and also comment on or like new posts on your wall. Remember it’s all about engaging and being part of the conversation. If there isn’t much going on in your wall, you should start a conversation; read this post for ideas and tips to engage people on Facebook.
Another good idea is to like and comment on other business’ pages; this will help you start building some buzz for your own business.
Twitter: Check your Twitter feed for direct messages, replies, retweets and mentions. It’s important to thank people for retweeting your posts, this will let them know that you noticed. Also, follow up with conversations about your business and make sure to post frequently (Read this post for ideas you can tweet about today).
Foursquare: Log into your account and monitor the number of check-ins and tips. If the check-ins seem to be dwindling you might want to do a Special for the week. Another good idea is to add some tips to tell people what to look out for. It’s also important to stay on top of what is being said to understand what people like or don’t like about your business.
If you’re not using alerts to learn about your industry and your business then you’re missing out on a free an easy way to stay on top of things. Go to Google Alerts and set up your first three alerts. Some ideas for alerts are:
Set your alerts to send you daily emails and make sure to check them every day. This is an easy way to pinpoint which blogs and publications are relevant for your industry. It also helps you react quickly to any big news in your industry and it can be a way to get some ideas of conversations to have using social media. Finally, make sure you’re active and answer questions that are related to your company or your industry; this will help you establish yourself as a thought leader.
Chances are, your company has some reviews in sites like Yelp, Google Maps, Yahoo Local, CitySearch, etc. Keep an up to date list of the sites where you are listed and make sure to check them daily to monitor new reviews. If they’re good, fantastic! Use them as promotional material for your Facebook wall or Twitter posts. If they’re bad, embrace them and deal with them (For ideas on how to deal with bad reviews, read our post on how to deal with negative reviews).
Read industry blogs and news
It’s important to identify a few bloggers and industry influencers. Read their articles and comment on them (both on their site as well as in social media). Make sure to voice your opinions and feel free to agree or disagree. The important thing here is to remain informed and be part of what’s happening. Google Alerts can help you figure out which bloggers and news sites are talking about your trade. Many times, local news sites are best, because they’re more relevant to those geographically closest to you).
Something else to include here is checking sites like Yahoo! Answers and Quora, to surface questions that people might be asking in your area of expertise. Be helpful and instead of trying to sell them on your product or service, just give them the best advice. This will help you build trust from every reader and in the long term will help you establish your presence.
Check your analytics
If you don’t have analytics on your site, get them! If you’re technical and love data, Google Analytics has a free tool to capture information from your website. Another alternative is a service like ours at ThriveHive that ties together analytics from all of your marketing (not just your website analytics). You can schedule a demo of ThriveHive to learn how we can help you keep track of what’s happening on your marketing and your website.
Keep track of the visits to your site and if you notice any abrupt changes, take action. Remember that most sites have cyclical characteristics, which means that you should usually compare this week to the previous one (don’t compare a Sunday to a Wednesday, since you will probably see a big difference due to the day of the week) – this is more about capturing trends and big changes over time to understand if you’re improving over time and to notice problems early on.
It’s also important to capture the sources of your traffic to understand where these visitors are coming from. Are they primarily finding you through search engines like Google or are they mostly coming to your site from social media sites like Facebook? This information can help you optimize and focus your resources to increase your traffic. Also note the keywords that people use to find you and make sure to have them in mind when you’re writing content for your site!
Extra points: Write a blog post
It can be hard to write blog posts daily, but it’s important to keep this top of mind and if you are inspired you should write a full blown blog post today. If not, simply write a small article (two or three paragraphs) about a conversation you had yesterday with a customer, partner or vendor. Maybe write about the questions that you received from them on the phone. It’s pretty common for others to be wondering the same things and if you have the answers, it will help you connect with your audience and increase your buzz.
If you don’t already have a blog, we recommend setting one up! It’s easy and there are many free tools out there like Tubmlr that will get you up and running in no time.
We hope you follow this checklist daily! Print it and keep it close to remember what to do every morning to consistently improve your marketing.