‘Tis the season for shopping, gift-giving, and family traditions with unknown histories. Take stocking stuffers for example. Generally, decorative stockings are hung in the house and Santa fills them with small gifts on Christmas Eve. But not many people know how this tradition began. Here’s the scoop…
The History of Stocking Stuffers
The popular legend tells that there once was a very poor man who lived with three beautiful daughters. Unfortunately, the poor man could not afford to get his daughters married and was afraid of what would happen to them after he passed away. A generous man travelling through the village heard this news and wanted to help. Knowing that the poor man would not accept charity, he decided to sneak in through the family’s chimney with gold coins for the girls. The generous man noticed three pairs of stockings hanging from the mantelpiece and placed an equal amount of gold coins in each one. The family woke up the next morning, overjoyed at the gifts they had received. The legend continues today, with parents placing small gifts into their children’s stockings.
Web Marketing stocking stuffer tips to help your business in 2012:
In the spirit of the holidays, it’s my turn to provide e-stocking stuffers as a thank you for following my newsletter this past year. Here are four Internet tips to keep your business "web successful" and ahead of the curve in 2012.
- Get serious about social media.You know what Facebook is, but you don’t know how to use it or why it matters to your business. Way back in 2009, we were hesitant to preach the effectiveness of social media as a small business tool. Times have changed. Social media allows you to see a constant exchange of information between you and your customers. Having a presence on social media will make it easy for you to build word-of-mouth referrals, advertise specials, and answer questions about your business. In 2012, expect all businesses – even contractors, lawyers, and pet experts – to use Facebook or Twitter.With more than 800 million Facebook users, 250 million Twitter users, and 1 in 4 Americans watching a video on YouTube every day, it’s safe to say your customers use social media and are looking for you there. This holiday season, while you’re indoors avoiding the cold, set aside time to work on social media. That could be anything from registering your business on Facebook and Twitter to adding friends and followers. You can’t afford to ignore this topic any longer. 2012 is the year of social media – don’t miss out.
- Stop losing new business while you’re out in the field.Last month I wrote about Live Chat, an online messaging service designed to communicate with clients from your website. Basically, Live Chat is a “do-it-for-me” website add-on that helps you talk to clients, even when you can’t talk to clients. The purpose is to ensure you don’t lose business while you’re out in the field because you can’t respond to an email or voicemail quickly enough. Live Chat enables a trained representative to handle your website visitor inquiries on your behalf. That way, you can be sure you won’t lose out on any business while you’re on the job. Read last month’s article on Live Chatto find more about how easy it is to integrate this onto any website.
- Mobile-friendly. Not mobile-phobia.Smartphones are one of the most popular tech gifts this holiday season. Friends and family are typing away on their iPhones, Androids and Blackberrys as you read this. So my third Internet stocking stuffer suggestion this holiday season is to make sure your business website is “mobile-friendly.” If your site is more than 18 months old it may not look so hot on today's mobile devices. It might load slowly, lack "click-to-call" functionality, and require lots of zooming and scrolling to read. These are all problems. With so many people searching for your business on their smartphones, it's necessary to have a mobile-friendly website with large font and tight copy that is easy to read on a 4 inch screen. As smartphone use continues booming, a mobile-friendly website is a business must-have in 2012.
- Website Success in 2012 – Youget to decide!My fourth and final suggestion for you this holiday season is perhaps the most important of all. None of the previous suggestions will achieve their best results if you do not have an up-to-date website that meets 2012 standards. If your website doesn’t give visitors confidence in your credibility and expertise within a matter of seconds, there is a good chance you’ll miss out on valuable business.When you get a chance, take a hard look at your website. If it has a copyright before 2009, looks dull and plain, or if your company’s focus has changed, consider a makeover. The website world moves fast and it’s important to keep up, because in 2012, your website is the critical link to how people perceive your company online.