“I encourage you to listen to your body. Don’t wait if you feel like something’s not right. Don’t explain away pain and discomfort that is persistent.
January 2019 Pain began - I assumed it was from beginning to wean my last baby from nursing.
March 2019 Pain so excruciating I stopped driving.
March 2019 Misdiagnosed at the ER as costochondritis (pain of the chest wall). No one bothered to even check my breasts.
March 2019 Another trip to a different ER revealed several large masses in my left breast, as well as enlarged lymph nodes.
Mammogram, ultrasound, biopsies, genetic testing, bloodwork, MRI’s and bone scans were all completed within 6 days of the last ER visit. Diagnosis given of Stage IIIb (later changed to IIIc) ER/PR+ HER2- breast cancer. I was 38 years old.” - Erika Berry via Facebook
Hear the whole story about Erika’s diagnosis, treatment, and inspirational journey that came along with it all here: https://open.spotify.com/episode/7ektePahm2bhJ1hvVVfxO9
When it comes to free marketing tools, social media is at the top of the list. This holiday season make sure you are reaching your audience in a fun and engaging way. 64% of shoppers are looking to social media for gift ideas, so make sure you are marketing what you have to offer. Whether you use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or all of the above, there are many ways you can keep your followers engaged and keep your brand on their mind.
On all your platforms make sure you are updating your profile photos and cover photos to add some festive flair. You can also use your cover images to highlight some of your best-selling products or deals. Once you have your profile ready to go, you can implement some of these fun holiday themed social media ideas.
12 Days of Christmas
Let’s say you sell coffee; you could post a new flavor or drink each of the 12 days of Christmas. This idea can be used on any platform or shared to all of them. Not only does it keep your followers coming back to your page each day, but it lets you highlight some of your best products for the season. If you provide a service, you could highlight something you offer each day and possibly even offer a special price for that day.
Create and Share a DIY
Find a trending DIY idea that fits in with your brand and share an idea of what your customers can do with it. Last year the rage was all about hot coco bombs; but what if you don’t sell food? If your store sells decorative spoons, you can share a DIY on how to dip them in chocolate and toppings to gift to friends and family. You can also print out DIY instructions to provide in store to make the experience cohesive for your customers. This idea might involve a bit more creativity but can have a big impact.
If you are a retail business this will be an easy thing to promote this holiday season. If you offer a service, you might have to get more creative. While you could always just offer gift cards, you could also reach out to other local businesses to collab and create a bundle that includes your service and their product and offer it at both stores. Shoppers love when they can find a grab and go type of present for those last-minute gifts they forgot to buy.
You can share your Christmas playlists with your followers on social media to get your brand on their mind. If they play it and list to it all day, they will be thinking of you and your product the whole time as well. It also lets you shine a little more light on your brands identity and gives people an idea of your personality.
The holiday season is a great time to run giveaway contests. A great formula when running a contest is having a call to action (like or share this post), an incentive (the prize), ending time (this gives people a sense of urgency), and rules and regulations (so people know how to participate). These types of posts give your page a lot of organic reach and you will usually end up with more followers because of them.
People love sharing their ideas and opinions on social media. Make it easy for them by giving them content they can interact with. You can post a question asking their favorite holiday movie or song. You can share a popular “This or That” type of post where you list two things they need to choose between (e.g. coffee vs hot chocolate). You can even have a good old fashion trivia post and ask people to answer a question about the holiday season.
A lot of these ideas can be adapted to use throughout the year with just a little bit of creativity. Keep your social media content fresh and exciting to attract new customers and keep your current ones engaged. If you don’t have time to handle your social media accounts, give us a call at 937-404-1050! We plan, design, and schedule social media posts taking the stress off you. That will give you more time to focus on the many other things you manage each day while running a small business.
My business is pretty straightforward. We help other small businesses leverage digital technology. Looking back, it was no surprise that this is the business I ended up starting. My stepdad worked in IT, and I remember building our first computer with him in our living room. By ten years old, I was helping my friends’ parents pick out and set up their computers, learn software, programs, and utilize their new machine best. It was clear helping people with technology was my passion.
In 2012, I moved back to West Liberty, OH, a three-stoplight town, and started a company doing what I love. Today, we have 11 employees and help more than 200 clients reach customers all across the country.
We know firsthand that large digital companies have been a boon for small businesses. We use many of the leading tech companies’ free and low-cost digital tools to promote our services. For example, we use Google Ads to help us find clients that need computer repair or SEO help. In addition, we run our entire digital infrastructure on Google Workspace. Not only do we use these tools in our own business, but we advise our clients on which tools will help them most and how to get the most out of those tools.
Digital advertising has been an especially fantastic tool for us and our clients. The data and algorithms that help with targeting and the fact that you only pay when someone clicks on an ad makes advertising worth the cost. And Google Analytics ensures that digital marketing, ads, and social media are optimized to maximize return on modest investments. It has been a game-changer for many of our clients.
Small businesses couldn’t compete with large companies’ billion-dollar ad budgets and teams of consultants in the past. Now, with a modest investment, they can reach their target audience quickly and cheaply. Moreover, for businesses that operate using e-commerce, their market is now national or global instead of limited to our small town.
During the past 16 months of the pandemic, digital tools’ value has only become more apparent. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and tools like Google My Business allowed our clients to communicate directly with the public quickly and easily. In addition, for companies that operated brick and mortar stores that were forced to close or limit occupancy, we helped them transition quickly to e-commerce, online shopping, and direct-to-consumer shipping.
Obviously, we would not be in business without the various digital tools and services that we help our clients leverage. But many of our clients wouldn’t be in business or would not be as successful without them.
When lawmakers set their sights on big businesses, their actions almost always have repercussions for small ones. New regulations could mean more expensive and less effective tools for my clients’ businesses. That means less room on my clients’ balance sheets for my companies’ services and less revenue for me to continue to invest in growing my business. It’s past time for Congress to consider what their actions will mean for small businesses and not rush into passing laws that will inevitably harm their futures.
Ryan Berry is the founder of Berry Digital Solutions in West Liberty, OH, and a member of the Connected Commerce Council.