For business owners and brands around the world, every new year brings in a new world of opportunities, growth, and challenges – and 2020 was definitely one of the most interesting and challenging yet!
As we put 2020 behind us and focus on 2021, it’s all about adapting to the situations around us. Outside of world pandemics and events we can’t control, we can start using technology, artificial intelligence, online tools, and solutions to make the marketing and growth of our businesses easier and more effective.
With all of this in mind, today we are going to be looking at some of the many different solutions out there that are perfect for businesses and brands of all sizes – specifically focusing on social media engagement, branding, day-to-day tasks, and team productivity.
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Social media listening and engagement
Imagine having to scan through billions of status updates and social alerts across major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, trying to find individual mentions in reference to your brand, business or products? For the most part, this would be quite impossible.
Even if you were to search for specific keywords, names, or hashtags, it would still take quite a while, and would definitely add up to a lot of wasted time over the course of a year. For times like these, artificial intelligence and technology sorting or alerts are your best friend. With millions of social updates going live every second, it’s really your only option.
One such solution is SentiOne, which has created an exciting social media listening tool that allows site owners, brands, and businesses to not only get alerts when their brand names or products get mentioned on social media, but also provides them with advanced tracking and engagement tools as well.
The tool was created to help business owners make data-driven based decisions, based on proven brand monitoring and social data. In addition to helping organizations monitor mentions for their own brand name and products, this solution is great for monitoring marketing campaigns, setting up alerts, and tracking for unlimited keywords, audience insights, and much more.
As more businesses and brands continue to focus their efforts on social media and using remarketing and demographic targeting for ads, social listening and user engagement will continue to be required for all as well.
Domain name generators
With more people, businesses, and brands on the internet today than ever before, coming up with the perfect domain name is harder than ever. Even with new TLDs going live all the time, people still want to use .com, .net, and .org.
With this being the case, website and business owners aren’t left with many options. In most cases, it’s either paying a huge price for a domain name that is already registered and for sale or getting a bit creative and coming up with a good name that hasn’t been taken yet.
To help with this process, we recommend you save time and frustration by using a domain name generator to speed up the decision and creative process. As any multi-site or business owner already knows, few things are more annoying than searching for a great domain name one search at a time from your preferred domain registrar.
The immediate benefit of using such tools is that they can search, sort, and display hundreds of domains that might fit your needs, while also removing any that are already registered. All it takes is a simple search with a few of your preferred keywords, and then the domain search tools will get right to work for you.
Some of the tools mentioned in the list I linked to above will also allow you to register the domain right from your search page (as seen in the screenshot above). Some will also offer domain extension sorting and suggestions in different languages.
Another benefit to using these tools is having the ability to further protect your business and brand name by securing any other exact match domain names that might be floating around out there. It’s a much better idea to secure these domains for $10 a year now, versus trying to take legal action against someone should they secure it later on.
As more bloggers and site owners continue to launch new websites and projects, having a great domain name is often one of the most important things to secure when starting out.
Google Analytics and G Suite Tools
One software solution and platform that can be added to the “must-have business tools” list year after year is those provided by Google. These would be any or all of the following:
- Google Analytics
- Gmail / Google Workplace
- Docs, Sheets, Slides etc…
With Google now powering more of the information being created, referenced and shared on a daily basis, it only makes sense to continually utilize the data and tools they are offering to users and small business owners.
For the most part, many of us are already using Gmail for email, Calendar for scheduling and Drive for storing files and information. However, there are many other powerful marketing tools and solutions offered by Google as well.
One of the most obvious and commonly used solutions is Google Analytics, which is a must for tracking everything about your site’s current and future search rankings movements, optimization, and more. Google Workplace, (formerly G-Suite) is also a huge benefit for anyone looking to write with documents, create spreadsheets, and even slideshows… all without the need to download or buy software.
No matter how big or small your business might be, Google’s arsenal of tools is a must-have for entrepreneurs of all sizes, in all markets.
Team communication and engagement platforms
2020 was quite the year for business owners and how they continued to change their day-to-day operations while working with different team members, staff and employees. For the most part, nearly all businesses and organizations are focusing more on work from home and teleconferencing, while moving away from being reliant to local and in-person engagement.
The most popular tool for the year was likely Zoom, as it played a pivotal role in the live webinars and teleconferencing process. However, it wasn’t the only solution out there to see more growth and usage when it comes to employee and team engagement.
In fact, there are plenty of tools out there to help with improved online engagement and communications with others, while also not requiring live video calls – which is likely a big plus for many entrepreneurs, team members, and business owners.
Two perfect examples of such solutions are Trello and Discord. Both platforms allow for users to connect with others, but in quite different ways. And even more convenient, both are very customizable to the needs of the organization, while also being private to invited members only.
Trello is extremely easy to use and can be used for pretty much anything. Their platform is great, as it provides their users with a boardroom area where everyone can update, add, tweak, and comment on different projects going on. Trello is perfect for businesses and brands of all sizes, which also have team members and employees working together on multi-part projects.
Discord has been gaining a lot of attention and user growth later, but it’s more like a chat room or Skype conversation, versus a full board platform like Trello offers. However, unlike traditional chat rooms, Discord allows for private access and invite-only, while also having multi-chat room/group features and moderator settings. Think Skype, but with their own set of advanced features and settings that make it ideal for businesses of all sizes.
In either case, the goal here is to make sure you and your team are working together and making the engagement and work process as easy as possible. Both of these solutions are free to use (with premium options available), and are accessible through most web browsers and also as mobile applications.
How to make 2021 your best year ever
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, 2020 was pretty rough for most businesses and brands. However, the ones that put in the time and effort to adapt early and focus their efforts on not being limited by offline transactions and customer engagement ended up in much better positions.
With this in mind, 2021 will likely bring on many different adventures and challenges of its own. And just like in previous years, those who plan and adapt to the changes around them will do best. The good news is, there are plenty of tools out there to help you along the way. In an effort to make this your best business year yet, be sure to consider implementing each of the software solutions and methods mentioned above. No matter the size or focus of your business or brand, they will prove valuable over the course of the year.
Guest author: Zac Johnson is a world-renowned blogger and entrepreneur with nearly 20 years of experience in the online marketing space and has helped his readers generate millions of dollars online. He shares his story and guidance at ZacJohnson.com