KATIE BULMERE-COOKE: Get ready now to gain advantage

I'm almost at festive breaking point, in a good way of course. I'm beyond excited for Christmas, more so than ever this year. I think being in The Bridges most days helps, with the decorations, Christmas music on loop and everyone dashing around buying Christmas presents and with rolls of wrapping paper hanging out of their shopping bags.

Monday, 19th December 2016, 12:15 pm
Christmas shopping at The Bridges Sunderland.

Many people have started to wind down for Christmas, and are already thinking about how they will be wording their out-of-office reply, and I have to say that I am also looking forward to a good rest too.

That said, I do always think that in business, the festive holidays are a good time to get a bit of a head start. While everyone else is totally switched off, it is a good time to gain a little competitive advantage and get things in place ready to kick off with a bang in the new year.

One way to ensure you’re ahead of the game is to fully get to grips with social media for business.

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Whether you work for a company, have your own business or are simply thinking about starting a small side-line business, it really is a must.

The changes to Facebook this year have been incredible, with the introduction of the new market place feature and developments in the capabilities of Facebook ads.

Back in the day, we were putting flyers through doors to promote our businesses, with nothing more than a hope that the person on the other side of the door would have an interest in our products or services...ultimately it was a major guessing game...a total game of chance. But now Facebook is helping us to filter out those people who would never be interested in what our businesses do and don’t fall into our customer demographic...and the best part is, that by comparison to the good old flyer through the door technique, it is way cheaper and far less time consuming.

We think that we know our friends really well, but the reality is that Facebook knows them just was well, if not better.

Facebook knows what their interests are, how they behave online, how they access the social media site and tons more. It’s scary really! But because Facebook knows so much about it’s users, it is a marketing gift, that everyone should be tapping into...you’d be nuts not to!

I love the start of a new year. Not because I love making new years resolutions or anything like that. I simply love it because it’s another year ahead full of exciting opportunities, meeting new people and creating new working relationships.

Facebook and social media generally is going to go to a whole new level next year for certain and if you want to ride the wave and maximise it’s potential then it’s key that you get to grips with it and invest in getting to know and understand it inside out...because if you don’t, maybe your competitors will!

Have a great pre-Christmas week,