Social Media Trends for 2016 – Part 2


Last week, I shared a few social media trends I see taking hold in 2016. It has remained clear that social media will impact small businesses in ways they couldn’t imagine even five years ago. This week, I continue sharing these trends with my readers. Below are some social media trends I see playing a huge role in 2016.

Social media will be happening in the moment, right now

In 2015, we saw the advent of platforms such as Periscope and the recent addition of live video on Facebook. Now, everyone can be a broadcaster on social media at the flick of a switch.

Throughout the coming year, live video and live events will continue to explode on social media, as companies realize their newfound ability to broadcast on the fly to capture customers’ attention. This will mean that companies will have to become more innovative in order to provide the sensory experience that customers will demand on social media.

Google+ may very likely disappear – for good

In 2015, Google continued to promote its own social media platform, Google+. That is, it did until it didn’t. Late in 2015, Google made some sweeping changes to the way Google+ works, and also removed Google authorship permanently earlier this year. What does this mean for 2016?

I believe Google may finally decide to throw in the towel, for good this time, and shut down Google+. The social media platform never took off the way Google intended, and if recent Google behavior is any indicator, it will further streamline its services by removing Google+. Who knows what will happen then?

We’re going to hear about virtual reality a lot

If 2015 was the year that virtual reality graduated to the next level (see Google Cardboard and the NY Times rollout of that product,) 2016 will be the year that virtual reality truly goes mainstream. In 2016, many consumers will be able to get their hands on a low-cost virtual reality viewer, such as Google Cardboard. The result will be companies scrambling to figure out how to take advantage of this new platform.

An interesting question that remains is how social media will be affected by virtual reality. There’s no doubt that live video will play a huge role in this, as 360-video will allow viewers to access new virtual environments previously out of reach (think the jungles of Central America or the plains of Africa.) Will virtual reality experiences be streamed over social media? We will soon find out.


Social Media Trends for 2016 – Part 1


As we wrap up 2015 and look to 2016, it’s clear that social media continues to have a greater impact on small businesses than ever before. In 2016, the ways that businesses use social media will evolve along with the different social platforms themselves. Businesses need to be ready. Below are some of the social media trends I see taking a foothold for 2016.

Influencer marketing will continue to become more important to businesses

2015 was definitely the year that public – and business owners – got familiarized with the term influencer marketing. After all, social media influencers have helped countless businesses promote products and services to large audiences that they previously could not access.

Marketing maven Gerard Boucher, CEO of New York digital agency Boucher + Co., believes that personal branding will become more important, as businesses realize every employee has the ability to become an influencer promoting a company’s products or services. “Influencer marketing within small and medium-sized businesses will be one of the most pronounced trends in the social media business landscape in 2016,” Mr. Boucher was quoted as saying for this blog post.

Video will be even more ubiquitous across social media channels

Video continued to take off in 2015, with more brands taking advantage of the fact that costs of producing high-quality videos have decreased greatly, making great video easily accessible to many businesses. In 2016, that trend will continue, especially with the introduction of new video formats such as 360-degree video.

The ability of businesses to broadcast live video streams on the fly, using a social platform such as Periscope, is a game-changer and will continue to be utilized by more companies in 2016. Recently, Facebook started rolling out live video to a number of businesses, and will continue to do so in 2016, inevitably increasing the utilization of these videos by brands.

Businesses will start to utilize paid social media a lot more

In an ideal world, businesses could post on social media for free, and see their organic content driving tons of engagement and lots of sales. One problem – this is not an ideal world. Almost two years ago, Facebook announced it was shifting its algorithm to focus more on non-sales related content for businesses. This decision greatly reduced the effectiveness of organic social media content promoting a brand’s sales, offers, and revenue-generating products on Facebook.

Since then, paid social media has taken off – forcing businesses to advertise on Facebook in order to reach more customers, drive engagement, and ultimately, drive revenue. This trend will continue to take hold in 2016, as businesses realize the need to make this investment in order to generate revenue and brand equity from social media.

Look for “boosting posts” to become a more widely-understood verb, and Facebook’s revenue to increase as more businesses advertise on that platform.

Please join me next week for Part 2 of this series on Social Media Trends for 2016. 

Is it time for you to sell your business?


Recently, I came across an article that was published in the New York Times titled, “Baby Boomers Ready to Sell Businesses to the Next Generation.” Naturally, I took notice as I am always looking to evaluate the state of small business acquisitions and mergers, and am always looking for exciting opportunities.

The article discusses how small business owners that were in their late 30s and early 40s in the 1990s, are now reaching retirement age and looking for an exit. I thought this article was relevant, as many of my clients and colleagues are always exploring ways to exit their business and evaluate their options.

Selling your business is a well-known, but often intimidating exit strategy.

Many small business owners dream of selling their business and retiring on a beach somewhere. However, they are intimidated at what selling their business entails. Other small business owners believe selling their small business is going to be an easy cakewalk – in and out with cash in their pocket after a few weeks.

The reality is that selling your business can be an excellent exit strategy, allowing you to reap the rewards of your hard work over many years. However, it is also a time-consuming, cautious process that promises lots of ups-and-downs.

Think it’s as easy as 1-2-3? Think again.

Selling your small business will require lots of effort, focus, and determination to see the sale close effectively. It may mean that you have to invest some money into the business – possibly cutting into your personal income or profit margin. It will definitely mean cleaning up your books and organizing all financial info. The good news is that all of this hard work will be worth it.

Today’s entrepreneurs have plenty of potential buyers in this market.

It truly is a seller’s market – and entrepreneurs and business owners have a lot to look forward to. There are plenty of prospective buyers waiting for the right business opportunity. If you are looking to exit your business – and potentially sell it, you could always visit a business brokerage website such as

To read about the personal stories of some business owners who recently purchased a business, read the full article.

Creative Methods for Keeping Top Employees are Essential to Startups


I read a fantastic New York Times article today titled “Small-Business Owners Devise Creative Ways to Keep Workers.” It was a insightful read, and I related it to quickly. As a serial entrepreneur and the founder of a number of startups, I have first-hand experience in the dangers of losing employees to other companies.

The article discusses the ways that business owners discover that key employees are leaving their business. For me, I always found out suddenly. Many times, employees would reach out to me and give me their notice seemingly out of the blue. It was painful and endangered my businesses by negatively affecting a key factor of their success – employing top talent. It would often take many days and weeks to re-fill a given position with replacement talent.

Want to know a secret to surviving employee turnover? Don’t panic.

Here’s my advice to every business owner, startup founder, or manager faced with the problem of employee turnover and sudden employee departure: don’t panic. It may sound easier said than done, but it’s truly the key to keeping your sanity – and your business – intact. The easiest way to stay calm in a stressful situation like this is to constantly develop new talent. Always be on the lookout for top talent and potential new hires. When an employee surprises you, move quickly to reach out to the network of prospective talent. You will develop certainty in your business and get the talent your business needs.

Today’s entrepreneurs have a lot of creative options on the table.

Reading the article also gave me a lot of hope. Today, business owners can look forward to the ability to create their own, original incentives to retain talent. The article mentions how one business treated all of its employees, and their families, to an all-expenses paid cruise after they hit some customer acquisition goals. Another mentions gifting an employee a trip to Paris. Incentives like that will help you counter the fast-moving, ever-changing labor market and bring certainty to your business.

To learn more about other creative incentives created by business owners for their employees, read the full article.