Tis the season for year-end wrap-ups; and as today is the last Tip of the year, a best of list seems fitting. The following are the most popular tip posts from 2015 in a number of categories, along with posts from previous years that generated the most traffic in 2015. If you missed them, or simply meant to check out the links but never had the time, here’s another chance to take a look.
5 Most Read 2015 Tip of the Week Posts
- Preparing Your Small Business for EMV
This post from February, 2015 was by far the most viewed Tip of the year, as well as the tip post most shared on Facebook. You have probably heard about EMV “chipped” credit and debit cards, or “Chip-and-PIN” card by now. And since the EMV liability shift is in place, it is more important than ever that you understand how to support EMV credit card transactions for your retail sales, and understand how to protect your business from what is expected to be increased card-not-present fraud schemes. This post tells you everything you need to know.
- The Best Virtual Assistant for Your Small Business: Siri vs. Google Now vs. Cortana
This post compares the three major virtual assistants from Apple (Siri), Google (Google Now) and Microsoft (Cortana.) While each has its’s strengths and weaknesses, the consensus seems to be that Google Now wins for speed and knowledge, while Siri wins for personality, and Cortana is shaping up to be the tops for actually acting as an assistant (following instructions to set reminders related to contacts, learning about you in order to better fulfill your requests, etc.). Cortana can also sing, which the others cannot.
- A Scientific Approach to More Effective Small Business Social Media Marketing
Even a small business can have a big presence in social media, with a minimal expenditure, if it develops great content, nurtures key influencer relationships, and promotes effectively. This post includes research findings and free social media marketing applications which give small business owners the tools to do just that.
- Smart Hashtag Strategy for Your Small Business
Despite rumors of its imminent demise on Twitter, the Hashtag is still one of the most popular and effective social media mechanisms. This post provides a short history of hashtags, along with tools that will help you leverage them effectively. (Also check this post out for the very funny Jimmy Fallon-Justin Timberlake #Hashtag video.)
- Getting It Out: 4 Tips for Extracting Content from PowerPoint, YouTube, Acrobat, & other Files and Online Sources
In this post I share secrets for extracting the exact content you need from a variety of file types and sources. If you’ve ever been frustrated by not being able to edit down YouTube videos, not being able to pull images from a locked Acrobat .pdf, or needed to export only the images from large Word or Power Point documents, then this post will be a lifesaver and a time-saver.
Most Tweeted 2015 Tip of the Week Post
The most tweeted post of the year was a tie between A Scientific Approach to More Effective Small Business Social Media Marketing (detailed above above) and
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Events & Resources for Small Business
While this post was geared towards specific events around the annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, it includes tips and resources that will help keep your small business secure all year long.
Most LinkedIn Shared 2015 Tip of the Week Post
Getting To Know Your Customers Through Search
What do your customers really want? That’s the key question for any business. And, it isn’t just a matter of getting at one single answer, it is the ability to adapt as that answer changes over time that separates a flash-in-the-pan start-up from a sustainable small business success. This post concentrates on one small piece of the puzzle: learning from how your customers search. It requires a two-fold approach of first looking at the search terms people use in search engine searches that direct them to your website, and second looking at how they search your website itself.
2015 Post with Most Facebook Likes/Shares
Preparing Your Small Business for EMV (described above) was by far the most popular Tip post on Facebook in 2015. However, the runner up was a far more entertaining read:
Small Business Lessons from the Movies
Small business lessons abound in Wall Street based movies (most notably Wall Street itself), but they can also be found in horror flicks like Scream and Halloween, old classics like the 1939 The Wizard of Oz, newer classics like the 1984 Ghostbusters, and more current franchises like Hunger Games and Marvel’s Avengers. This post provides examples from several genres, and gives you a chance to watch the Ghostbusters commercial video again.
2014 Tip of the Week Post with Most Views in 2015
15 Quizzes to Test Your Business & Management Skills
One of last year’s top posts, this one remains the most popular 2014 post in 2015. Take these small business, leadership & management, security, etiquette and social media quizzes to gauge your expertise, peg your style, and find your gaps. And, if you want to be quizzed even more, check out the 2015 follow-up post 20 More Quizzes to Test Your Business & Management Skills.
2013 Tip of the Week Post with Most Views in 2015
How Small Businesses Can Get Refunds for Late Package Deliveries
This post was the most popular 2013 Tip in 2014, and continues its run in 2015. FedEX and UPS have 100% money back guarantees. If your package arrives even a minute later than promised, your shipping is free. Read this post to find out how to get a quick effortless refund.
2012 Tip of the Week Post with Most Views in 2015
How to go Straight to Voicemail & Leave a Message Without Calling Someone
Once again, this post is one of the most viewed on our blog, in the Tip of the Week category and among all posts. The company offering this service is still in business, so if you want to leave a message without ringing someone’s phone, you still can.
2015 Tip of the Week Post That Includes the Best Video
Celebrate National Train Your Brain Day
This post celebrates the unofficial National Train Your Brain Day holiday, by providing resources for a brain performance review and a brain workout plan. It also includes the classic Wizard of Oz video clip of the Scarecrow singing “If I only had a brain.” I dare you to watch it without coming away humming.
Best 2015 Infographic Post
The Security Turkey Helps You Catch a Phish
This may not be a fair category, as this post was the only one for which I created an infographic this year, but the subject is so important that it is worth highlighting again. Phishing is one of the biggest security threats small businesses, and companies of all sizes, face on a day-to-day basis. Use this Phish Catching Security Turkey infographic to remind you of best practices for spotting phishing email and for keeping yourself, and your small business, safe and secure.
Best Poetry in a 2015 Tip of the Week Post
In Memoriam F.S.B. (The Way of the Small Business)
If you’re a regular Tip reader, you’ll have noticed that the English Major in me is compelled to periodically include literary references in my posts. This post, which begins with my corruption of an Alfred, Lord Tennyson poem, memorializes the many embattled small businesses that despite a dedicated entrepreneur’s best efforts ended up failing.
My Favorite 2015 Tip of the Week Post That Very Few People Appear to Have Read
A Test for Your Small Business Problem Solving Skills
This post gets read, but apparently not by as many people as I think it deserves. It begins with a basic problem solving puzzle, and then goes on to explain the cognitive biases that cause most people to get the very simple answer wrong. By understanding your own biases, you can employ techniques that prevent you from falling victim to them. The post ends with some tips that can help. Why worry about these cognitive biases if everyone has them? Because what separates the modestly successful from the uber- successful may just be the effectiveness of the problem solving approach and techniques employed.
Most Popular Other 2015 Post I Wrote
The Small Business Guide to Holiday Sales and Promotions
While my major contributions to the PaySimple Blog are the weekly Tip posts, I occasionally post in other categories as well. This comprehensive post on sales and marketing strategies focuses on the holidays, but most of the techniques and tactics discussed are applicable to optimizing sales strategies for any time of year.