Top social media trends for your 2022 marketing strategy

Top social media trends for your 2022 marketing strategy

Social Media Trends 2022

Your customers are already searching, liking and sharing their favourite products, brands and services on social media—and they’re spending more time on these sites than ever before. But this activity doesn’t stop at consumer products, they are using social media in all aspects of their lives. 

Investing in social media marketing can help you grow your business thanks to its cost-effective advertising, smooth eCommerce capabilities, and the ability to give your brand a way to engage with your customers in a  human way. 

If it’s not easy for them to find you online, they can easily become frustrated and find another provider that better serves their needs.

Social media has become an essential part of the marketing mix, with more than three billion people worldwide spending over two hours a day socializing on social networks and messaging apps. Your business can tap into this pool of potential customers to increase user engagement and gain new leads—but you need to build a social media strategy that accurately reflects your business’s goals.

That’s why looking to the experts for their social media top tips and trends can be a great place to start as you begin to build your marketing and social media strategy. 

Hubspot recently shared their top to trends to look out for in 2022 and beyond

  1. TikTok will dominate the social media space.
  2. Reaching new audiences will become the number one social media goal for businesses.
  3. Companies will make more dedicated social media hires.
  4. Augmented Reality will become consumers’ preferred way to try-on products and interact with brands.
  5. Businesses in the B2B space will increase their investments in Instagram and Twitter.
  6. Influencer marketing will mature in 2022.
  7. Social advertising will become more sophisticated.
  8. Businesses will invest in more long-form and short-form content, as well as live audio chat rooms.
  9. Social selling demands will grow.
  10. Consumers will crave snackable content.

 There are many social media trends reports circulating but they all seem to share the same ideas, this is interesting when many brands have written off platforms like TikTok, seeing them as a fast-growing pandemic fad or influencer marketing as low return on investment. 

As marketers, it is interesting to be part of an industry that is constantly evolving, and with now people more than ever using social media to inform their purchasing decisions, it has never been more important to ensure you’re making the most of the tools and platforms available to you. When social media isn’t prioritized, organizations miss out on the 

opportunity to optimize platforms and turn them into revenue generators. 

If you’re looking to reach new audiences, trial new platforms, increase your paid social investments or create snackable content to share your story, then our marketing team which includes experts within the social media sphere can help guide you through the process. 

 

Managing small business cash flow and income in 2022

Managing small business cash flow and income in 2022

finance designated

Content from this article was originally posted by XERO.

 While there are many advantages of being your own boss and running your own small business it isn’t always easy and it can come with hurdles you didn’t even know existed. Then throw in 12 months of restrictions, lockdowns and uncertainty.

The scale of the impact felt by the self-employed is abundantly clear in latest research by simply business. They found Covid-19 will cost SMEs an estimated £126.6 billion – double what owners predicted it would cost them. With six million SMEs in the UK – accounting for over 99% of all businesses, 33% of employment and 21% of all turnover – this £126.6 billion hole in the books of small businesses is a huge blow to the economy.

 It’s been a lean time for small businesses, and especially the families supporting them.

Xero’s small business trends report shows that 60% of small business owners are worried about their household finances running low. So while 2022 will hopefully be a year of rebounding sales and revenue, owners really need that to carry through to the business’ bottom line.

What the experts say

“Businesses must analyse margins and focus on the products and services that generate actual profits as they try to restore cash to the business,” says Ya Wen How, an accountant at AccountServe, who participated in the report.

While there will be a temptation to withdraw any spare cash from the business as ‘owner’s drawings’, experts say it’s important to be mindful of upcoming and potentially unknown expenses.

“Owners often overlook upcoming business expenses when taking drawings, which creates cash flow issues later,” says David Stephens, an accountant at Stephens Financial Services. These cash flow issues create further disruption to the household budget because money has to be put back to the business. 

“Rather than clearing out the business bank account, owners are better off paying themselves a modest amount at regular intervals,” Stephens advises.

Takeaways for small businesses

There are a few things small businesses can do to help support their recovery according to Xero’s small business trends report:

  • Analyse your business margins and focus on products that generate the most profit

  • Create a ‘rainy day fund’ within the business so you’re not constantly loaning it money from your personal savings

  • Schedule regular, sustainable drawings to ease home budgeting

  • Keep your regular drawings modest, as you can always give yourself a bonus payment at the end of a good year

Check out other trends for 2022

Read Xero’s small business trends report to learn more about how to manage your cash and income to set your business up for success in 2022.

How to complete a self-assessment tax return. Let’s talk taxes.

How to complete a self-assessment tax return. Let’s talk taxes.

Taxes Self Assessment

Before we can tuck into the Turkey, let’s talk taxes. Although many of us are about to wind down for Christmas, now is actually a perfect time to get ahead for the new year and start gathering everything we will need to prepare for HMRC’s self-assessment tax return.

If you have been wondering whether you need to complete a tax return, the following guide should give you all of the basic information you need. For further details please head to https://www.gov.uk/check-if-you-need-tax-return.


Do I need to complete a self-assessment tax return?

Most people are taxed at the source and do not need to worry about submitting a self-assessment tax return, “however, if in the last tax year (6 April to 5 April ) you have worked as self-employed or as a partner and/or earned more than £1,000 (before taking off anything you can claim tax relief on)then you must register as self-employed with HMRC.

It’s also worth noting that any directors of limited companies that wish to receive dividends must also be registered as self-employed to ensure they are correctly taxed.”

You will not usually need to send a return if your only income is from your wages or pension. But you may need to send one if you have any other untaxed income, such as:

  • money from renting out a property
  • tips and commission
  • income from savings, investments and dividends
  • foreign income

HMRC may contact you with a tax return to complete if:

  • You have untaxed income from investment, land or property, or from overseas.
  • You make capital gains above the annual exempt amount (£12,300 for 2020-21 and 2021-22). you were required to fill in a tax return last year.
  • You’re a pensioner who gets a reduced age-related allowance, though you may be sent a special short version that requires fewer details.

 

It is however your responsibility to make sure that you declare all taxable income, on time. If you receive a tax return, you must return it, regardless of whether you owe tax or not.

How to register and submit a tax return

If you’re looking to submit a tax return for the first time, you’ll need to register for self-assessment first. The steps are below.

Register with HMRC: The process will vary depending on whether you’re self-employed, registering a partnership or not self-employed – you should click on the option that applies to you. You can register online via HMRC.

Get your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number: HMRC will send this to you in a letter after you register. The letter will give instructions on how to set up your Government Gateway account.

Use your activation code for your Government Gateway account: Once this is done, you’ll be sent another letter in the post containing your activation code. You’ll need this to complete the set-up of your account – you should do this promptly as the code will expire.

Complete your account setup: It’s only once your Government Gateway account is up and running that you’ll be able to log in and submit your tax return.

HMRC warns that the whole process could take up to 20 working days, so make sure you don’t leave it until the last minute.

 

What are the deadlines for completing a tax return

The deadline for completing a self-assessment tax returns are:

5 October 2021: Deadline to register for self-assessment for the first time

31 October 2021: paper tax return deadline 31 January 2022: online tax return deadline (HMRC says you can submit up to 28 February 2021 without getting an instant penalty)

31 January 2022: tax payment deadline for 2020-21 tax owed, plus any outstanding tax from 2019-20 if you took out a payment arrangement with HMRC. If you pay your tax by payments on account you may have already made payments towards this bill.

HMRC has the power to charge increasingly expensive penalties if you miss the tax return deadline, which starts with a £100 fine from the first day your return is late.

If you need help completing your tax return, our experienced and professional Accountancy team can carry out the leg work for you, ensuring a smooth, simple and stress-free process. Contact Vicky by telephone 0207 952 1460 or via email at info@designatedgroup.com

 

The ultimate business hashtag list 2021

The ultimate business hashtag list 2021

Ultimate business hashtag listv designated

    What are hashtags and why should you consider using them for your social media marketing? What is the best business hashtag list to use for your business?

    A hashtag (#) is a label (or labels) attached to a social media post. It’s a simple way for people to search for common topics across social media platforms.

    You might be familiar with hashtags on Twitter, but they are used widely across LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can follow hashtags you might be interested in on LinkedIn and Instagram, plus you can add them to Instagram and Facebook Stories.

    The key with hashtags is to fully understand your audience and ensure you use the most relevant hashtags for your content. We talk more about this in our recent blog post Why use hashtags in your social media posts

    So where can you start? We’ve done some initial research for you on the most popular business hashtags list, which can be used for many types of businesses. Don’t try to use them all at once! Experiment with these broad hashtags and see which ones work for you.

    Does this all seem like too much effort? Do you not have the time to do all the research needed to get the most effective list of hashtags for your business?  Why don’t you let our team at Designated look into a social media strategy for you and take care of all your hashtags at the same time!

     

    The Best Business Hashtag List for Instagram

    #businesscoach

    #digitalmarketing

    #digitalbusiness

    #business

    #investing

    #wealth

    #money

    #businesstips

    #startup

    #entrepreneur

     

    The Best Hashtags For Marketing for Instagram

    #adwords

    #mktdigital

    #inboundmarketing

    #googleadwords

    #marketingconsultant

    #facebookads

    #digitalagency

    #socialmedia

     

    The best hashtags for Medical for Instagram

    #heathcare

    #medstudent

    #nurses

    #healthcare

    #pharmacy

    #medicalstudents

    #clinical

    #nurse

    #medicallife

    #medicalcare

     

    The Best Hashtags For Restaurants for Instagram

    #chef

    #foodtruck

    #dinner

    #restaurant

    #familyrestaurant

    #finedine

    #instarestaurant

    #restaurantstyle

    #bestrestaurants

    #restaurantlife

     

    The Best Hashtags For Fitness for Instagram

    #fitsporation

    #fitnessmodel

    #fit

    #workout

    #instafitness

    #gymlife

    #getfit

    #fitnessaddict

    #gym

    #fitnessmotivation

     

    The Best Hashtags For Events for Instagram

    #specialevents

    #partyplanning

    #event

    #eventservices

    #corporateevent

    #eventpros

    #eventsplanning

    #venues

    #eventsplanner

    #eventmanager

     

    The Best Hashtags For Recruitment for Instagram

    #interviewtips

    #applynow

    #careergoals

    #employers

    #employer

    #careerdevelopment

    #jobinterview

    #recruitmentagency

    #jobsearching

    #recruiterlife

     

    Want to find out more about using social media to raise your brand awareness and drive sales, contact designated’s marketing director Michelle who would be happy to tell you all about our fab team: michelle.wheeler@designated.com

    IR35 Reforms – the story so far

    IR35 Reforms – the story so far

    IR35


    It’s been more than two months since the introduction of reforms to the IR35 rules and in that time, thousands of contractors have required contractual assessment and review. 

    JSA Group’s assessment platform, IR35 Complete™, has been used to assess contractors with over 750 hiring organisations across numerous industry sectors since the reforms were implemented.  Naturally, this scale of deployment leads to a healthy data set, offering interesting insight about what’s happening in the marketplace.

    To date, 18.9% of the off-payroll status determination assessments carried out through IR35 Complete™ have identified that the hiring organisation is in fact not responsible for producing an assessment due to them qualifying for the “small company exemption”. In such scenarios, the IR35 assessment responsibility continues to sit with the worker themselves. The IR35 Complete™ assessment process specifically screens hiring organisations based on their size to ensure that supply chains don’t become polluted with invalid Status Determination Statements produced by exempted hirers.

    “Inside” IR35 determinations account for just 28.2% of determinations made. This is interesting because of pre-April concerns that many more contractors were going to be officially classified as “inside” IR35. Of course, there is still some application of blanket “inside” IR35 decisions which isn’t reflected in this figure, but we believe this statistic speaks volumes about the value of carrying out genuine assessments. When roles are properly assessed, instances of “inside” IR35 are much less common, indicating the unfairness of large-scale blanket “inside” IR35 determinations.

    “Outside” IR35 determinations show up in 52.8% of cases. When we consider that in practice this number can most likely be combined with the 18.9% of cases where the worker remains responsible for their own IR35 determination, that effectively means that in nearly three quarters of cases, there is no change of IR35 status disruption injected into the supply chain; it’s effectively “business as usual”.

    All of this underlines the need for quality, timely and accurate IR35 assessments.

     

    Article originally posted on theglobalrecruiter.com, August 2021

    What is IR35 and what does it mean for you?

    What is IR35 and what does it mean for you?

    ir35

    Article originally posted here, written by Nick Green, financial journalist. 

    What is IR35 and how can you avoid being caught out by it? We explain what this controversial tax change means for contractors and the businesses that hire them, and how to take steps to reduce the risk of being sunk by the IR35 trap. 

    Small businesses and freelancers alike have been bracing themselves for an imminent change in a piece of tax-avoidance legislation. This has been pushed back thanks to the coronavirus, but it still means that from April 2021 private sector employers will have to follow the same rules as the public sector with regard to IR35. The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that both companies and contractors will feel the pinch. 

    What is IR35? 
    IR35 is also known as the ‘off-payroll working rules’. IR35 is designed to prevent workers from avoiding tax by operating as contractors, when really they are employees in all but name. So for example, if a contractor operates via their own limited company, but is otherwise treated the same as their client’s employees, they are considered to be ‘inside IR35’ and will need to make additional tax payments. 

    What is the new change concerning IR35?
    IR35 was originally introduced by Gordon Brown, to prevent employees from avoiding tax by being treated as contractors. However, since then the legislation has become notorious, sometimes implicating businesses that believed they were hiring contractors appropriately, only for HMRC to disagree. 

    Post-April 2021, private sector employers will be held responsible for determining whether IR35 applies to any contractor they hire – which would require them to treat the contractor as an employee for tax purposes. This is already the case in the public sector. 

    Private sector businesses will therefore face a tricky choice: continue to treat contractors as contractors and risk a hefty fine if HMRC takes a different view – or treat them as employees with the additional costs and responsibilities this involves. There is widespread concern that genuine contractors will be classed as employees, and so will either take an unfair tax hit, or lose their contracts altogether. 

    Are you inside or outside IR35? 
    IR35 was introduced because of the way employees are treated differently from contractors. With an employee, an employer must provide a workplace pension, paid holiday, sick pay, other benefits (perhaps) and pay employer’s National Insurance contributions. A contractor, on the other hand, is paid a flat fee and can be dismissed easily if there is no more work for them to do. 

    The vast majority of contractors operate as limited companies, either one-person companies or ‘umbrella’ companies. It’s rare for contractors to be sole traders, as unlimited liability make this risky for them, while companies are wary of hiring them in case HMRC thinks they are employees. Operating as a company also means the contractor can pay less tax. 

    However, operating as a company doesn’t prevent a contractor from being an employee in all but name – which is where IR35 comes in. Broadly, IR35 says, ‘If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.’ In other words, if the contractor is working like an employee, with similar obligations, then they should be treated as one for tax purposes. HMRC therefore looks very closely at what it calls ‘personal service companies’. 

    What’s a personal service company? 
    Though the name may sound dubious, a personal service company (PSC) is merely a company through which a contractor operates in order to do their freelance work (because most businesses won’t hire a sole trader). The term isn’t defined in law – HMRC simply uses this label to describe companies that may be used as ‘cover’ by contractors who are really employees in all but name. 

    This creates a double problem, affecting both contractors and the businesses that want to use them. If a business is afraid that any contractor it hires might be considered an employee by HMRC, it may not risk hiring them at all. In this case, both the business and the contractor lose out. This is what many small business fear will happen post-April 2021. 

    Can I check my IR35 employment status? 
    HMRC offers an online tool, Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) that you can use to give yourself a general guide to your status. However, industry bodies (including IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) fear it is still not fit for purpose. Contractors, recruitment agencies and end-clients therefore shouldn’t rely on it wholly when determining IR35 status. 

    The biggest problem with CEST: the MoO factor 
    One of the key deficiencies of the CEST tool is that it does not factor in ‘Mutuality of Obligation’ (MoO). Mutuality of Obligation is one of the defining characteristics of employment, in that the employee has certain obligations towards the employer, and vice versa. Many of these obligations do not apply to contractors (e.g. the contractor can choose where and how to deliver the work, and can delegate it to an associate if necessary; while the client is not obliged to offer the contractor more work). MoO has been a decisive factor in a number of recent IR35 tribunals, which is another reason why the CEST tool is still only a rough guide. 

    8 tips on how contractors and businesses can avoid IR35 

    Fears that the changes to IR35 will spell the death of freelancing are exaggerated. By taking the appropriate steps, both contractors and businesses can ensure that they do not fall foul of IR35. 

    Remember, IR35 is something that applies to a role, rather than an individual. So just because you were outside it on your last assignment, doesn’t mean that you won’t be inside it on your next one. For every assignment that you take on as a contractor, the most important thing is to be able to show that you are ‘in business on your own account’ and therefore not an employee. 

    Tips for proving you are ‘in business on your own account’ 

    If you are a contractor operating through a limited company (either your own or an umbrella company), HMRC may ask for evidence that you are genuinely freelance, and not just an employee of your client. Here are some ways that you could make your case. 

    1. Highlight the ways your work situation differs from employees’ 

    Genuine employees will have certain set working conditions, such as minimum hours, pension arrangements and other benefits, and perhaps subsidised services too. The employer also has a duty to provide work for them, which the employee has an obligation to do – and the employer can stipulate where and how the work is to be carried out. You should be able to show that little if any of this applies to you. 

    2. Keep client correspondence 

    If you have emails that clearly state you are not under the control of a manager at the business, but are simply contracted to provide a service, this can be useful too. 

    3. Don’t name your company after yourself 

    HMRC knows that a company named after a person may well be just that person, and this fits their profile of a PSC. But if your company has a more ‘business-like’ name, e.g. XYZ Design, it emphasises the fact that your company is distinct from you, and that you could delegate the work to another person if necessary. Employees cannot delegate in this way, so it marks you out as different. 

    4. Have your own marketing materials 

    You should be able to demonstrate that you market your contracting services actively. Have a listing on relevant services website, post adverts and print business cards, all of which help to indicate that you are in business on your own account. Never use a business card which includes your client’s branding! 

    5. Maintain your own office 

    A well-equipped office, even just in your own home, will strongly imply that your work activities extend well beyond your current client. If you also invest in your own software licences, trade literature and professional memberships, this can help a great deal too. 

    6. Take out your own business insurance 

    Having your own business insurance, such as professional indemnity insurance, is a great way of demonstrating that you’re not just an employee. 

    7. Invest in your professional development 

    Employees don’t pay for their own training, so if you pay for yours this will be another useful point of difference. Some professions may require you to take continued professional development (CPD) to remain qualified, so by paying for this you’re also reasserting your contractor status. 

    8. Try to have multiple clients at the same time 

    It’s not always possible to arrange, but if your time is split fairly evenly between two or more main clients, it’s much harder for HMRC to claim you’re an employee of any of them. However, having a very uneven split (e.g. 90 per cent of your income deriving from one client) may be less convincing. 

    The more of these strands of evidence you can call upon, the more likely it is that HMRC will accept you are in business on your own account. Having just one or two on their own may not be enough. 

    IR35 tips for businesses hiring contractors 

    If your business hires contractors, either from time to time or on an ongoing basis, then you should review your relationships with them to ensure they don’t fall inside IR35. 

    From April 2021 it will be your responsibility to determine whether a worker is an employee or a contractor for tax purposes. You will have to issue a Status Determination Statement to your contractors, which makes their IR35 status clear (inside or outside the rules) and explains why. As long as you support your decision with sufficient evidence and file the appropriate tax documents, you should avoid any penalties. 

    In summary, you should: 

    1. Review all your relationships with contractors and/or consultants 
    1. Make sure your terms of engagement are clear and accurate 
    1. Provide contractors with their Status Determination Statement 
    1. Consider changing some contractors into employees if they fall within IR35 and if this is a more practical solution for you both 

    Will I have to give my contractors employment rights? 

    Some contractors who fall within IR35 and are treated as employees for tax purposes may feel they are entitled to full employment status, with all the protections that go with it. There are many potential issues that can arise from this, such as claims for backdated holiday pay, which will have to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. 

    Ask your accountant to help you face up to IR35 with confidence. 

     

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