WTI - Ten social media tips for small businesses

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WTI - Ten social media tips for small businesses

  1. 1. Social Media will last. Facebook and Twitter? Perhaps not. •Social Media is not about the applications. It’s not about whether you have a presence on Facebook or Twitter but more the content: what you have to say and how you want to say it. Don’t get hung up on the applications. They may not last. Concentrate more on the social, not the media. Find your voice. •There are many ways to get the message across. If you are a wordsmith and excel in prose, then blogs are best for you. If you like to talk, then podcasting is your channel. If you are more of a thespian, then video is more your thing. In a visual business? Then there is a channel for that also. There are lots of ways of getting the message across. Find the one that suits you best. Social Media is like your local pub. •It’s all about conversation. Sharing ideas and feedback. Responding to requests or helping resolve problems. Getting closer to your customers and learning from their experiences. Where do we have similar conversations? At the pub! Make your social media strategy reflective of the same informal, sharing and enjoyable experience as being at a pub with friends and you’ll not go far wrong. Be here, be there, be everywhere. •We don’t all read the same newspapers. We don’t all go to see the same movies. We don’t all listen to the same radio stations. Our customers are just the same. Don’t put all your social media eggs in one basket. It’s guaranteed you won’t reach everyone. Be like Forest Gump. Be everywhere. Be present in all the channels your customer uses. You don’t need to contribute, but you do need to be seen! Two ears, two eyes and one mouth. •Enough said. We’ve all heard it before. Listen before you speak. Make sure you understand the situation before jumping in and giving advice. This is even more important with social media. When you find a channel of value, be a lurker for a while. Read what people post. See what people comment on. Then gradually add in your own thoughts and grow your influence.© simplifywithus 2010
  2. 2. Direct Marketing using Social Media is spam. Avoid at all costs. •It’s tempting to do. Stand on a virtual soap-box and shout to the world of your products or services. But we won’t listen. We’re not interested in what you think. We want things for us ourselves: the selfish consumer. Think: how many marketing messages received in your e-mail inbox do you read? Very few I suggest. Social media must differ. Use it to build trust. If you are trusted, then people will listen. The name is Zero, Agent Zero. •You have established a position of trust in multiple social networks and your customers come again and again. Use your position as Agent Zero – the connecting point of like-minded networks to introduce other contacts, contacts that you trust and that add value to your customer (and of course you!). Your trust factor – your Whuffie – will grow exponentially. Are you in a Mesh? •As a successful social media company, your customers will share a great amount of data with you. Data aligned to their needs and desires. Data, on which, you can build your offerings. But what about the remainder? Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, use the data to identify where companies you trust, your partner organisations, can add value that make the customers experience event better. Create a mesh of companies with a shared vision. Look in, as well as out. •Social media need not just be outward facing, towards the customer. It can support internal development also. Use social media to engage all staff. Use it as a channel for learning. Use it as the virtual suggestion box. Tip: if you intend to discuss trade secrets then create multiple identities. Tip on Tip: Good idea if you use social media out with business. Competition is wide open. •Social media for business is still new and there is no out and out “best way”. Test out different uses for your business and see what works best. As Buffalo Springfield sang, “There’s something happening here, what it is, ain’t exactly clear”. Go for it. You can be the trend setter. Lead and good luck.© simplifywithus 2010

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