Small Businesses and Social Media: Best Practice

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Empower Director Ben Matthews was recently quoted in an article on The Guardian’s Small Business Network, looking at best practice for small business and social media:

“Many website analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, also let you see where visitors are coming from when visiting your small business website. It’s a great way to check if your Facebook or Twitter channels are performing well or what opportunities there are to improve.”

Below are the 8 tips from the article, or you can read the full version on The Guardian.

Choose your channels

Don’t try to be everywhere. With so many new platforms online the temptation is to sign up for as many as possible, but with disappointing results. Where does your business sit in the social media space? Are you aiming to build a community presence? If so Facebook is for you. If your business is in a highly visual sector, where imagery is key, then Instagram and Pinterest are worth joining. And if you are in an industry where you can provide useful professional insights to others, be active on LinkedIn.

Know your connections

Consider who your audience is and why they would follow you. Think about what attracts customers to your products or services and aim to make your social media relevant and interesting to prospective customers.

Research the conversations

Do your research, not only into your own industry and competitors, but also into your potential detractors.

Set the right tone

Your online social media voice should reflect the business voice that your customers hear when you speak to them direct. Yet many business owners make the mistake of being too dull or too flippant with their social media content.

Grow your audience

Creating a regular weekly or fortnightly time slot will give your connections, listeners and followers something to anticipate, and your business, a social media audience.

Keep track of your social media impact

Once your social media strategy is up and running, you want to know what impact it is having, which means measuring what is working and what isn’t. This can be as simple as using bitly to shorten the links you share and then using their analytics to see what is performing well.

Google Plus it

For many social media users the jury is still out on the value of Google Plus, but it does have its benefits. If you produce blog content, share it on G+, where there are thousands of community groups discussing a wide range of topics.

Involve the team

Social media proficiency is like a stick of rock – it should be stamped right through your business, which means getting everyone in the team involved in your social media marketing efforts. Instead of trying to ban social media in the workplace, as many employers do, channel that enthusiasm into something that works for both sides.

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