Small business advice: Social media

For small businesses, the amount of time and effort spent focussing on winning new business can seem high, with endless networking events, prospective meetings and phone calls to track down new clients.  Finding new business is essential, yet it can be difficult to look after your current clients while you’re doing it, so small businesses need to constantly find new ways to make new contacts without spending too much time out of the office. Social media

Social media is becoming a vital tool for small businesses for this very reason.  Being able to network with a range of contacts while at your desk means that you can run a large part of your new business programme whilst working on current clients.

If you’re new to social networking, we’ve put together a short list of tips and ideas to help you with your new business work in social media:

Be a real person: Nobody likes to talk to a machine, so always speak as a real person when sending out tweets or updates.  The best thing you can do in social media is talk to people like you would in real life.

Be efficient: Social media can be a time sink, so it’s important to spend your time wisely.  Work out which platforms have been the most use and concentrate on them. It’s easy to try to spread yourself too thinly, so focus on the relationships and networks that work best for you.

Take it offline: Social media is fantastic for building relationships, but the end goal should always be to meet your contacts in the real world. With all of the time you’ve spent sharing ideas online, your first meeting should be far more enjoyable and relevant.

Don’t market: The odd message about your company or service is fine, but try to keep them under control. The best piece of advice anyone can give for social networking is to be creative and post updates that help or entertain your followers. If you over market yourself, they’ll quickly switch off.

We’re sure many of you have plenty of ideas to add to this, so feel free to leave a comment and we’ll see what else we can add to the list. Thanks, and let us know if you have anything else to include.

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