Social media - are you missing out?

Social Media Outposts
I often go to meetings, give talks and run workshops for groups of small businesses.  Many of them don't have a social media presence - there are some who don't even have a website!  Should they?  Are they missing out?

OK, I'm slightly biased in favour of social media as I did jump on the social media bandwagon a few years ago.  I enjoy it and get a lot from it.  I love the way it can connect disparate groups of people or expand your reach beyond your immediate local network.

If you're not sure when you're getting start - at least make sure you grab your business name anyway - you'll be kicking yourself if you decide that social media IS for you and then find your business name isn't available or someone else has grabbed it.

Think carefully before launching into social media - it does take time - although it can actually be less than you think.  Know why you're doing it and what you plan to get from it.

Twitter is great for those slightly random connections as well as following people within your network.  It's quick and easy but you need to use lists and apps to manage it properly.

Facebook - more social than business and more customer facing but many businesses large and small have a presence on there.  Create a page for your business and engage your followers with new content and comments.

LinkedIn - more business than social and a great way to connect and stay in contact with your business network.  There are groups and discussions to allow you to connect with people in your industry, interact and 'meet' new people.

Google+ - rapidly expanding to become another popular social media website.  Create circles to organise your contacts.  Does link with other Google apps but not as popular as the others.

As with all these social media apps - don't feel you need to be on everything.  Find which ones work for you and spend your time and effort on a few to get the results you want.

(Photo credit: the tartanpodcast)
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