Social media tips for Small Businesses (SMB/SME)

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Finding the time to understand and invest in social media to help drive the business is one of the TweetBosses logo social media tips - the myndset digital strategybiggest laments I hear from top executives; even more so for small businesses (SMB). For these smaller companies without an agency of record or a highly developed marketing team, it is often down to the boss to figure it out. As I have clamored before, I think that learning about and being on social would be an appropriate activity for the boss — and/or for the C-suite for big companies, too. For a list of bosses who have made the jump to Twitter, do check out @Tweetbosses follow list.

Key social media tips

So, what are the key social media tips for an SMB? Most importantly, before even investing a penny in social media, the first port of call is all about your mindset. Here is a quick checklist:

  1. Stop thinking that social media is anecdotal. Your clients and employees are already there and are talking about you and/or writing about your goods and services. {Tweet this!}
  2. Make (your) branding more personal. Get ready to let go of some preconceived notions of marketing and communications, such as: you must always control the message; you own your audience [for more read Jeff Rohrs’ excellent Audience, Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans, and Followers]; the transaction (sale) is the only viable return on investment, … {Tweet this!}  My belief is that using social means being social. So, bring your personality to social media.
  3. Anticipate making (and accepting) mistakes. A key concept: set up ways to learn from your mistakes. {Tweet this!}
  4. Consider social media as a long-haul activity. Even if you end up abandoning in the short-term, your only real hope of success in social media is taking the long-term view. Social media will be neither a quick fix nor a home run. {Tweet this!}

Operational tips

social media tips - the myndset digital marketing brand strategy

From an operational standpoint, here are the five starting actions you might want to undertake in order to kick-start your social media strategy:

  1. Objectives. The first point is to be clear about what your objectives are for using social media and how they enhance and/or complement your general business objectives.
  2. Audience. Who is your target audience? Use data to find insights, understand where your consumers are congregating and what they are looking for? What turns them on in terms of their deep drivers?
  3. Measure. The glory of social media and digital marketing, in general, is the ability to target, track and measure with great ease. Set up clear targets, ideally that can translate into business value. For example, you might decide you want to grow your email list. Each new subscriber can easily be set a monetary value.
  4. Integrate. When approaching the “new” media that is digital, the business-schooled boss is programmed to consider and use media as a way to promote a message, push a product and grow sales. While sales are indeed the ultimate objective, the bigger question is finding out how to integrate social media into the overall customer relationship plan.
  5. Reactivity. The question of reactivity might also be one of mindset; but, as a matter of principle, I keep it as an operational consideration. On the one hand it is vital to set up a protocol (often called “escalation policy”) in case of/when the sh*t hits the fan. More optimistically, it is important to have a flexible and organic approach to social media. This will involve experimenting, acting/deciding faster than usual and, even, knowing when not to answer at all. As a rule of thumb, it is advisable to set up (and broadcast) your level of reactivity in order to get your organization truly mobilized. Today’s consumer on social media operates in real-time, which can be a considerable challenge for slow-moving organizations.

If you have any other thoughts and/or tips, don’t hesitate to drop them into the comments!

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