Expert business bloggers share 50 tips for SMEs – Part 4: social media and technology

23 January 2017

The final instalment of our 50 tips for SMEs covers social media and technology, helping you get your business future-ready whilst tapping into some of today’s most successful platforms.

Social Media and Customer Engagement

  1. Reaching users the old-fashioned way on social media simply no longer cuts it - algorithms are increasingly limiting the percentage of your own audience that sees your posts. How can businesses cut through? All the networks have evolved their own native ads and in 2017, it’s time to start using them. They can be highly targeted, are shareable and easy to track in terms of views and clicks.

Ryan Holmes, founder and CEO of HootSuite (Source: HootSuite Blog)

social media for smes

  1. Your employees are already your greatest brand ambassadors and have a voice on multiple social channels. Provide them with the ability (and permission) to post about their experiences at your firm on their own social channels. This can tap into a community you have no access to and drive increased brand awareness, and provide an authentic insight into your company.

– Andrew Grill, global managing partner at IBM, TEDx speaker and author of Eminence in the Digital World (London Calling)

  1. Businesses don’t need to be on every single social media channel. Start with the two most relevant to your audience and begin building those first. Once you've mastered them and begin to generate business on these platforms, look at introducing more as is appropriate. There's no point in getting carried away at the start and leaving half of your accounts dormant due to time constraints.

 

 

  1. Engagement is so important on social media. Many businesses just take a ‘broadcast’ approach, treating it as simply another delivery method for traditional marketing. Social media necessitates two-way communication. And of course – content, content, content – if you produce great content that inspires people, they’ll follow you and share what you’re producing.
  1. Try to think of social media from an audience’s perspective; what would your super-fans want to hear about from your business? They know about the product or service, so what extra insider info, tips, and advice could you share? You want to make your fans feel like the most loved people in the world so they'll act as your advocates.

– Alex McCann, award-winning social media consultant and director of AltrinchamHQ (read about how small businesses can get the most from social media)

  1. Monitor and respond quickly to engagement. Do you monitor your comment sections and respond to customers? This takes some time and effort, but it’s vital if you want to become a ‘friendly’ brand that fosters community growth. Businesses that practice good customer engagement enjoy more growth and customer loyalty than competitors who don’t engage. When you respond to a problem or answer a question, you’re proving that your business is a fulfiller of wants and needs. Just remember to do so quickly, as audiences perceive delayed engagement as a lack of caring.

– Jeff Bullas, global business and marketing blogger and speaker (Source: Jeff Bullas)

Technology

  1. Stay ahead of the new technologies being reported in the media such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT). Block out time to learn more about them and how they might impact or enhance your business. Put aside a small budget to test these technologies, because in order to getdigital, you need to be
  1. Stay safe online – always enable “two-factor” authentication on your email and social media accounts. Hillary Clinton’s political career came undone with just one click – don’t put your business at risk with unsecured accounts.
  1. With more and more consumers looking to move online to transact with organisations, look at what parts of your business can be digitised now, and what processes can be transformed via digital.

– Andrew Grill, global managing partner at IBM, TEDx speaker and author of Eminence in the Digital World (London Calling)

local listings small businesses

  1. Thanks to brands like Uber, people are getting used to having everything on demand. In 2017, I expect to see this develop even further. We have thousands of apps available to us to get rides, food deliveries, and even a place to stay for the night, but soon we’ll see this evolve into even stranger territory.

– Jayson DeMers, founder & CEO of content marketing company AudienceBloom and writer covering online marketing for entrepreneurs. (Source: Forbes)

  1. One of the most effective ways of [being found online] is to ensure the availability and consistency of your business’ listing information across a myriad of third-party sources. Google and other search engines constantly scan these sites to develop a stronger understanding of the local web and your business. When your business isn’t listed — or the information listed about it is incomplete or inaccurate — there is a risk of diminishing or negatively impacting your business’ placements in search results.

– Wesley Young, blogger and vice president of public affairs for the Local Search Association (Source: Search Engine Land)

For the previous business blogger tips for SMEs instalments, click below:

Part 1: Sales and marketing & finance

Part 2: People management & recruitment

Part 3: Business growth, leadership & networking

Alternatively, to find out about our business energy solutions for SMEs, visit the homepage or call us on 0845 230 0011.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within this article are those of our third party content providers alone and do not represent those of Gazprom Energy. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. Gazprom Energy accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.



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