Social Media for SMEs
Tags: CRM   Tips  
23/04/2013 10:11 AM

By Danielle De Silva

If you subscribe to Happen Business emails, or are one of our HBN members, you might have heard us mention that we're on various social media platforms (check us out on Twitter, Facebook , , and Google+).

But for many business owners, social media can be quite confusing – what exactly is it? What is it used for? And what is it good for?

Here's a quick rundown on social media and how it can be used to build your online reputation – a nice complement to the internal functionality of Jim2 Business Engine to ultimately grow your business.

What is it?
In a nutshell, social media is basically interacting online in groups or communities. There are various types of social media, and each has a different way of communicating and forming these connections. Not all social media platforms are necessarily relevant for business application, but it's a good idea to have a working understanding of some of the major players, and use which best fits your clients and business.

Here at Happen we use Twitter for quick news snippets and to keep in touch with some of our clients and relevant media. Facebook and LinkedIn for longer, more detailed updates, and Google+ to round out the main 3 and provide 'hang out' functionality.

What is it used for?
When used correctly, social media can be an excellent way to communicate with clients and grow your brand. By actively encouraging a community to grow around your business or product, you are building brand loyalty – plus great brand ambassadors amongst your followers! Some businesses set up Twitter accounts specifically for customer support (when properly maintained it's an effective way to quickly respond to customer queries), and many use Facebook for running promotions or surveys. Google+ is an excellent way to host demonstrations or discussions via 'hang outs' (essentially an online video conference call).

What is it good for?
Social media is a great way to engage your customers at a more informal level. That's not to say it should be used lightly, or in an unprofessional manner (check out the top Twitter fails for some examples of what not to do), but it does give the opportunity to be more conversational in your marketing communications. A well managed social media campaign can build anticipation of a new product, expose your business to media opportunities, and build a loyal following of customers who value your brand. In essence, it can be the 'personality' of your brand!

Happen's Top Tips for Social Media

  • Social media is social – don't forget to post regularly, especially on fast-paced social media such as Twitter
  • Try out different social media platforms and get an idea of what your customers and key interest groups are using. For example, if you're in fashion Pinterest is a great visual way to show off new stock. If you have a gym, why not offer discounts or incentives using Foursquare check ins?
  • Many business and industry writers are on Twitter. Try striking up a conversation rather than just sending an impersonal press release
  • Don't think of social media as a place for 'advertising' – it's about creating conversations rather than sales pitches. Try asking or answering questions, and sharing relevant information to give your followers value, and they will return the favour with their recommendations and purchases
Remember to tell everyone about your social media accounts! Here's how to add your social media details to email footers in Jim2:
  1. Open up your email signature template and click on the area you would like to add your links.
  2. Click 'Add Picture' and place your logos appropriately
  3. Highlight the individual pictures, then click 'Insert Hyperlink' – type in the website URL then click OK. And you're done!

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