Note To Small Business- Get Social or Get Left Behind

1. Develop a social media strategy and plan with goals and metrics. Learn from those in your industry or geography. Don’t be afraid to look around and see what others have implemented.

2. Listen to what your employees and customers are saying about you, your competitors, your product category or the specific products or services you offer, using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other platforms. Refine your strategies and tactics based on what you hear and the insights you derive.

3. Define your online brand and how you want to be perceived. Determine the tone of your online persona and how whimsical or serious you want to be. Be consistent; employees have access to external social media, so make the internal persona consistent with your external messaging.

4. Start participating in the platforms that work best for your business externally and create the appropriate internal platforms. Be creative in driving traffic to your sites. Use visual or interactive media and, if possible, consider gamification. Anticipate resistance to change, and deal with it appropriately.

5. Take a leadership position, and impart real value on subjects of interest to your clients and e
mployees. You may want to create a blog and invite experts to guest blog.

6. Maximize collaboration by enabling user-generated content and seeking employee and client input on innovation or process improvements. Reward collaboration and participation.

7. Look for opportunities to engage on a wider level through local charities or other community functions. You might want to sponsor an event and promote it in your various online platforms. You could have your employees use their networks to promote this as well.

8. Measure your success, and refine future plans. Which strategies are working, and which are not?
Changing the way one does business or communicates is not easy, and there will be some resistance to change. But empowering clients and employees has been shown to improve loyalty and drive new business. You may not be able to complete the entire social journey, but it may be critical to your future success that you take the first step.

Other articles by Andrea:
Rethinking Customer Engagement
Rethinking Customer Engagement
The True Value of Data
Context is Key to Customer Engagement
How Important is Defining Your Digital Identity?
Making the Leap to Small Business
Extend Your Social Reach
Social Media Prep
Social Etiquette


Andrea Goldberg
Andrea Goldberg, PhD, is president and founder of Digital Culture Consulting, LLC and an expert in market intelligence, social media and change leadership. She provides organizations with a holistic perspective on how to best to use insights and collaboration to improve employee engagement, customer satisfaction and business results.

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