Social Media Creates Opportunities & Efficiencies for Small Business

In previous blogs, we’ve talked about ways to use Social Media to interact directly with potential clients. I’ve shared how Facebook Advertising can get your message in front of potential customers for very little cost ; and how a Facebook Business page can grow your business – but today I’d like to talk about some ‘alternative’ uses for social media. Many of these examples are platforms (such as YouTube) that can be used for more traditional social media marketing uses — but I’ll also introduce you to several unique platforms that allow you to collaborate with business partners and work more efficiently.

Social Media Tools for Collaboration

Social media creates great possibilities for real-time collaboration. You are likely already familiar with Google Docs – which allow you to share documents with your colleagues for instant revision, editing, and general collaboration. You may not be aware of other tools that allow you to collaborate via wikis. You’ve probably heard the term “wiki” before in reference to “wikipedia.”  Imagine a private “wikipedia” of information on your clients, services, ideas, etc… pretty neat, eh?

A wiki can be part of your internal site, but that requires you work with your website developer or IT guy. This may be a solution for you , but you might want to experiment with external wikis first to see if they are a good fit for your collaborative needs.  Online, hosted wiki sites allow you to create and edit multiple wikis on so-called “wiki-farms.” These external wikis, like an internal wiki platform, can be as private as you like.

Why is this helpful for small business?

Wikis allow you to centralize and grow information related to a specific topic. Say you have a new business idea – you can create a wiki and allow your partner to edit it. On the other hand, perhaps you’d like to create a wiki about your competition. You can share information and knowledge within the wiki – and attach links and files as well. Wikis can either be public or private (even if they exist on a wiki-farm) so you can keep some information close-to-your-chest and share other types of information with potential clients, customers, or partners.

Example sites include Wikispaces & Wikia

Social Media Allows You to Manage Your Clients and Your Time

Several social sites have sprung up to allow you to manage your clients. A new one that is garnering a lot of attention is BookFresh. Bookfresh allows you to manage your client appointments online – and to access that information via a smart phone when you’re away from your computer. More than just a calendar, BookFresh allows your clients to actually schedule appoints (and be reminded of them,) online.

Another time management tool is Remember the Milk, a site which allows you to not only create tasks online for yourself – but to share them with other people on your team.

Why is this helpful for small business?

The interactive nature of these tools makes them superior to say, a calendar application on your iphone. In addition, these products are either free (Remember the Milk) or low-cost alternatives to expensive software solutions.

Example Sites: BookFresh, Remember the Milk, Ta-Da List

Social Media Can Help You Train Employees & Clients

Media sharing sites can be great for marketing – but they can also be a great way to share training information or to make a pitch to your client. This can be done either in video form (and then post to a video sharing site)— or you can use powerpoint to create a slideshow (and then upload it online for viewing and embedding.)

Why is this helpful for small business?

Product demonstration or detailed instructions can often best be conveyed via video or a Powerpoint with animation or additional text. While these products can certainly be emailed – posting them online creates ease of access and it creates opportunities for comments, feedback, and even SEO.

Example sites: YouTube is the preeminent video sharing site. Videos from YouTube can also easily be embedded in websites and blogs and shared on other social media platforms. Slideshare is a great platform that allows you to upload Powerpoints and other documents – and as an added bonus, it is integrated well with Facebook via a special application.

Simple social media solutions can help your business become more effective and efficient. For more information on how to utilize social media to help your business grow, contact a Houston social media marketing company today.

Questions about this or other social media marketing topics? Use the comment section below, email me at , or go all SMM on me and contact me @SMMjenn on Twitter ; and I’ll do my best to address your question in an upcoming blog. You can also consult Directory One today at 713.465.0051

Read More:

Social Media Marketing: Follow the Money

Social Media Marketing: It Starts at Home

About The Author

Comments are closed.