It is important for small businesses to be as innovative and creative as possible when seeking options for introducing technology into the organization. Whether as a means to drive efficiency and improve operations internally, or as a way of promoting the business and engaging with customers and clients externally, social media is increasingly being considered by small businesses as a potential solution to a range of common challenges.
The technology available
The right technology for any particular business will depend on a range of variable factors such as the nature of the business itself, the type of audience with which they wish to communicate and the details of the specific challenge in question. That said, here are some of the options available for small businesses today and how they can help.
- Easily the largest and most well-known social media platform, with around one out of every seven people in the entire world on it in some way. Facebook is now so large and omnipresent that most businesses, even small businesses, are assumed to have a presence on it as much as they are assumed to have a website. From a business point of view, it also provides an invaluable means of targeted advertising.
- In some ways a stripped down version of Facebook, Twitter tends to be more popular among younger online users and is accessed most often through mobile technology. Businesses wishing to target this market should therefore seriously consider its application. Its simplicity also gives it a speed that allows companies to react quickly to feedback and engage in conversations with customers with the sort of intimacy that suits a small business.
- Primarily thought of as a video-sharing site, YouTube is also the internet’s second largest search engine. Small businesses should consider how they can showcase their goods and services through film on this popular and very user-friendly platform.
Getting started involves giving serious consideration to the various options available and what the business aims to achieve through the use of social media technology. Following this, the preferred option should be carefully researched and expert advice sought to ensure a smooth introduction.
Blogs such as Francesco Corallo’s is one such source, and Francesco’s pictures can be found here, themselves a source of inspiration.
Increasingly, businesses are using social media to engage with their audiences in an informal way, humanizing themselves as a result. Conversations between businesses and individuals are now carried out regularly, and publicly, with a sort of friendliness and intimacy that has never existed before, even for small businesses.
Online technology, and social media in particular, has been one of the fastest-growing and dramatically evolving areas in recent history. Experts continually monitor trends and try to predict what is going to happen next, and while it is impossible to know exactly what this might be, ensuring an online presence today and regularly consulting the right specialists is one way for a business to ensure they are at the forefront of, and fully benefitting from, whatever the next big thing might be.