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Karen Martin and Beverley Ireland-Symonds promote the value of having effective communication skills for individuals, teams and organisations.
Sunday, 17 October 2010

Make social media work for your business

I've been reading and listening to lots of advice recently about how important it is to use social media to promote and market your business.  As someone who is fairly new to using social media websites, I have found most of the tips and advice extremely useful and can totally see how using these sites can be beneficial for my business. However, there is something crucial missing for me as nobody talks about how to actually use social media sites!

I went to a Business Link seminar a few months ago to learn about Twitter. There were lots of people at the event, and from the comments in the room, I believe that most people were new or newish to using social media. Whilst the speaker was very engaging and encouraged us all to go away and start using Twitter, which I did, I didn't really understand what I was doing. I signed up for Twitter and half-heartedly attempted to use it, but I can't say it really grabbed me as I didn't know what I was doing.

I continued hearing about the great benefits to be had from using social media but this didn't mirror my experiences, so I must admit I wasn't convinced by the whole social media 'thing'. This seems to be the case for a lot of SMEs according to a recent report carried out by a UK non-profit organisation for SMEs. Apparently, more than 50% of SMEs in the UK are unsure of the benefits they can get from social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked In, so are not committed to using them to promote their business.

I am convinced that this is down to not understanding how to use these social media sites and not understanding what benefits they can bring to your business. This is understandable - I was in the same position a few months ago. I then decided to invest in some training, which was money well spent.
I now understand how to use social media sites, what I need to be doing and how often. As with everything in life, there is always more to be learnt, but I least I no longer feel as though I'm stumbling around in the dark

My advice to anyone about to start using Twitter, Facebook, Linked In etc is don't waste time - find out how to use them properly from the start!