What is Social Media?
Social media is the combination of technology and social interaction. Generally, social media is that which is accessed through various Internet tools. The purpose of social media is to have interaction between a group of people involved with the company either directly or indirectly. Each company's specific use will differ.
Social Media Platforms to Consider
Blogging is one social media platform that has become popular for the small business. It allows a company to keep everyone updated on what is going on. Those who read the blog may also leave comments, which create more opportunity for open communication. Another social media platform that a small business might find useful is an online forum where users can post and reply to messages.
Networking websites (like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus) are also great for a small business to join, as they can help existing people affiliated with the business to communicate, as well as draw in new people and ideas. These are only some of the many social media platforms a small business may consider.
Getting Started With Social Media
The first part of incorporating social media into a small business is deciding whether it will be run from the company's own website or whether various existing websites or platforms would be utilized. If a small business already has a website, it is wise to see which types of social media would be easy to implement into that site's design. This will make it more readily accessible to those who will utilize it.
If that option does not work, the decision should then be made as to whether the small business will pay for its social media or utilize free services. For instance, there are various websites that offer free blogging accounts, free forums and other types of social media. There are also websites and services that may charge a fee to the small business for specialized social media services.
Choosing the Right Social Media
A small business should make its social media decisions based upon the needs of the business, its clients and its customers as well as those of the employees. For instance, let's say a company is looking for simpler communication between its employees when they are not at work. That small business could create a password-protected Internet forum for employees to post and reply to messages at their own convenience.
Yet another small business may want to instead create an Internet forum for interaction between its customers or clients to allow them to relate to each other, as well as to get a feel for what they are looking for. Still another small business may not even have a need for an Internet forum, but prefer to operate an interactive news source instead.
It is important to wisely choose social media and how it will be used. A poor choice in this area could waste time and money that could have been utilized for a more effective social media plan.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network