like_photo_59534_20111002

5 Steps business owners can take to boost their social media literacy and boost business

I thought this extract from an article might be helpful in considering whether you need to get on board with the social media thing.

5 Steps business owners can take to boost their social media literacy and boost business:

  1. Understand that relationships with customers, staff, suppliers, distributors and other business contacts extend beyond the walls of your commercial real estate. Whether you agree with the idea of social media or not, millions of people around the globe use social networks every day. Pleading ignorance or saying you are too old are unacceptable excuses in today’s world. If you own a business, social media literacy is a must.
  2. Engage with customers on social media. Accept customers as friends and connections. If you’re not comfortable with your customers knowing you your social contacts and family are, use the “list” feature of Facebook to create a “customer” category. Set privacy options to limit what you share with customers. Connect with customers on Twitter and LinkedIn, too.
  3. Have a Facebook page for your business. Invite customers to “like” your page and offer an incentive to do so. Include content-rich articles. Have contents. Offer coupons and bonuses to Facebook fans. Create an online culture that will help customers love you, your products, services and business.
  4. Connect with staff online. There are differing opinions out there among human resources professionals about whether managers should connect with staff on social networks. In the same way that you can create a separate lists of friends on Facebook for customers, limiting what they can access, you can do the same with your staff. The point is to create, then cultivate, healthy relationships with your staff that will build trust on and off line.
  5. Develop a social media policy with your staff. Notice that did not read “for your staff”. Engage staff in conversations about social media. If you are not entirely convinced of why social media is useful for a business, ask your staff to help you. Rather than imposing rules on them about what they can and can not post and how they must or must not interact with others, instead engage them in conversations about what makes sense for them, for you and for the business.

Here’s a link to the complete article: Social Media Literacy for Business Owners: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You | Social Media Today.