Chris Ferris, Vice President of Digital Strategy, recently spoke on a panel about social media at the University of Houston Small Business Development Center’s Business Owner Leadership Development (BOLD) Event.
Ferris, along with moderator Bill Penczak and panelists Karina Tran and Jarred King, discussed how small businesses should approach social media as a marketing and recruiting tool. Among the key points from the panel:
- More than 3 billion people worldwide are on social media of one sort or another. If you want to reach your customers, whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, you have to use social media. Specifically, social media allows businesses to:
- Build brand awareness
- Humanize your brand
- Increase website traffic (and leads and sales)
- Help with reputation management and crisis communication
- Be a key part of customer service
- When formulating a social media strategy, it’s important to first be sure you have a good website; the panel agreed that it’s a waste of resources to invest in social media and then drive customers and clients to a poorly-designed website.
- Businesses should have a clear idea of who their audiences are and what their business goals are before initiating a social media strategy. Not every social media channel is right for every business.
- LinkedIn is a good place to start for most B2B businesses. It’s also ideal for recruiting new employees.
- A clearly written social media policy for employees will help ensure your employees don’t embarrass or put your company in legal jeopardy.