Do you have a business on the side which you hope you can transition into full time?

Do you have a small business that started as a hobby and now you have twenty employees?

Do you work for a small business and draw income from that business?

If you answered yes to any of these, please keep reading.

I want to share some best practices on integrating social media into a small business. AVG started as a small business and most of our management team built and worked in small businesses so this is a topic we have substantial experience with.

So let’s get to it!

  • Register your company on all the major social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Instagram. You may not intend to use them now, but when you decide to you don’t want to find your company name taken.
  • Be safe. Check your default settings as you do with any social media. Disclose only the relevant information about your business.
  • Content. Your company site on Facebook is your shop-front to the world and content is the engine that will drive it. Post relevant articles and post at least a couple of times a week. Build an “editorial calendar” for the next six months aligned with seasonality and product introductions. Finally, write them, tweet them and circulate them.
  • Customer Service. Facebook and Google+ will become your new customer service vehicle. Assign someone to monitor these pages and have pre agreed to responses. But it is critical that the response be timely and honest.
  • Employees. Hold a workshop with your employees on best practices for social media and make sure everyone understands that what is out there stays forever and things like venting online are detrimental to the business. Keep grievances in-house and solve them before they bubble over.

This is just a start but with 2.5 billion people coming online in the next four to seven years, now is the time to get your act together for social media. Imagine the business potential!