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Social media strategy

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This is the new marketing platform but where do you start? Be careful, it is not for everyone:

SOCIAL media might be the "biggest gift" for any small business but be warned there are strings attached.

Experts have warned that, without proper training, it can do more harm than good.

And while some businesses bury their head in the sand, there is little escape.

Even if they are not employing Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Yammer, Instagram, Flickr and other platforms as part of their business, staff are using them during work for private use that often crosses over.

"Social media for small organisations is almost like the biggest gift you will ever get," Deloitte Digital chief edge officer Pete Williams says.

He says employers trying to ban social media are fighting an uphill battle and soon-to-be-released research reveals that, of the businesses that banned access on their internal systems, 67 per cent of employees still used it.

Some great tips:


Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogging or other platforms, the same principles apply:

* Don't write anything that you would be too embarrassed to show your mother.

* Impress upon staff that they should not do anything that will embarrass themselves or the business.

* Posts should be relevant.

* Appointing a social media committee, meeting each month, means it is not left to a couple of social media gurus.

* Ensure there are nominated people who are responsible for moderating.

* Know that social media can be used during work times, but not overused.

* Negativity about the workplace, especially during these times of downsizing, is a big no-no. Don't air your dirty linen.

* Do not comment on customers, suppliers and colleagues negatively.

* Be authentic and have a two-way conversation.

* Clearly spell out penalties for violations, including dismissal.

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