Social Media Trends for Small Business

Social media is constantly evolving and companies of all sizes are doing their best to navigate this ever-changing landscape. If you are putting the time in to use sites like Twitter and Pinterest for your business, it’s important to ensure you are doing things right.

Social media experts Guy Kawasaki and Mari Smith recently hosted a Webinar to reveal what the hot trends are today for social media. Check out the top trends in social media for businesses today on and below:

No. 1: Bypassing brands. Platforms today are allowing consumers to sell and exchange items amongst themselves, rather than going through big brands.

"Marketing is much flatter now," Kawasaki said. "Word of mouth is now what makes products tip. Ideas like Pinterest allow a sort of disintermediation where people can go directly to the user, media or artist. It is brilliant."

No. 2: Find your personality. You don’t have to be a big business to have great customer service and a personality. The better your personality is, the bigger profits will be.

"People are craving that human connection. They just want to be on the receiving end of a random act of kindness," Smith said.

No. 3: Taking a stand. Smith and Kawasaki said business ethics and transparency are more important to consumers than ever before. They want to know what your company stands for, beyond the bottom line.

No. 4: Location-based services. Using apps like FourSquare and Facebook places so your customers can let others know where they are is becoming more popular.

No. 5: Admitting mistakes. "Sixty-eight percent of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores," Smith explained. "Consumers are accepting that it is perfectly okay to be flawed. Being open about it can actually lead to a surge or spike in your brand sentiment."

Admitting your wrongs is the way to go.

No. 6: Going mobile. Keep in mind that your consumers are using their mobile phones, not their computers, for browsing and interaction. GenConnect says usage is outnumbering computers five to one worldwide.

“Mobile customers are your ambassadors,” Smith said. “Treat them like royalty.”

No. 7: Privacy paranoia. With more big companies pushing the privacy envelope, GenConnect says consumers are reaching their breaking point.

"Maybe 2012 is the year where the users finally revolt against all this widespread access, this misuse of open information," Smith said.