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What Small Businesses can learn from India

August 15th, 2011 | Small Business Tips,Social Media | No Comments »

Last month, I was away on vacation to India. It was great. I spent time with family and traveled a bit. One thing I did notice is that in India, the presence of Social Media is not as apparent as it is here. Here, there are Twitter and Facebook icons plastered all over the place. There…well I didn’t see any.

Taking advantage of Facebook and Twitter So one thing to take advantage of, if you’re a small business here is the large presence of Facebook and Twitter. So get a Facebook page and start tweeting those deals that your company may be offering. Another reason why companies should utilize Facebook and Twitter, is that Facebook and Twitter have made it easy to integrate users with a small business. For example, a user could use a Facebook account to sign up for coupons or newsletters, while Twitter accounts can be used to get instant updates. In India, in the city I stayed in, I noticed that the celebrities talked about in the paper, did not have Facebook pages or Twitter accounts. Now celebrities are usually the trendsetters, so since they didn’t have those, I didn’t think that a large segment of the population would either.Another thing about India is that internet access is spotty and in most places, there isn’t any. There are internet cafes, but those are expensive. So, small business in India use billboards, fliers and posters to advertise.

Reasons for Being Online So, the best thing for companies here to do, which they are already doings, is to take advantage of the nice, almost widespread network in the US. Almost everyone has access to a computer at any given time, meaning that small businesses can reach a large audience and can work in various time-zones. Plus, you save on ink and paper with online advertising. Another good thing about your customers being online is the almost instantaneous feedback you get. Soon after using your product or service, customers can comment on it online on your Facebook page or on sites like Yelp. So, monitor those sites and that Facebook page of yours and if you reply to customers almost immediately after they post the comment, you’ll probably get brownie points with ’em.

Take advantage of new technology For example, one of my uncles has his own eye clinic. He also has the latest Apple gadgets available in India. I’ve never seen him with a camera, except for the one on his iPad. Once when I was looking through his pictures, I noticed that he had a lot of pictures of eye aliments. Instead of writing down a detailed description of the problem, he just uses the pictures as notes instead. So, if you small business owners have any technology, new or old(as long as it’s not a cassette tape or anything similar) take advantage of what it can do. It can’t hurt and might even help.

So, if you’re a small business take advantage of the Social Media opportunities around you and the technology you have or will get sometime soon. Preferably sometime today.

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