#5 Finding Resources – 10 Ways Small Businesses Can Use Social Media to Save Time

In this next installment of the 10 Ways Small Business can use Social Media to Save Time, readers will learn how Social Media can be used to find essential resources for your company.

If you’re in search of a great printer, you may just want to skip Elance and go directly to Twitter? Finding recommended vendors and freelancers for your business can be as easy as asking the hundreds of folks in your social media network who they recommend. Here’s a breakdown of ways to find trusted contractors, by social media outlet:

    1. 1. LinkedIn. One of the most powerful elements of LinkedIn is the “recommendations” feature. You can write, read, and request recommendations from others in your network. It may take a little legwork, but you can easily use this feature to find a great copywriter, and read what others have to say about him or her. Think of it as a Yelp for people.


    1. 2. Twitter. While you’re missing out on the depth of information available on LinkedIn, you can get instantaneous responses from other users. For instance, tweet “Looking for a great online bookkeeper” and you will get dozens of responses within minutes. Give more weight to those that come from inside your network, though, as often a request for referrals will generate automated responses from spammers as well.


    1. 3. Facebook. You can post requests for referrals, just like on Twitter, and you can also search for people with those keywords in their profiles. Beware, though; just because someone is listed as “Penelope Bookkeeper” doesn’t mean they’re an expert. You could also post your request in groups that are associated with the topic (post a request for a logo designer on a graphic artists’ Facebook group wall, for example).


    1. 4. YouTube. It might seem a little strange to put out a call for resources via video, but why not? Especially if you have a significant following, you could get a tremendous response. Added benefit: If the project you have in mind has a visual aspect, you can demonstrate it right on the video (think office organization, website overhaul, kitchenette remodel).


Remember through, even if 14 people recommend the same marketing guru, make sure to do your due diligence. Get a written quote and scope of work, ask for a list of projects completed, and confirm that the person will be doing your project personally, not outsourcing to someone else. With these tips in mind, you should be able to find great resources at the click of a mouse.

In the next installment of the 10 Ways Small Business can use Social Media to Save Time series, readers will learn how social media can stimulate your employees and yourself so that your small business can run effectively.

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