Far too many people see social media as an excuse to schive off at work or something to do when the boss isn’t watching. However, many small businesses can barely survive without it. One of the biggest factors in the social media revolution has been the widespread adoption of social media apps on smart phones.

 In the UK we spend an average of 5.8 hours a month on social media sites; illustrating the sheer number of people you can have access to while on-the-go.

Clearly you need a smartphone and you need to download the various free apps from each social media platform provider. Social media apps are now embedded in popular culture so using them to promote your business is a very smart way (Keep of the puns – Ed) of improving visibility and brand awareness.

The most popular apps are Facebook, Twitter, Tweetdeck, Flipboard and LinkedIn. However, LinkedIn for smartphones is incredibly slow, at least when compared to the others which have great interfaces and near full-functionality.

Social media can be used to stay up-to-date as well as interact with your customers, employees or clients. You can tweet or retweet and crucially it doesn’t have to be particularly special or planned in advance. You can also post information that isn’t about your business but just relevant to your community. That way more people will feel engaged and willing to respond, thus helping achieve your branding objective.

All of this can be done during your break or down time before you have to get back to your hard hitting tasks.

Smartphones usually come preloaded with some social media apps as standard and they become easier to utilize as the phone becomes smarter. For example Apple has just launched the iPhone 4S, featuring ‘Siri’ its voice activated intelligent assistant. With voice activation that interfaces with your device’s apps, all you need to do is say the word, literally, and the message gets posted on the social media site of your choice.

So whenever you’re next on a coffee break or having a little ‘me’ time in-between meetings don’t wait till you’re at your desk, reach for your phone and type, or speak, away.

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