Web helps Wiggly Wigglers win big

Dell's award-winning SMB offers some advice on social networking, and explains why being a digital native is overrated.

Top tips

Still, Gorringe has some advice for getting into social media. "The lesson to learn is to treat social media how you would treat contact in real life gently join in with others, and start learning instead of just broadcasting," Gorringe advised. "People are quite sick of being blasted with information."

"Just think of it as another tool. Can't blame the telephone if everyone's talking squit on it," she said. "Don't blame the communication tool for the communications."

She said the best way to start is pick a tool you're comfortable with, and be yourself. "It's very important to keep the business' personality and culture when trying it," she said.

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Indeed, it's about picking which social media tool is best for your firm. Gorringe said her team prefers podcasting, as "the written word isn't as strong, it's harder to get the culture across." She added that having to write so much can make blogging difficult. "Facebook is an easier tool to use than blogs."

"One of our competitors has a forum. I had a look, I really didn't like it. It had people that got obsessed and took over the forum it seemed difficult and petty. I don't want a forum, I want feedback."

Keeping it simple and easy will ensure you keep at it, and that your customers can see it. "We never went to Second Life. I was totally excited, but I couldn't work it, and figured most of our customers couldn't work it either," Gorringe explained.

And don't worry that you're giving it all away for free it's all out there anyway, and your firm can benefit by being seen as an expert. "We give a lot of content away and people from other people as well as from us," Gorringe explained. "Someone has to lead the way. You can find information anywhere," she added.

Despite Wiggly Wigglers' success, Gorringe isn't finished. Next up is Twitter; although Gorringe already has an account she hasn't bothered to update it. "We've got loads of followers and I never tweet. It's silly of us not to use it." Wiggly Wigglers is also looking to move onto Bebo, Ning and continue its move into cloud computing.

Cloud computing

The Dell package will certainly help the farming firm expand its tech, but given their social networking techniques are virtually free, the spending is likely to be all internal IT, Gorringe said. "Our weakness is our internal systems," she admitted.

After trying a few in-house IT solutions, Wiggly Wigglers is set to move to the cloud, and recently signed up for basecampHQ.com. "We've always been hesitant to spend money on some massive software system," Gorringe noted, saying she wishes more software firms offered better and longer trials. "It's no good having a week, we need to bed it in and try it."

The fact that hosted systems off in the cloud are not in the office doesn't bother Gorringe. "We are not bothered using some service sat in our office or somewhere else we don't care where it is."

Cloud computing is going to change the whole business, she added. "Not in the next three months, but in the next 12 months."

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