This week’s hot topics: SMBs falling behind on social media, Hiring (and retaining) talent, TechHub expands to Manchester

SMBs falling behind on social media (0 sentiment)

A recent survey has fuelled discussion around data showing that small businesses are still reluctant to fully embrace social media. The recent study of US businesses from SMB Group highlights that only 24% of small businesses said they used Social Media to “engage with customers and sales leads in a strategic and structured way.”

An additional 20% said they used Social Media, but in an “off-the-cuff, casual way.” In fact, medium-sized businesses were actually slightly more active; with 33% saying they used social media “in a strategic way” and 19% in “an ad hoc way”.

“All of these avenues should, and must, be explored in regards to Marketing,” said D William Jones, writing for Social Media Today, adding “These smaller companies are holding out, but if it is a matter of time there are firms out there that can help; and that want to.” Small businesses continue to cite time constraints as the main reason why they’re failing to exploit the opportunities presented by Social Media. 

How have you been using Social Media to good effect for your business? Why not tell us on @MicrosoftSB 

Hiring (and retaining) talent (+1.0 sentiment)

We also noted widespread buzz and discussion around hiring and retaining talent in the small business and start up sphere this week, following a number of high profile industry moves.

Apart from congratulating the movers and shakers in question, discussions largely moved on to considering the broader issue of retaining talent - a common concern for start ups and small businesses alike. Relying and maintaining a great pool of talent is key to driving the business forward and will ultimately have a huge sway on the overall success of your business. 

This makes us think about what it takes to source and more importantly, keep talent within your business as you grow and expand. Do you believe it comes down to affective team growth, regular forward thinking opportunities or something else? Why not tell us on @MicrosoftSB.

TechHub expands to Manchester (+2.0 sentiment)

TechHub, a leading shared workspace for start ups, was originally launched in London in 2010 by Elizabeth Varley and Mike Butcher of TechCrunch announced a brand new hub in the Manchester. Sentiment around this announcement was positive with the industry indicating that this is seen as great news for the city’s technology entrepreneurs.

The new TechHub, the first in the UK to open outside of London, will be based in Piccadilly Basin and spread over two floors of Carvers Warehouse. It will boast 50 permanent desks and drop in space with weekend startup hackathons already planned.

The team behind the Manchester TechHub features Martin Bryant, managing editor of The Next Web, as well as Doug Ward and Shaun Gibson, co-founders of Tech Britain.

TechHub will augment Manchester’s growing  infrastructure for entrepreneurs and tech start-ups, which already includes spaces such as The Sharp Project and The Hive. “One resounding factor stood out to us, the lack of a unifying hub within the city centre for the startup community which would be dedicated to product-orientated tech startups,” Gibson told The Next Web last week, adding “It needed a hub that had the best interests of the community at heart and their backing, as opposed to what could only be described as the current feudal offering. We ultimately believe in Manchester, its potential and want to see it become a top 5 European startup community.”

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What did you think about these stories? Let us know @MicrosoftSB

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