How to grow your business: Online Groups on Twitter and Facebook


This month at the SIMS meetup we had Gem L Thompson from Facebook group Suffolk Business Stars and Josh Seager, Caroline Shields, Kate Kelly and Arron Weight from #Suffolkhour in to talk with us about the importance of online groups and how small businesses can build communities of their own. So much of our everyday communication occurs through social networking sites and our guest speakers explained how important it is for small businesses to capitalise on this.


Before our first guest speaker, we had a not-so-small announcement to make: we have a new sponsor, The Beatons Group! We were delighted to have an introductory talk from Andrew Driver on the importance of correctly tackling VAT for small businesses. This included VAT policy on delivery charges, supplying goods & services to overseas clients and providing electronic services. Beatons will be giving more accountancy advice for small businesses at more SIMS events, and we're keen to make sure that it's relevant to you so let us know any topics you'd like them to cover.

Gem L Thompson, long time admin for the Facebook group Suffolk Business Stars, stressed the importance of maintaining a positive environment in a closed community. Suffolk Business Stars is a Facebook group for small business owners with the purpose of helping each other. A positive environment will not only reflect well on the brand of small businesses, but also encourage more users to join.

  • Set out rules and make sure they are followed. Don’t let a few bad eggs spoil the atmosphere of the community for everyone else.
  • Allow your group to grow naturally. Spamming people with invites won’t end well, so let the positive aspects of your group speak for themselves

The second half of the meetup saw the #Suffolkhour Twitter crew Josh Seager, Caroline Shields, Kate Kelly and Aaron Weight discuss the importance of interaction on Twitter. #Suffolkhour is a weekly chat on Twitter, on Wednesday evenings from 8:30-9:30pm, where small businesses are encouraged to network and have a friendly chat by using the hashtag #Suffolkhour. Here are some the key points that you need to know about #Suffolkhour;

  • The chat is casual and free-form, with topics ranging from business to cake.
  • #Suffolkhour allows businesses to chat with both users and fellow business owners.
  • The drop-in, drop-out format means anyone is free to join and/or leave at any time.

If you have any other ways which small businesses can use online groups to help expand, please feel free to share it with the SIMS group.

Here are some photo's from last week's SIMS:

See you all in the next one!