It’s time again for our Small Business Trends community news and information roundup. Much of the talk lately on small business blogs and communities is about automation and improving productivity. But there’s plenty about branding and content management too. Enjoy.
Should You Automate Your Accounts Payable? (Mineraltree)
Automation might seem a universal good for most businesses, increasing efficiency while in the long run driving down cost. But this isn’t necessarily so. Automation firm Mineraltree suggests automation isn’t for everyone. Here’s what to consider.
Put Your Social Media on Autopilot . (Ace Concierge)
Like other aspects of your business, your social media can be put on autopilot. While this can save you time, watch out, warns Suzie Poirier on her blog. Too much of anything can be a bad idea. Here’s the discussion in the BizSugar community .
Does Your Small Business Belong in the Cloud ? (SAP Small Business Innovation)
Small businesses are already recognizing the value of cloud technology as a way to be competitive, according to blogger Lucia Filanti. And they’re not the only ones, it turns out. A new deal between IBM and a major insurance provider shows  the future of IT and cloud computing as it applies to business.
Improve Employee Productivity with These Tips . (Tweak Your Biz)
Automation aside, sometimes things come down to the productivity of your human employees. Try these nine simple tips for making that part of your business more efficient too, suggests blogger Jessica Oaks.
Pay Your Employees to Quit if Necessary . (People Management Consulting)
Despite your best efforts, there are times when employees simply don’t work out. Or at least, they do not work out as well as you would like. So what is a small business person to do? Consultant Cecil Wampler has an extreme suggestion. And he takes time out to explain it in greater detail in the BizSugar community .
In Business, It’s All About the Branding . (Greg Caughill)
But what does branding really mean? Well, it’s more than a logo or advertising campaign. That’s for sure. Greg Caughill is an inbound marketing expert with a few things to say on the subject. Here’s how he describes the branding process.
Start With Some Simple Reputation Management . (Neuromarketing)
This applies not only to your company but to you personally. Let’s face it. People’s impression of you and your company are an important part of what makes them choose to do business with you or not. Marketing expert Roger Dooley suggests starting by finding out what Google has to say about you.
Figure Out Your Content Strategy . (Simplicity)
In an era when products and services are often researched online, blogging and social media are good ways to make sure customers can find you. But doing this effectively requires a content strategy. You’ve no doubt thought about the kind of content strategy that will help you build your brand. But on her blog and in the BizSugar community, Sarah Santacroce discusses  more details about what’s involved.
So You’re Loosing Traffic on Your Website . (Search Engine Land)
Of course, great content strategy isn’t the only thing your website needs to be sure consumers are finding your product or service online. Many other issues could also sabotage your online traffic. Janet Driscoll Miller of Marketing Mojo mentions some of the biggies in this post. When organic traffic starts falling off, check for algorithm updates by the search engines that may have hurt your site. Check for these other problems too especially after a site redesign.
Adding SSL Encryption Could Help Your SEO . (The Search Ninjas)
Finally, George Murphy, founder of The Search Ninjas, has this interesting post. Murphy says Google may be considering the possibility of favoring sites with encryption in search results. So the inclusion of an SSL certificate on your site may eventually improve your online visibility. But beware. In some cases it also led to greater vulnerability to the Heartbleed bug .
At work on my tablet  photo via shutterbug