Think back to yester-year when computers were in black and white and your cell phone could only make phone calls. Those were simple times. Today we live in an age where the world is literally at our fingertips. We can access anything at anytime. We can tweet and facebook on the go. Oh, and not to mention that “to tweet” and “to facebook” are now verbs. Because of this constant connection to the outside world, it is more important then ever to be seen online. If you are not on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere visible on the World Wide Web, then consider yourself invisible.
Both little companies and large companies alike can be seen on an even playing field. Social media lets little companies thrive on a small marketing budget, and big companies act like little companies. People like to be engaged with, they like to be part of something, and know that they are being heard. People find satisfaction in knowing that they are being taken care of, and not just another number. One reason that people are so fond of the mom and pop shops is because they know that the customer service is personal, and they are not just a little fish in a big sea.
Through the use of social media, little companies are able to broaden their audience and reach people that they never could have before without the use of the Internet. These small businesses can leverage themselves as industry experts, and not only focus on B2C marketing but B2B as well. In a recent post I wrote, I highlighted the different ways that companies are using social media for B2B purposes. Lead generation is huge. Little companies now have access to larger corporations and are able to expand their business and customer base via social media. These small businesses are also catering to their fans and followers on a whole other level as well. Creating an atmosphere of the highest level of customer service to anyone and everyone using their services or buying their products.
Larger companies are able to become more personable and “human”, rather than the big bad conglomerate. Big businesses personally address people who comment on their wall, or engage with them on Twitter. They provide valuable insight into the industry, and personally interact with their fans. Big business is becoming more mom and pop. When personal interaction and engagement happens, word of mouth happens. When someone is satisfied and content with a service or company, the more likely they are to go back again and again, as well as spread the word.
Social media is a way for companies to earn respect, credibility, and the hearts of their fans. I know that I have a few companies that I absolutely love, and will go back to their Facebook page over and over because they provide me with tips, tricks, and they will always answer my inquiries if I have one. This kind of trust in a brand develops into brand loyalty, which is the key to a successful business. In today’s day and age there is less big business, small business, and more good business, bad business. Which will you be?