Are The Small Beating The Big?

by Jay Deragon on 11/22/2008

Small businesses tend to think and move quickly verses the large corporations which tend to get stuck in bureaucracy .

PRMedia Blog writes: “Hungrier, less complacent and more willing to embrace new media” for business. That’s just one view why the US’s fastest-growing private companies – The Inc.500 – are giving the Fortune 500 a beating in terms of social media uptake, including use of blogs, online video and podcasting.

The findings come from what The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth claims to be the first statistically significant reseach into the use of social media in companies.

Comparing last year with this, 11.6% of the Fortune 500 have a public blog against 39% of the Inc.500. Only 3.6% more of the largest US corporations joined the blogosphere in the period, while 20% of private firms signed up. Now, nearly half (44%) of the Inc.500 companies reckon social media is “very important” to their
marketing/business strategy – up nearly 20% on last year.

So, what’s bugging the bigger beasts in the forest about social media? And if this is the case in the States, where does that leave the biggest UK companies? The topic surfaced at this week’s Social Media Cafe launch (#smc_mcr) in Manchester, where it was agreed that large businesses tend to baulk at what they see as the uncontrollable world of social media.

Craig McGinty with typical candour, told the assembled bloggers and social media-ites at the #smc_mcr: “It needs someone with the cahunas to get things
going. But that means taking small steps, dipping their toe in and using a small team which can begin to feel comfortable with it.”

This suggests that despite the fears among gatekeepers, lawyers, compliance departments and whatnot within the larger organisations, the communications world is moving that way and companies run the risk of being left behind.

Is Small Business Closer to The Customer?

Small business owners can’t afford to loose one customer and thus tend to build real lasting relations with their customers. Now equipped with social tools small businesses have been enabled with scale and reach that could translate into increased revenues. Generally speaking small business owners look for creative ways to better serve their customers and they do not abide by institutional or historic business paradigms.

Diane Mermigas writes: Many media, advertising and Internet players underestimate the extent to which interactive consumers, their social networks and their fluid connections can provide a silver lining to the lingering economic morass. The difference between their conventional wisdom and the more compelling reality of digital consumer behavior could be billions in new revenues.

Given the power of social media and the consumers desire to be treated like people rather than “customers” the small business owner may in fact prosper in this down economy if they learn how to use social media effectively. In other world the small can get big while the big get small. Get it?

What say you?

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: