How does your business view the web?
As a cheap route to market? An easy way to increase revenue? Or as a serious business tool that can catapult you ahead of the competition.
In the 90′s the web was seen as an opportunity for smaller companies to ”level the playing field”. There were many opportunities to leapfrog large brands, too slow and cumbersome to keep up with the change in technology.
Here Come The Brands
Then big business started to catch up. It realised the massive opportunities it was missing out on and ploughed in the money. Building ever more complex web sites with functionality to match. Using technology to automate many processes, they reduced costs, closed the open door on markets and used their brand to once again dominate.
Small business was back to where they started. Save for the exceptional few with wonderfully wild ideas and the uncanny ability to disrupt a marketplace. For the rest it was business as usual, picking on the scraps left behind by the big corporates.
At least until the advent of Social Media.
Social Media Enters Stage Right
Now the social effect has been around for longer than we initially think. It’s based on the fact that like-minded people congregate together, that exceptional customer services trumps price and it involves one to one communication.
It’s this last fact, one to one communication, where the opportunity lies. Big business by design is typically bad at being personal. Much money is spent by brands trying to be less corporate. Whereas smaller businesses are far better matched to Social Media.
It’s very difficult to scale personal experience, ask your local baker, butcher or newsagent. They’re still in business due to the personal local service they offer. They are not particularly cheap but they don’t need to be, people don’t buy from them on price.
It’s All About Social Business
By applying these principles you can leapfrog the largest of the competition. The other advantage is that technology now offers a way for you to scale that personal communication. It enables you to reach, help and interact with people you may never have otherwise come into contact with. It puts the personal back in your business.
The key to an effective social business is monitoring, followed by engagement. If your social strategy includes these two elements you can keep pace with the marketplace very efficiently. And whilst your larger competitors are still deciding which department is going to deal with Twitter, and who gets Facebook you are already picking up new customers.
Will The Corporates Catch Up?
Maybe, but whilst they concentrate on trying to create the next viral sensation or beautiful Facebook Timeline you can already be talking to their customers. Because, it’s engagement that really matters, and not the number of followers or fans.
Get your social strategy in place and start engaging today.