5 Reasons Small Businesses Find More Customers Using Social Media

According to a study by office services firm, Regus, smaller companies are the most successful at using social media to meet new customers. In fact, the study goes on to state that nearly half of small businesses around the world have acquired a customer through social networks.

At the risk of sounding completely arrogant, my initial response to this stat was: “DUH!!!”

My second response was: Awesome!

Small and medium size businesses who have a clear social media plan and strategy are bound to find new customers more effectively than big businesses—despite the larger companies’ big budgets.

But Why?

Here’s what I’ve found (based on my experience working with very large companies and very small).

Small and medium size businesses have:

  1. Faster response time – As mentioned in our previous post on how Small Business Blogs Compete With the “Big Guns,” small businesses have far less red tape, fewer internal approval processes and faster communication of information. The “Wal-Marts” of the world will never be as nimble.
  2. Branding and personality joined at the hip – When dynamic small business owners network face-to-face, they introduce themselves as an individual first, then as a business owner. New contacts remember the face and personality alongside the brand.  The person they meet doesn’t represent a business, they ARE the business. Same goes for social networking online. Small business owners and leaders are far more likely to put their personality “out there” in a way that’s instantly associated with their company.
  3. True ownership of relationships – Let’s face it. Small business owners who participate on the networks have real skin in the game. When they meet someone on the networks or run across a customer, they’ll know the importance of each relationship and can easily identify opportunities. Large businesses who delegate social media to the marketing department, PR, or the intern can’t expect those folks to see the same opportunities as the “three-layers-up” management or sales team.
  4. Quick adaptation to change – Having owned my own growing small business, I can truly speak to this one from the heart! Just as quickly as I decide to act on an opportunity, a new idea or change in the landscape, an even great shift comes my way. Back in the massive corporate environment, I needed to set up a meeting to discuss with the EVP  how to position the idea to the President, who may or may not have time to take it to the CEO. As a small business, I act. Right now. What does this mean for social media success? I have the authority to connect with those who seem to be a good match. Then I can build the relationship. Right now. No approval or “buy in” necessary.
  5. Transparency you can see – Small and medium size businesses just don’t have as much to lose when it comes to sharing their content, fixing customer problems directly on the networks and showing pics of their “bring your dog to work” day photos. Most social media managers at the large companies just can’t achieve the same level of spontaneity, sharing and honesty.

So being small guarantees you can play big?

No way! Merely being a small or medium-size business won’t make you successful in social networking. To acquire new customers and make connections that matter, you need a clear social media, blogging and online marketing plan. Think you can wing it? You can! But, save yourself the time, energy and pain from a DIY strategy. Hire a social media and content marketing coach or consultant to keep you focused and keep you efficient! Time can instantly get sucked into infinity on the networks. Just as a personal trainer makes the most of your minutes at the gym, a credible, experienced social networking planner and content strategist will keep your time online as efficient and effective as possible.

Deana Goldasich

Deana Goldasich, CEO and founder of Well Planned Web, plans and implements Content Marketing to help clients nurture leads, market their expertise and create an impactful presence online.

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24 Comments

  1. Tim Hart on October 5, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    This list is right on the money. I've owned a small PR business for 5 years and taught marketing at the SBA. Small businesses have so many secret (and no or low-cost) weapons in their arsenal, not the least of which is the personality and passion of their owners — something that can shine through in social media. thanks for this post.

    Cheers,

    Tim Hart, Principal
    Hart Communications
    http://www.hart-communications.com



  2. Deana Goldasich on October 5, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Ah, yes, Tim — as a PR guru of course you'd appreciate this list! I LOVE your firm's tagline, “Go loud or go home.” Brilliant!

    Indeed, so many businesses are so concerned about a professional image that they sometimes lose sight of the fact that their unique personality can be what wins them the relationship — and hence, the business. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your insightful comment!



  3. Tim Hart on October 5, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    No problem. I've been scrolling and scrolling through your blog today. Good stuff. 🙂



  4. Deana Goldasich on October 5, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Ah… making some major structural changes today, so beware of wacky formatting and CSS, etc. for today!



  5. goldasich on October 8, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    5 Reasons Small Businesses Find More Customers Using Social Media – http://www.wellplannedweb.com/2010/10/sm



  6. LisaNewkirk on October 8, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    RT @goldasich: 5 Reasons Small Businesses Find More Customers Using Social Media – http://www.wellplannedweb.com/2010/10/sm



  7. LisaNewkirk on October 8, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    RT @goldasich: 5 Reasons Small Businesses Find More Customers Using Social Media – http://www.wellplannedweb.com/2010/10/sm



  8. goldasich on October 8, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    5 Reasons Small Businesses Find More Customers Using Social Media – http://www.wellplannedweb.com/2010/10/sm



  9. dvduval on October 10, 2010 at 3:54 am

    RT @goldasich: 5 Reasons Small Businesses Find More Customers Using Social Media – http://www.wellplannedweb.com/2010/10/sm



  10. goldasich on October 14, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    @JamieCrager: Thanks Jamie for the RT of 5 Reasons Small Businesses Find More Customers Using Social Media – http://www.wellplannedweb.com/2010/10/sm



  11. goldasich on October 14, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    @JamieCrager: Thanks Jamie for the RT of 5 Reasons Small Businesses Find More Customers Using Social Media – http://www.wellplannedweb.com/2010/10/sm



  12. goldasich on October 14, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    @JamieCrager: Thanks Jamie for the RT of 5 Reasons Small Businesses Find More Customers Using Social Media – http://www.wellplannedweb.com/2010/10/sm



  13. goldasich on October 14, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    @JamieCrager: Thanks Jamie for the RT of 5 Reasons Small Businesses Find More Customers Using Social Media – http://www.wellplannedweb.com/2010/10/sm



  14. JamieCrager on October 14, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    @goldasich You are most welcome! 🙂



  15. JamieCrager on October 14, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    @goldasich You are most welcome! 🙂



  16. JamieCrager on October 14, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    @goldasich You are most welcome! 🙂



  17. JamieCrager on October 14, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    @goldasich You are most welcome! 🙂



  18. JamieCrager on October 14, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    @goldasich You are most welcome! 🙂



  19. goldasich on October 14, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    @JamieCrager: Thanks Jamie for the RT of 5 Reasons Small Businesses Find More Customers Using Social Media – http://www.wellplannedweb.com/2010/10/sm



  20. Kikrbride on October 16, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    @goldasich I like http://www.businessblogshub.com/ for info on biz articles and advice. Loads of free stuff! Check it out.



  21. goldasich on October 16, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    5 Reasons Small Businesses Find More Customers Using Social Media – #smallbiz #entrepreneur #smbiz #sm -= http://www.wellplannedweb.com/2010/10/sm



  22. 3sddevelopment on October 17, 2010 at 2:50 am

    RT @goldasich: 5 Reasons Small Businesses Find More Customers Using Social Media – #smallbiz #entrepreneur #smbiz #sm -= http://www.wellplannedweb.com/2010/10/sm



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