Posts Tagged ‘small business’
Did you know that the 23 million small businesses in America account for 54% of all U.S. sales?
Did you know that small businesses provide 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970s?
While big business has eliminated four million jobs since 1990, small businesses added eight million.
Why the focus on small business today? It’s National Small Business Week in the United States and to commemorate the occasion, I partnered with Cox Business to discuss the importance of connected consumerism amidst the release of its inaugural small business survey (#SBWSurvey).
We live in an era of what I refer to as Digital Darwinism, a time when technology and society are evolving faster than the ability of many organizations to adapt.
Over the years, I’ve studied how disruptive technology affects consumer behavior and decision-making. I’ve also researched how businesses react (or don’t) to these changes. What I’ve learned is that barring a few exceptional instances of complete ignorance, organizations are open to adaptation if there’s indeed a case made for it and a path outlined to safely and cost-effectively navigate change.
Part of an ongoing series dedicated to small businesses
As you read this, the business landscape is shifting right under your company’s foundation. How customers make decisions, how they discover, communicate, and share, how they influence and are influenced, is evolving considerably. In fact, customer behavior is not only changing, it’s fragmenting and opening the door to new touch points. Your business will now have to compete for the customers you know and additionally, a new breed of customers that you need to know. And, to earn their attention and ultimately their loyalty, you will need to better understand the top technology trends and how they’re impacting customer behavior.
I often write about enterprise organizations and global brands…essentially big businesses. This is the first in a series dedicated to small businesses.
One of the biggest misconceptions about social media strategy is that only the big brands and enterprise organizations can afford success. The impression is bigger businesses have unlimited resources, people and budgets to execute on all new ideas. This is simply not true. Like in anything, people are focused on their jobs as they exist and anything new that comes along, well, it’s met with prejudice.
In social media, is there truth to the proverb, “seek and ye shall find?”
As our experience in new media matures, learning what it is we wish to seek and also accomplish is at the forefront of rapid evolution. Converting questions into objectives is how we grow and succeed. While the opportunities within social media in general are sweeping, one such possibility that’s largely untapped in business social networking is the ability to find customers and prospects as well as learn what inspires them to make decisions and share experiences.
One of the most sought after answers in Social Media is whether or not engagement in social networks such as Twitter or Facebook directly correlates to customer acquisition, retention, and advocacy. Before we can earn customers however, we have to recognize that at any given time, there are also prospects. And, prospects require information and confidence in order to make decisions, in your favor of course. The answer to our question lies in social engagement.
In celebration of National Small Business Week…
For entrepreneurs, business owners, investors, and consultants, one of the most exciting prospects of social media, lies in the ability to dramatically amplify your visibility and value proposition among existing and potential stakeholders. Social Media finally places small, local and emerging businesses in the spotlight in ways that up until this point, were largely unattainable.
Social Media is as revolutionary as it is evolutionary. It represents an important chapter in the ongoing saga and transformation of new media.
Over the years, we’ve witnessed that the 10 stages of social media integration in business are almost always set in motion by an internal champion who is determined and impassioned to engender change from the inside out. These champions emerge from different disciplines and departments and are typically role agnostic. Depending on the organization, champions exist in customer service, communications, marketing, interactive, as well as executive management. The change that these champions engender will ultimately represent a revolution in the spirit, philosophy, vision, and framework for organizations, one that increases market relevance and dramatically enhances the opportunity for affinity and fidelity.
Social Media impacts every business, every brand, and in doing so, connects a network of distributed communities of influence, making the world a much smaller place in the process. Small businesses are in fact at an advantage in Social Media Marketing as they can focus on hyper-local activity that can offer immediate rewards or at the very least, the real-time feedback or lack thereof says everything about next steps.
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.