Friday, February 18, 2011

Social Media World Needs More SMB Case Studies

It seems every time you open your inbox, there's another invitation from a company promoting a social-media seminar. While I'm sure most of them contain very useful information, there's something consistently missing in all of them.

If you attend many of these seminars, one of the first things you'll note is there's a good chance many, if not most, of the representatives will be from large corporations. Much has been written about how Zappos, IBM, Pepsico and other large brands are leveraging social media.

For sure, many of them are doing interesting things with it and dedicating large sums of money to increasing their "mind share" among the social Web. But I think there's an argument to be made that a household name could increase mind share using most any channel. In other words, more people will willingly interact with a household brand than a small or mid-sized business.

That's an important distinction to make, in my opinion, because SMBs are the growth engine of the economy. Also, getting them to adopt leading-edge marketing techniques is tougher; yet, most marketing pros aren't going to find themselves working on accounts of leading brands. Therefore, it's in everyone's best interest to identify and promote ways that these smaller organizations can become a social-media success story.

Certainly, that will probably come as more SMBs "dip their toe" in the social-media waters. Given that, the lack of their presence isn't necessarily a problem at this point. But it would behoove those in the social-media sphere to do more to cultivate these types of companies as clients and show how it can help them succeed.