Soren Gordhamer wrote a great post (link below) in Mashable yesterday about the 4 ways that social media is changing business. As he said:
"In the age of social media, the rules have changed radically, and people today demand a more honest and direct relationship with the companies with which they do business."
The post then went on to outline 4 broad shifts that social media is causing in business:
- From "Trying to Sell" to "Making Connections"
- From "Large Campaigns" to "Small Acts"
- From "Controlling Our Image" to "Being Ourselves"
- From "Hard to Reach" to "Available Everywhere"
Here's the thing though - these aren't really changes for small businesses.
Small businesses have always been most successful when they exhibit the traits above. They are personal and make connections with their customers, they by nature focus on small acts, they are passionate about what they do and are their own bosses unburdened by a controlled image, and they are accessible to their customers.
So with small business, I see social media not changing the nature of things as much as it is forcing small businesses to bring these behaviors from the offline world to the online world.
That can be made simple with tools and support, but it does take effort. The online world accentuates and amplifies the importance of these behaviors, so the stakes are high but the rewards can be amazing for small businesses who embrace their roots and amplify their voice using the web and social media.
P.S. A shout out to our extended family who shares Gordhammer's last name - my wife's maternal grandmother's ancestors are the "Gords of Hammer" in Norway.