Citibank released some survey data in the small business space with the attention grabbing headline "Social media, small business not mixing". It's a load of bullocks.
I've included a link to the article below as well as a follow-up response from ReadWriteWeb. One of the most telling elements is a response that they received from Citibank in response to a question about the survey data:
"As the survey stats show 3/4 of small business owners are not using social media to grow their business, but the survey also shows that 24% are using it, so you are right - it is a fact that companies are starting to use it, which is great as it's a great way to grow a business."
See my earlier posts below with recent data around social media not just a priority, but table stakes for businesses going forward.
At it's heart, social media isn't really a shift for small businesses in terms of what has made them successful throughout their history. As I said in a recent post:
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.
Thanks to @markmayhew for pointing out the Citibank survey.