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Social Media – Helping Your Big Business Think Small

Stay with me, there is method in my madness. Throughout my career, I have succeeded (and occasionally failed) on the basic principals that (a) people buy from people they like and (b) people are inspired to buy by people they identify with.

Now here’s the problem, when you work for a large enterprise it can be very difficult to position yourself as likable. Corporate red tape can be very restrictive and sometimes it is easy to keep quiet rather than raise your head above the parapet. It is also true that very few people are inspired to buy by a corporate logo (Apple, Coca-Cola and Nike might be the exceptions to prove this rule).

In the past, large enterprises were forced to spend an incredible amount of money building their brands via a wide range of broadcast and print media in the hope that they would reach enough people who would be inspired to like them. This perhaps explains why television advertising is monopolized by only a handful of enterprises.

The problem with these large budget campaigns was that most of the communication traveled in one direction. Essentially brands were forced to buy their friends and (as in life when relationships are based purely on money), these friendship could be, at best, fickle.

Social media has of course completely changed the media landscape. Big brands now have the capability to engage with their audience on a more personal level. The enterprises who get social media understand that it is no longer good enough to hit their audience with bog-standard brand-based communications.

Socially savvy customers and demand real human engagement and only the companies who can provide this service will succeed in the social age. That means pushing individuals to the front of your organization. Helping them build their personal brand (over your corporate brand) and win new friends with their insight and humanity.

In short, in this socially-enable business environment your big business needs to give the kind of personal service previously only available from smaller enterprises.

Of course there is a degree of risk in this approach but the benefits far outweigh any potential problems.

The moral of the  story is, in order to keep it big on social media you might have to start thinking small.

To find out how Viralheat can help you manage your social media content in a timely, engaging and profitable way, join us for a free product demonstration every Thursday at 1pm (PST), 10am (EST), 6pm (UK).

Photo credit: Larry W. Lo

Tags : social media

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