In May 2010 I participated in the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s ‘Marketing Excellence for Small Businesses’ series, presenting the impact of social media, and how small businesses could now develop their brands to compete successfully in the global marketplace.
People were becoming aware of Facebook, heard of MySpace, thought of LinkedIn as an online address book of former and current business colleagues, and Twitter just appeared a daft means for online chatter that didn’t seem to have much weight or any real value in relation to managing a business. How things have changed!
The wholesale change in the Middle East brought about by the ‘Arab Spring’, the indignation of British citizens to the riots in the summer of 2011, and the numerous stories, fall outs, embarrassments and successes brought about, and played out through social media channels, has brought social into the heart of our communications approach, business, and society. I remember colleagues raising eyebrows when I said social would have a wholesale impact across all sectors of business, some openly stating that it was probably unlikely to have any effect on business to business activity …. it appears their minds are changing.
And quite rightly, small businesses are seeing social as their primal mechanism to reach out to the world, articulate their values and ethos, and share their vision, while building a compelling narrative. Meanwhile their customers, fans, and partners are finding them, which builds a community of common interest in turn providing both insight and dialogue that’s creating new and exciting initiatives. I continue to watch and participate in this incredible revolution that’s underway …. and at this point I have to admit to taking some pride in seeing some of the things I spoke about 3 years ago coming to fruition. Let’s see what the future holds!