SMEs "get" social media while large co's miss the boat

Two reports were released today that indicates a big discrepancy in how small business and large enterprise are embracing social media: with the small guys leading the charge. One study claims that social media has become indispensable to small businesses and another claims Superbrands aren't latching onto Twitter.

According to V3.co.uk, this year’s largest UK survey of small and medium businesses was released today in the 2009 Business Pulse Report, conducted by BT and the British Chambers of Commerce. The survey indicates two-thirds of 72,000 small business respondents rated high search engine rankings as being very important to their business. And 73 per cent felt online presence was important to the running of their business.

Meanwhile over at new media age, a self-conducted study was published saying that of the 500 brands in the 2009 Superbrands list, a whopping 74 per cent had no presence on Twitter. Of the 500 brands, just 29 brands were tweeting every hour; just 50 were tweeting every day.

Certainly the most compelling story here is that big businesses, with all their resources, personnel, and fancy budgets, aren't getting the value of social media. Is that because social media is comparatively free, and they can't see value in anything that's not burning marketing budgets? Small business is benefiting from Twitter, even if the benefit is hard to quantify. One of the more interesting quotes in nma's coverage was from the head of creative at Innocent Drinks, who have built a following of 20,000 fans on Twitter, and yet who believe that by not defining a Twitter strategy, they have gotten more value out of it.

Dan Germain is quoted as saying: “If we’d had a set strategy at the start and defined some sort of ROI, then it wouldn’t be successful because Twitter doesn’t deliver on that,” he said. “For us it’s just another channel for talking to people.”

That says it all, really.

1 comment:

  1. I think, as with most things, the bigger corporations are going to struggle to respond as quickly as smaller firms simply due to (a) the longer approvals chain and (b) perhaps a lack of understanding from the top.

    On the Twitter front, let's not forget that a lot of big firms can expect to be shot at once they're on there and really need to be sure as to how to respond if they do. I think that frightens some of them.

    For small businesses, social media is a real leveller, but finding the time and expertise to handle it becomes the main challenge.

    2010 will be really interesting for social media