I think in a lot of ways, social media and Web 2.0 tools make a better fit for SMBs than they do for enterprises. I’ve come across case studies and benchmarks of big businesses leveraging Web 2.0 to improve certain processes, but amongst our own customer base, it’s the 20-person professional services company or manufacturer that I really see breaking the mold and making the case for these tools in a business environment. And I think there are a few reasons for that.
Low cost and practically no barrier to entry give smaller businesses the ability to offer the personalized customer engagement that customers come to expect when they do business with an SMB. And it gives them an opportunity to improve their company’s image via offering customers the sort of “fancy” service that enterprises like to throw around.
In addition, low-cost CRM providers like ourselves are also doing a better job of ensuring that Web 2.0 functionality can be embedded within our platforms as well. With the economy as bad as it is, finding a balance between cost-cutting and improved services – all with limited financial resources – has become a priority. Both the CRM vendor and Web 2.0 market have matured to the point where deploying such technology for practically nothing is very much a reality.
Last, but perhaps most importantly, SMBs provide the perfect corporate culture to allow social media to cultivate. In order for it to work, executives and upper management need to appreciate and be informed adopters of a new approach to business processes. Inside the upper workings of an enterprise, that’s simply not easy to do, and you continue to see social media tools floundering amide the corporate policies of big business.