Is Social Media Just for the Big Guys?

Since I’m in the process of debunking fallacies about social media, I thought that I’d add another one to the list.  

This fallacy is a particularly pernicious one which goes something, “Social media is only for the big guys!”

Well, I’m going to put this one under the microscope today.

The rationale for this line of thinking is that only large companies, big brands, and their ever increasing budgets can really use social media effectively.

I’m here to say, “No!”

Social media is not just for large companies.

In fact, I’m going to say something controversial (Those who know me well won’t be surprised here.)

I believe that small and mid-sized businesses actually have an advantage over large companies in the social media space.

Yes, large companies can do a lot in this space and several, in my opinion, are good examples of this.

Starbucks (Great for handling customer service issues!), Amazon, and Best Buy are very effective in their use of social media.

Please note though that all are in retail and in the business-to-consumer (B2C) channel.

This should tell you something right there.

But, more often than not, the social media for large companies is a faceless, corporate brand which is gives their canned message.  Large companies can do transactions very well in social media but can lose the human touch otherwise.

Small and mid-sized businesses have certain advantages in social media arising from their size.

There is a real human face behind the interaction.  (i.e., they can be found in LinkedIn and connected to!)

Many times that real human face can be met in Real Life.

There is a true ownership of the social media message.  (I haven’t met anyone yet who likes to be called a liar to their face, even liars don’t like it!)

Small and mid-sized businesses can have a candor with social media often lacking from large organizations’ efforts.

In most cases, particularly the good ones, there is only one person or a limited number of people behind the social media message of small and mid-sized businesses.

Too often, large organizations have their social media message designed by a committee of lawyers, PR flacks, and HR types. All jockeying for position and influence while trying to justify their existence.  (In my own personal experience, I’ve seen what are supposedly the blogs of senior executives at large corporations that are in fact written for them by these types of committees.  The current fear of being second guessed after the fact felt by many senior executives contributes to this phenomena.)

The social media messages from small and mid-sized businesses many times avoids the look and feel of those well parsed legal expressions posted by their larger counterparts.

Quick response time is another advantage experienced by small and mid-sized businesses with social media.

Not having to deal with committees or conflicting internal interests, they can make quicker decisions and respond to stakeholder issues via social media with an immediacy envied by larger bureaucracies.

Let’s recap!

Yes, social media is for small and mid-sized businesses.  (This along with all the other excuses used by companies not to employ social media are hopefully being debunked by me!)

In fact, they have several inherent advantages not enjoyed by the larger players.

But, there’s always a “but,” there has to be engagement on our part.  Social media does not just magically appear.

A social media program needs to be developed, implemented, and maintained.  

You can either do this by yourself or engage someone like me to help you.

Either way, for small and mid-sized businesses operating in today’s world, this will be one of your better investments!

That’s it for now!

In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!

I look forward to any and all comments that you may have.  I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.


I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me.  Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.

I can also be reached at

My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.

Stay well!

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